Indigenous Ecuadoran woman humbles US oil giant

Posted by Trish Riley, February 24, 2011

“Before I die they have to pay me for the dead animals, and for what they did to the river, and the water and the earth,” the 61-year-old Aguinda told AFP at her home in Rumipamba, a town in remote Orellana province where pollution caused by 30 years of oil drilling and petroleum accidents had become a sad fact of life.

Texaco operated in the area between 1964 and 1990, and was bought in 2001 by Chevron, which inherited Texaco’s legal nightmare.

“The demand (for compensation) is going on track,” said the ethnic Quechua woman, pointing to a nearby spot marked by spillage from an oil well run by Texaco in the 1970s.

“Mary Aguinda et al” are the opening words of the suit launched in 1993 on behalf of 30,000 residents of Orellana and Sucumbios provinces, in which they charge Texaco dumped billions of gallons of toxic crude during its operations, fouling rivers, lakes and soil and causing cancer deaths in indigenous communities.

via http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110223/ts_alt_afp/ecuadorcourtcompanyenvironmentchevronusnative

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