Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch
August 16, 2011 | Han Shan
Approaching the two-year anniversary of one of Chevron's dirtiest tricks in its 18-year effort to escape responsibility for its oil disaster in Ecuador, shocking emails and a major misstep by a Chevron spokesman threaten to blow the whole affair wide open.
Explosive emails from Wayne Hansen, an American con-man who partnered with a Chevron contractor in an attempt to entrap a judge presiding in the trial over the company's contamination in Ecuador, reveal that Hansen believes he has been "duped" by the oil giant, "left out" of a "deal" offered to his Ecuadorian partner-in-crime, and now fears for his life.
In the weeks after he and an Ecuadorian Chevron contractor named Diego Borja executed their scheme, Hansen writes to his contact at Chevron:
"I have been waiting for your call, you said you would call me. ... It seems that the oil co has cut a deal with Diego and I have not heard a word from anyone but Diego. What am I to think?"
In the summer of 2009, Hansen, a convicted drug trafficker with a history of legal troubles and involvement in crooked schemes, teamed up with Diego Borja, an Ecuadorian with long and deep ties to Chevron and its subsidiary in Ecuador.
August 16, 2011
Last month we reported a major spill from Maple Energy's operations in Oil Block 31-E in the eastern Peruvian Amazon, the 6th major spill in just over two years. Last week talks between communities and the company broke down after Maple Energy refused to provide health care for the sick people now suffering from the July 2011 spill or to even support the costs of studies to measure the levels of contamination and health problems.
The affected communities were in a mediated negotiation with the Maple Energy after they filed a complaint in 2010 alleging human rights and environmental violations to the International Finance Corporation ("IFC"), part of the World Bank Group and one of Maple Energy's investors.
"Maple has denied the problems with contamination and sickness resulting from their operations on our land and refused our requests for environmental remediation and medical treatment," said Raul Tuesta, leader of the community of Nuevo Sucre.
August 11, 2011 | Gregor MacLennan
Sign the Petition!
Ask Peru's President Ollantay Humala to protect the territories of isolated indigenous peoples.
Brazilian officials fear for the survival of an isolated Amazon group after a remote guard post on the Peru-Brazil border was overrun by heavily armed suspected drug traffickers who crossed the border from Peru. The guard post was protecting the headwaters of the Envira river where stunning aerial photographs of an isolated tribe has made worldwide headlines in 2008.
The Peruvian government has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect isolated indigenous peoples. As recently as June of this year the Peruvian Ombudsman office wrote a scathing letter to Peru's Ministry of Culture criticizing them for allowing isolated peoples reserves to become overrun by loggers and oil drilling.
No Reports of Flying Pigs
August 4, 2011 | Han Shan
Yesterday, hell did not freeze over. Pigs (or if you're Italian, donkeys) were not seen flying through the air on gossamer wings.
What did happen yesterday?
A major oil company accepted responsibility for terrible oil contamination affecting poor villagers in a remote part of a developing country, promising to pay for remediation of the damage done, and compensation to the communities harmed.
August 4, 2011 | Gregor MacLennan
Peru's Ombudsman has reiterated the urgent need for the approval of the Consultation Law in Peru. The Ombudsman highlighted the shared responsibilities of the legislative and executive branches to promote and prioritize the approval of the Consultation Law.
Peru's consultation law was approved by Congress on May 19th, 2010 after a year of negotiations with indigenous organizations following the tragic end to nation-wide indigenous protests in 2009. However on June 23rd, 2010 Peru's former president, Alan Garcia, refused to sign the law and finished his term without ever responding to the demands of indigenous peoples and meeting Peru's obligations under international law to respect indigenous peoples' right to consultation.