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Oil spills can occur at any of the various stages when extracting this nonrenewable energy, drilling, refining, storage, or transportation. However, when the spillage happens in the middle of indigenous territories the effects are devastating. Amazonian indigenous communities are the most vulnerable group when it comes to environmental disasters, since they coexist and depend from nature.

Abandoned pit at exploration well in Ecuador [1].

[1] Kimerling, Amazon Crude.

Damages on population and Environment

TIndigenous people next to a once clear water source. Retrieved from on 15.08.2020
"We realize that we live in a very rich zone, but our people live in poverty and misery"
A colonist leader in Lago Agrio 1990
Around 50,000 square kilometers (19,305 square miles) in the Lago Agrio region were damaged by the dumping of oil and toxic waste. The contaminated area grew every day because the hazardous waste left in pits penetrates the soil, it caused effects not only in the environment but specially in the economy of the habitants who survived mainly from agriculture and fishing. Besides due to the deforestation of the zone many tribes were forced to abandon their ancestral lands and relocate every single time. Finally, health problems including malnutrition, skin rashes, memory loss, headaches, miscarriages, birth defects and cancer are also problem and concerns of the population in the area. [1] It has been disputed if the health problems are related to the toxic waste in the area. Because although some studies have been carried out on the impact of oil exploitation processes Ecuador and their effect on the surrounding communities, the studies lack of sufficient technical support. Therefore in 2011 a study by the Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, find out that in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Napo have the highest cancer rate in relation to the other provinces in Ecuador. The rates tripled in the areas where oil extraction was carried and raised in the areas where hazardous waste was spilled. [2]     [1] Kimerling, „Transnational Operations, Bi-National Injustice“, 463.   [2] Buitrón Andrade und Romero Proaño, „Relación entre tipos de cáncer y zonas de explotación petrolera en la Amazonia ecuatoriana“, 126.

Chevron-Texaco perspective and the Amazon post

Texaco claims before leaving Ecuador in 1990 they arranged for a clean- up programm under the supervision of the ecuadorian government retreieved on 18.07.2021
“What these people seek, is not environmental remediation, is not a clean-up… it is two checks. One for the Amazon Defense Front and the other for the trial expenses, which means for the lawyers” Dr. Adolfo Callejas-Legal representant of Chevron in Ecuador.
Chevrons website “Amazon Post” brings news and their perspective on the trial.  Chevron alleges that the plaintiffs and Amazon Watch, have used the Ecuador lawsuit to pin the blame on Chevron, all to extort a financial settlement from the company. Since Texaco had already in the 1990s spent 40$ million to clean up before terminating their contract with the state. Chevron specifically blames Petroecuador for the actual contamination ( National Oil Company of Ecuador took over all operations from Texaco) because it operates with poor technology and methods. After the defeat in 2011 in an Ecuadorian Court, Chevron Corporation filled a lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the trial lawyers and consultants leading the Aguinda. V Texaco case .[1]     [1] Hayes, „Lawyer Donziger Faces Criminal Contempt After Chevron RICO Row“.