In New York City. Robert is spending this Sunday morning asking for spare change from the ladies going into the bodega. He's supplementing his part time job washing patients' food trays at the hospital. But now, at least, he won't have to worry about getting exploited in a job at Amazon. ...more
Exclusive for Truth-out.org
Chevron petroleum Corporation is attempting to slither out of an $8 billion judgment rendered yesterday by a trial court inÂ Ecuador for cancer deaths, illnesses and destruction caused by its Texaco unit.
I’ve been there, in Ecuador.
I met the victims. Â They didn’t lose their shrimp boats; they lost their kids. Â Emergildo Criollo, Chief of the Cofan Natives of the Amazon, told meÂ about his three-year-old. Â “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.” Then he died.
See Palast’s report from the Amazon for BBC , War Paint and Lawyers:
Rainforest Indians versus Big Oil on the DVD Palast Investigates:Â From 8-Mile to the Amazon. Get the signed DVD or Download it for FREE.
And then I met Chevron-Texaco’s lawyers.
When I showedÂ Texaco lawyer RodrigoÂ PerezÂ the epidemiological studies tracing childhood cancers to their oil, Â heÂ sneered and said , “And itâ€™s the only case of cancer in the world? How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States, inÂ Europe, in Quito? If there is somebody with cancer there, [the Cofan parents] must prove [the deaths were] caused by crude or by the petroleum industry. And, second, they have to prove that it is OUR crude â€“ which is absolutely impossible.”
The Texaco man stated,Â “Scientifically, nobody has proved that crude causes cancer.”
President Barack Obama has said that the British-based BP must pay for all the damage it caused in the Gulf.
I’ve just returned from the Gulf and I can tell you, it’s grim, it’s terrible. Â But compared to the damage caused by Chevron-Texaco, the Gulf blow-out is a picnic.
So now, Mr. President, will you stand by your words and tell this renegade, deadly US corporation to pay for the damage they have done?
At the end of my meeting with the oil company lawyers, I showed them a document in which Chevron-Texaco directed its underlings to destroy evidence.
The oil company men said they would get back to me with an “explanation.” Â It’s been three years, and I’m still waiting.
There is another insidious game being played by Chevron. Â The oil company’s ethically-challenged law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has attempted to block the Cofan and other victims of Chevron from having legal counsel. Â They have even convinced some pinhead judge to block collection of Ecuador’s judgment because harming Chevron would be a blow to “global business.”
It would – and itÂ should.
Watch Palast’s interview about Chevron v Ecuador with Russian TV America.
Read the original investigative report below:
War Paint and Lawyers: Rainforest Indians versus Big Oil
Alaska Native Henry MakarkaÂ©1997James Macalpine-PIF
At Tatitlek Village, Alaska Native Henry Makarka told me, “If I had a machine gun I’d shoot every one of them white sons of bitches.”
Makarka was talking about the executives who came to him and his tribe 40 years ago to purchase their land at Valdez.Â They were from the companies now known as Exxon and BP.
The Tatitlek were paid the handsome price of $1 for Valdez, which the companies knew was worth billions.
Yes, Henry, we want to shoot BP too.Â And Exxon.Â With cameras – which corporations fear more than bullets.
We have launched the multi-national Amazon to Arctic investigation of BP and its oily sisters.
But frankly, we need the cash to do it; for the small charter planes, the detective agencies, the camera batteries and, frankly, our nourishment.
If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.Â Please donate here and I’ll send you, signed, your choice of thank you gifts: my films on DVD and bestselling books.
For 21 years, I have been hunting BP, Exxon, Chevron and their sisters.
But I simply can’t continue.Â We are, no kidding, dead out of funds for this work.
The result will be a feature-length documentary (a major network has indicated it will distribute), major print investigative pieces and a series of video-enhanced internet news reports for major sites.Â (As always, our reports are given to Democracy Now! and other not-for-profit broadcasters without charge.)
But the preliminary work and deep investigation which they can’t cover must start now.
* $579 buys my ticket to Alaska, BP’s latest drilling target.
* $1100 gets me to a meeting with a BP insider.
* $200 buys us a new concealable mini-recorder.
We need your help. If you believe the issue of oil’s global reach deserves the type of serious, deep investigation the Palast team uniquely provides, then now is the moment to show you support us.
Please, make it at least $100 and I’ll send you my three latest DVDs.
Better yet, become our producer. I mean it. Instead of million-dollar moguls, we are looking for a group of twenty-four “mini-moguls” to launch our films (news report length and feature length). Donate at least $1,000 and we’ll list you as a co-Producer for our next film (with a dozen DVDs of the film when complete).
Here’s what YOU get:
Palast flying over the Prince William Sound, AlaskaÂ©1997James Macalpine-PIF
BP insiders have contacted us from the Caspian to London.Â We need your tax-deductible donation right away.Â If ever there was a journalistic emergency, this is it.
We need to get back up to Alaska, BP’s next offshore target, pay the bills from hunting Chevron in the Amazon, then return to the Gulf where we have more inside information already gleaned that needs verification and publication.
I really don’t want to shut down such an important investigation.Â If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.
Our special thanks to Mike Papantonio, Bobby Kennedy and their Ring of Fire Radio for supporting our Arctic to Amazon campaign.
On top of this obligation, we have also begun an investigation of nuclear power which has recently arisen from its corporate crypt.Â I know this is a lot to take on, but we must – and we will, with your commitment to join us.
* * * * * * * *
Greg Palast investigated charges of fraud by BP and Exxon in the grounding of the Exxon Valdez for Alaska’s Chugach Natives.
Palast’s investigations are supported in part by the Puffin and Cloud Mountain Foundations and the Palast Investigative Fund, a 501c3 charitable trust.
For Air America Radio’s Ring of Fire
There’s an easy way to find oil.Â Go to some remote and gorgeous natural sanctuary, say Alaska or the Amazon, find some Indians, then drill down under them.
If the indigenous folk complain, well, just shoo-them away.Â Shoo-ing methods include:Â bulldozers, bullets, crooked politicians and fake land sales.
But be aware.Â Lately the Natives are shoo-ing back.Â Last week, indigenous Peruvians seized an oil pumping station, grabbed the nine policemen guarding it and, say reports, executed them.Â This followed the government’s murder of more than a dozen rainforest residents who had protested the seizure of their property for oil drilling.
Again and again I see it in my line of work of investigating fraud.Â Here are a few pit-stops on the oily trail of tears:
In the 1980s, Charles Koch was found to have pilfered about $3 worth of crude from Stanlee Ann Mattingly’s oil tank in Oklahoma. …more
Last week, you may have caught the story on “60 Minutes” about Chevron crapping all over the Amazon in Ecuador, poisoning the Indians who live there.
The Palast team is thrilled that a big commercial US Network is picking up our reports from BBC Television and Democracy Now!But if you watched the CBS report, you haven’t seen the WHOLE story.
If you want the real thing, the original reports â€” uncut, uncensored â€” pick up our new film, Palast Investigates: From 8-Mile to the Amazon â€” On the Trail of the Financial Marauders.
Check out the trailerÂ here.
The Chicago Tribune says, “these stories bite.”Â Here’s what we’ve sunk our teeth into for this DVD â€” our 3 latest, biggest stories, for BBC Newsnight: