From Mayor McLaughlin:
CHEVRON BRINGS ECUADORIAN VILLAGERS AND THEIR ADVOCATES TO A RETALIATORY TRIAL TO EVADE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ITS CONTAMINATION IN THE AMAZON
After a recent visit to Ecuador and witnessing the abuses and contamination in the Amazon rainforest by Texaco (now Chevron), Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin invites the community to join her and supporters of human rights, corporate accountability and sustainability to support justice in Ecuador and to condemn Chevron's retaliatory RICO lawsuit against Ecuadorian indigenous villagers and their U.S.-based lawyer. RICO, the law used to prosecute the Mafia for racketeering, is now being used AGAINST the folks who won the $18 billion Ecuadorian court case against Chevron Corp. for polluting the Amazon Rainforest and the home of the Affected Peoples.
"Chevron needs to own up to its responsibility whether in Richmond or in Ecuador. The community of Richmond has experienced repeated incidents that have impacted our health and safety over the past 20 years, the most recent being the major fire of 2012 for which Chevron was found to be criminally and willfully neglectful. In Ecuador, in Richmond, in Nigeria and so many other places around the world, we stand in solidarity calling for true justice," said Mayor McLaughlin.
Where: Richmond Civic Center Plaza (in front of the Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza)
When: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 10 a.m.
In 1993, a group of Ecuadorian citizens of the Amazon region filed a lawsuit in US federal court against Texaco alleging that between 1964 and 1992 Texaco's oil operations polluted the rainforests and rivers in Ecuador, resulting in environmental damage and damage to the health of those who live in the region. Throughout 9 years Chevron fought to move the case to Ecuador, and in 2002 the US federal court dismissed the case on forum non conveniens grounds (i.e., the court stated that Ecuador was a more appropriate venue for litigating these claims). In connection with the dismissal, Texaco agreed that courts in Ecuador would have jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' claims.
Shortly before the verdict in the Ecuadorian court was handed down in 2011, Chevron launched an unprecedented retaliation campaign against the Ecuadorian villagers and their advocates. In addition, the company has targeted the entire nation of Ecuador by spending hundreds of millions of dollars in attorneys and lobbying firms to block trade between Ecuador and the United States in order to put pressure on the Ecuadorian government to block the judgment.