Dear Global Exchange Supporters,
In recent weeks, the world has seen major turning points in the struggle for justice and human rights. Just last week, after nearly a month of demonstrations and thirty years of living under oppression, the people of Egypt rose up and brought about the resignation of Hosni Mubarak1.
This week, there was a major turning point in the struggle against Big Oil when Chevron was found guilty in Ecuador.
Now its time for all of us to join with the plaintiffs in celebration and then get to work, holding Chevron to account and making sure that the company pays up.
After a nearly 18-year-long struggle pitting indigenous communities in Ecuador against Chevron--the world's fifth largest corporation--and supported by millions of people all around the world (including YOU!) Chevron was found GUILTY.
On February 14, an Ecuadorian court found Chevron guilty of massive environmental contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon and ordered the company to pay $8.6 billion to clean up its mess, provide potable water, and fund critical health care.
The judge then gave Chevron two weeks to publicly apologize. If it fails to do so, damages will be added to the ruling, and the judgment will be doubled.
The decision vindicates what indigenous peoples and local farmers have been saying, and suffering, for decades – that Chevron drilled, dumped, and never looked back. Now, a court of Chevron's choosing, using mostly the company's own evidence, has found that the company is liable in one of the largest judgments against a US company for crimes abroad.
Global Exchange stands with our allies in celebration and solidarity with the 30,000 plaintiffs who have achieved this tremendous milestone in their struggle for justice. We thank you for everything you have done to support them and us.
But just as is the case in Egypt, the struggle is not over. Chevron has announced that it will not pay and that it will appeal the ruling.
We ask you to continue the fight to ensure that Chevron pays up and cleans up its toxic mess.
The Energy Program
P.S. Global Exchange is hiring! Join the Global Exchange family.
1Halftime in Egypt, Global Exchange People-to-People blog, February 11, 2011,