Eye on the Amazon

Finally! A Candid Exposé of Chevron's Dirty Tricks

A Secoya elder stands in front of a banner reading 'Justice' during a demonstration at the start of the trial against Chevron in Lago Agrio, Ecuador. Photo Credit: Lou Dematteis, from Crude Reflections

It's not easy to try to explain the saga of the decades-long battle to hold Chevron to account for deliberately poisoning people and planet in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Rolling Stone does a very good job of it, however, in yesterday's article Sludge Match: Inside Chevron's $9 Billion Legal Battle With Ecuadorean Villagers by Alexander Zaitchik.

The article skillfully explains how Chevron turned a straightforward case into a neverending legal battle – because winning based on the merits was never an option for the oil giant. From blaming the victim to threatening and pressuring their allies, Chevron's tactics are as dirty as the crude they dumped in the rainforest. The oil giant has launched the greatest assault on corporate accountability to date, yet until now, mainstream coverage of that attack has been frustratingly scarce.

In fact, considering Chevron's history of going after anyone critical of their actions in Ecuador, Rolling Stone should be applauded for aggressively investigating a story that few others have been brave enough to take on. Zaitchik confronts the sordid details of the false narrative concocted by Chevron to fuel its retaliatory RICO suit against Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorians, but unlike others reporters, he doesn't let fear of Chevron's army of lawyers or Judge Kaplan's outrageously biased decision dilute his reporting or outweigh the facts.

Most importantly, Zaitchik reminds readers that, "it's the farmers and the Indians, not the lawyers, who continue to struggle daily with the 50-year legacy of oil production in the region." For their sake, it's about time the media told the full story.

Read the full article here.

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