Anti-Chevron Day is a global event that was born May 21, 2014 as an initiative driven by the Union of the People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT). This event is one of the most important activities of UDAPT on the global scale.
The objective is to expose the environmental damage left by the company during exploration and exploitation of oil fields in the Ecuadorian Amazon and, above all, to influence company shareholders to withdraw their investments, as the company has used its resources to harm real people.
Four years ago UDAPT saw that protests were occurring in isolation. Therefore, the organization made plans to unify all protests related to the systematic violation of human and environmental rights by Chevron and, of course, to raise awareness about the Chevron case. During the first year of the initiative, they signed a statement announcing to Chevron that from that day forward (May 21st, 2014) people around the world affected and concerned by the company´s activities would unite in the fight to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment, which orders that Chevron pay for environmental restoration of the Amazon and compensation for harmed persons as well as respect human rights and the environment in its operations.
The solidarity and support of celebrities, organizations, collectives, and activists of global recognition were also displayed in 2015 in an open letter of support for the struggle of the People Affected by Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador. This social articulation has taken place through global convergences seeking to dismantle corporate power and demanding the adoption of supranational regulations to subject multinationals to comply with the law respecting human rights.
The following year they produced a statement, which was delivered to the heads of pension funds, religious groups, labor unions and universities with investments in Chevron Corporation. They asked those actors to demand Chevron´s executives provide the truth and act ethically regarding the Ecuadorian case. Above all, the statement highlighted how the refusal to deal with Chevron’s poor extractive practices and contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon has affected the company’s image, creating risk for investors and company capital.
The third year of the Anti-Chevron action saw a host of events in Ecuador, including an environmental forum with the participation of over thirty lawyers defending people affected by environmental conflicts worldwide. They developed a special agenda in Quito as part of the Annual Meeting of E-LAW. (International Anti-Chevron Day Agenda)
Humberto Piaguaje, a former representative of the affected people, affirms that action of this kind is essential, given that company executives are lying to stakeholders and hiding the truth: Chevron’s non-compliance with the 9.5 billion dollar sentence issued by the Ecuadorian justice system. “The shareholders should know that far from resolving the problem, the company has created a snowball-effect, confronted now with a fight organized from many places across the world.” (Original quote in Spanish)
The company, Piaguaje emphasizes, has found itself in an increasingly difficult position, as global actions this year have unmasked the company’s unethical conduct in relation to the affected people and the Ecuadorian judgment. Of the year’s events he highlighted:
1.) The Ecuadorians’ work pursuing enforcement in Canada has been very successful, since the Supreme Court of Canada accepted jurisdiction and ruled that the Ecuadorian plaintiffs may continue the homologation process of the sentence, or, in other words, seek to seize Chevron´s assets in Canada. The first hearing was held in September 2016 in Toronto and will continue there.
2.) The sworn statements of ex-Ecuadorian Judge Alberto Guerra, who accepted payment from Chevron for his testimony against the affected Ecuadorians have been proven false. Guerra’s statements were the basis of Chevron’s fraudulent RICO case that framed the representatives of the Amazonian communities as conspirators in extortion.
3.) The report of an informatics expert who examined the computer of Judge Nicolás Zambrano, the judge who issued the first instance sentence, has confirmed that the judgment was written in its totality on the computer of the Justice Court of Sucumbíos, which contradicts the statements of Chevron’s witness in the RICO trial.
This year UDAPT again organized actions on an international scale. In Ecuador they held a biking journey that departed from Shushufindi (oil well Aguarico 4) all the way to Quito, making different stops emblematic of the fight. They also held academic and cinematic events.
List of all signatories who joined Anti-Chevron Day 2015