The oil industry giant
Chevron began operating in Ecuador's Amazon rain forest
Over the course of thirty
years, this majestic environmental wonder became the
victim of unregulated corporate abuse and greed.
By the time the corporation
vacated the area in 1992, their toxic footprint had
brought about 1700 times more damage to the environment
than the infamous
Exxon Valdez oil spill in the United
Empire Files host Abby
Martin visits the scene of the crime in 'Chevron vs. the
Amazon,' and uncovers the extent to which the criminal
acts of industry have spoiled the riches of a tropical
The Amazon plays host to hundreds of thousands of unique
species of plant life, insects, animals, as well as an
equally diverse human population. All of this came under
threat when Chevron established operations in the region
over 50 years ago.
At the film's outset, we are given a series of sobering
During their years of
operation, the corporation
dumped 17 billion gallons of
crude oil and 19 billions gallons of contaminated waste
water into the region. Prior to vacating, they attempted
to hide their environmental atrocities by covering these
spills with dirt or setting them ablaze.
The totality of their
offenses simply could not be denied, however, as the
land and its people have suffered from its devastating
impact over the ensuing decades.
Ecological experts give us a glimpse of the damage.
The plant life that manages
to thrive is internally saturated with crude oil, and
the rivers are marbled with poisonous contaminants.
Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian
citizens have suffered their own plights in the wake of
The harmony they share and
cherish with their homeland has been sabotaged, and
they're experiencing increased incidents of disease and
As is the specialty of the Empire Files series, the
filmmakers place this in the context of an
industrialized machine that runs without regulation or
Without a doubt, Chevron was
given free reign in the region for many years, and the
implication is that they greased the pockets of decision
makers in order to procure the freedom to operate as
A series of lawsuits are
currently working their way through the courts system,
and the film places harsh criticism on many of the
tactics Chevron is employing to navigate their way out
'Chevron vs. the Amazon' is an impassioned plea for
greater accountability and oversight when it comes to
protecting the health and survival of our planet.