Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Open Letter from Texaco's Victims to Chevron's Shareholders
We are those who Chevron is constantly trying to silence. We come to you, the shareholders, looking for the most basic empathy and respect we deserve as human beings. We ask but a minute of your time to read this brief letter in its totality.
You have been told – and will be told again and again – that the trial in Ecuador is but a fraud. However, no one has been able to deny the damage oil drilling has done to our land and lives. A great many of us are sick; others have already passed away. This tragedy came to happen because Texaco chose to design and construct installations with sub-par (or outright obsolete) technology: instead of using tanks, they drilled huge, unlined open-air pits directly in the ground, and used them to contain all the sludge and toxic water. This waste was then poured directly into the rivers of our Rainforest. Even though the technology was readily available, the designers and operators at Texaco did not re-inject A SINGLE DROP OF TOXIC WATER back into the ground, as they should've done. When they left they simply buried their pollution, where it remains still, poisoning us.
That's an undeniable fact.
Chevron's management constantly speaks about a (nonexistent) fraud. What they haven´t told you, is that the judicial decision upon which they base their fraud allegations is anchored on the testimony of an Ecuadorian judge that was separated from the judiciary under very suspicious circumstances. You're probably also unaware of the fact that we were denied of basic constitutional rights, such as being heard by a jury of our peers. The vast majority of us have never set foot in the United States, and probably never will – however, we've already been labeled as criminals that tried to "extort" money out of an American corporation. We, the real victims in this matter, do not have the necessity of bribing any judge: the evidence on record is clear, eloquent and powerful, and the harm cannot be hidden. Also, suggesting that humble residents of the Amazon have funds to orchestrate such a fraud is preposterous.
The truth is, we originally filed suit in New York in 1993, and it was Texaco's lawyers who asked for the company to be tried in Ecuador. Our only alternative was to re-file the legal action in our country's courts, and after 20 years of bitter battle, we emerged victorious. But now, our legitimate demands for justice are seen as a fraud in the eyes of a New York judge: a scheme supposedly planned by American lawyers. This judge determined that we, the victims, don't exist (by calling us "the so-called plaintiffs") and called for the decisions from our domestic tribunals to be ignored worldwide.


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