Chevron is one of the largest corporations in the world and one, many people on the ground say, an irresponsible outlaw. Today a court in Ecuador found the Chevron corporation guilty of irresponsibly causing damage to indigenous peoples, their territory and life in the jungle by extracting oil and then leaving hazardous waste in the rivers and streams, in the soil, destroyed jungle and damaged the health and livelihood of the indigenous peoples living there. Though the damage was caused in the 1970s and 1980s by Texaco later bought out by Chevron, the damages and punishment is falling on Chevron to the tune of $8 billion US dollars.
Calling the judgment illegitimate Chevron is appealing the decision of the Ecuadoran court, but the decision stands as a significant blow against corporations that place short-term profits ahead of the lives of indigenous peoples, the health of the land and the life of the natural world. Chevron is committing the same crimes against human beings and nature in the Nigerian Delta region where Ogoni, Ijawa, Igbo and Igbibo peoples suffer immensely from the damages caused.
Corporations have been permitted informal “license” to destroy and kill as long as political officials and bureaucrats are well paid off. The consequence has been destruction and death. A court has now pointed at the perpetrator and said, “You will be punished.” More courts the world over must act to punish the outlaws who not only destroy the wild world and indigenous peoples, but they destroy life for all of humanity in exchange for “pieces of silver.”