Indigenous Leaders from Ecuador United in Confronting Oil Giant Chevron in Ontario Court
OTTAWA and TORONTO, April 16, 2018 – On April 17 and 18, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, will be the setting in which Ecuadorian plaintiffs will demonstrate that Chevron Canada has a patrimony connection with Chevron Corporation, which would allow the Indigenous and peasant people of Ecuador to enforce a judgment of more than $9.5 billion, issued by the Courts of Justice of Ecuador.
The communities’ lawsuit for justice and reparation has been advancing through the courts for nearly 24 years. This trial has become an emblematic demonstration of the impunity that allows transnational corporations to violate Indigenous and human rights, without consequences.
The plaintiffs before the Court of Appeal for Ontario are the Union of the affected people of Chevron-Texaco (UDAPT), who will be represented by Indigenous Kichwa leader Guillermo Grefa and Jaime Vargas, the President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Ecuador (CONAIE). They will be accompanied by Ecuadorian attorney Julio Prieto.
Before the group came to Canada, a historic meeting and show of support occurred in Ecuador during which the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) and the Confederation of the Indigenous Nationalities of Sucumbíos (CONASE) ratified their support for UDAPT in this struggle to achieve justice.
“Canadian courts have an important role to play to ensure Ecuadorian communities have access to justice and meaningful remedy,” said Doug Olthuis, Executive Director of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, which is supporting the Ecuadorian group.
The UDAPT is a grassroots organization made up of over 30,000 Indigenous people and small-scale farmers, who were impacted by Texaco (acquired by Chevron) and its irresponsible activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The oil giant contaminated more than 450,000 hectares of virgin rain forest, dumped crude, toxic waters and polluting gases that damaged ecosystems, impacted health and cultural systems, and poisoned land, water and forest products relied upon for sustenance.
While in Toronto the Ecuadorian delegation will participate in a public event on Tuesday, April 17 from 7 to 9 p.m., in Room 212 of the University of Toronto’s OISE building at 252 Bloor St. W.
For more information on this issue, see: www.texacotoxico.net/en
For further information: Doug Olthuis (Steelworkers Humanity Fund), 416-859-9953; firstname.lastname@example.org; Raul Burbano (Common Frontiers), 416 522 8615, email@example.com; Beatrice Olivastri (Friends of the Earth), 613 724 8690, firstname.lastname@example.org