Thursday, January 23, 2020

Water in Ecuadorian Jungle

Oil Companies treat this Earth as if we have another one to move on. Destruction in one part of the world affect us all. What kind of people are they?

The oil pollution in Ecuador has been characterised as “one of the largest environmental disasters in history” by Rainforest Action Network, 10 May 2010.  The oil contamination of soil and water sources used by residents for agriculture, fishing, bathing and drinking has allegedly caused a sharp increase in serious illnesses among local people in parts of Sucumbios state in Ecuador.  It has also allegedly displaced residents and left many people without their traditional sources of income.  The allegations are against both Texaco/Chevron and Petroecuador. 

David Feige, a former public defender, says that “…environmental legacy includes as many as 16 million gallons of spilled crude -- 50% more than the Exxon Valdez dumped in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989; hundreds of toxic waste pits, many containing the chemical-laden byproducts of drilling; and an estimated 18 billion gallons of waste, or "produced", water, which some tests have shown to contain possibly cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at levels many times higher than those permitted in the U.S.”

 Amnesty International USA, 2007
"Our health has been damaged seriously by the contamination caused by Texaco. Many people in our community now have red stains on their skin and others have been vomiting and fainting. Some little children have died because their parents did not know they should not drink the river water." - Affidavit by one of the plaintiffs representing the indigenous Secoya tribe in the lawsuit against Chevron.

Lost in the entire Chevron Ecuador PR and legal battles is a little known report that between 2002 and 2010, Petroecuador – the state-owned oil company that took over the oil fields owned by Texaco, just after that company was purchased by Chevron – was responsible for an estimated 1,415 “environmental accidents” according to the Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo.

The oil company operated in five oil fields – Shushufindi, Sacha, Auca, Lago Agrio, and Libertador – where the damage happened. There is no report that Petroecuador has completed environmental clean-up in those areas.

Locally, Petroecuador is seen as the real problem, even as the government, which effectively runs the media, has formed a public view against Chevron as well.

But lost in all of this, from fraudulently prepared reports, to intimidation of Ecuadorian judges, is the fact that the story of oil exploration in Ecuador is one of the actions of many companies, as Chevron has not been in operation since 1992, and Occidental Petroleum was the last American company to work in the nation until they were kicked out in 2007.

For example, little discussed is the role of Canadian oil companies in Ecuador. Firms like Ivanhoe Energy and Encana, which started operations in 1999.

Rebecca John, BBC, Jun 2005
“We had absolutely no idea what was going to happen the day we filmed with the Quichuar people in Ecuador…They were angry with the oil companies for polluting their lands and ruining their lives. After they showed us around, we could see why. Several large pits full of oil and toxic waste are scattered throughout their land. They told us that toxic substances from these pits regularly flow into their water supply and have also polluted the food chain, which the Quichuar rely on for their survival. All this has made them sick, they said, and very, very angry. After standing next to one of the pits for a short while I began to feel dizzy. The smell was overpowering and my stomach churned…What it must be like to live there, with the fear of contamination ever-present, I can't even begin to imagine.” 

In the Confessions of an Economic Hit Man John Perkins explain how he as Economic Hit Man of Main Company was one of the people responsible for Placing Ecuador in an indebted situation towards International Banks so after the country became bankrupt the large banks ask access to the country resources. which are oi resources This is the result of the action that is economic action and end up with an ecological and humanitarian disaster.


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