On the 17th and 18th of April it will take place a new hearing which will face the Ecuadorian people against the oil company Chevron in Canada. Guillermo Grefa, member of the Kichwa indigenous community of Rumipamba (Orellana) and Jaime Vargas, president of the CONAIE (Ecuadorian Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities) will participate on behalf of the 30.000 affected people, organized in the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT). They will be supported by the lawyer Julio Prieto.
The Court of Appelas of Ontario will be the setting in which the Ecuadorian plaintiffs, through the lawyer Alan Leczner, will demonstrate that Chevron Canada is wholly owned by Chevron Corporation, which would allow the indigenous and peasant people of Ecuador to enforce the judgement of more than 9.5 billion dollars, issued by the Courts of Justice in Ecuador. By order of the judge, the amount of money will be deposited into a trust for the Amazon’s affected communities, so they will be able to accomplish with the reparation of the 480.000 hectares intentionally contaminated by the US oil company, that still causes deep impact for the local communities.
To confirm the importance of the case and the struggle of the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT), Jaime Vargas will be part of the delegation. He is the president of CONAIE (Ecuadorian Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities), the most important representative organization of indigenous nationalities and communities of Ecuador. During the last administration board meetings of the CONAIE, the CONFENIAE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon) and the CONASE (Confederation of the Indigenous Nationalities of Sucumbíos) it was confirmed the support for UDAPT’s emblematic struggle to achieve justice. Struggle that became one of the most important case of environmental and human rights violations not only in Ecuador but worldwide too.
The “Texaco Case”, so called at international level, strongly contribute to unveil the international impunity structure that allows international companies to violate human and environmental rights, without any instruments for the victims to achieve justice. The UDAPT became one of the most appreciates members of the international campaign for the creation of a Binding Treaty to make companies respect human rights.
Guillermo Grefa, Jaime Vargas and Julio Prieto, in addition to attend the hearing, they will participate to a round of meetings in Toronto and Ottawa: into academies, with all kind of organizations and with mass media representative too, to strengthen alliances that carry to the achievement of justice for people affected by international companies.
Guillermo Grefa: leader of the Kichwa nationality. Member of the UDAPT. Delegate of the 30.000 people affected by Chevron on behalf of the UDAPT. He’s 24 years fighting in the UDAPT together with all the indigenous peoples and thousands of affected people. His testimony is essential for the struggle of Ecuadorian people to get access to justice.
Julio Prieto: Ecuadorian lawyer with a master’s degree in environmental management confirmed by University of Yale. It’s been 13 years representing Ecuadorian Amazon’s indigenous peoples in the trial against Chevron. In addition, he is a specialist in Nature’s Rights and in the debates about a binding treaty for transnational companies. Jaime Vargas: he has worked and defended for more than 10 years Ecuadorian Amazon’s indigenous peoples from international companies’ greed and the complicity of the State. For his struggle in defense of indigenous people’s rights he has been persecuted and imprisoned. He is currently the President of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).