California-based nonprofit organization Amazon Watch has released a video showing how Chevron has covered up contamination in the Amazon rainforest.
In fact, it is being reported the footage, which is a part of a series of “secret tapes,” could be “smoking gun evidence” of the oil giant’s corruption in Ecuador.
Amazon Watch claims its office in Washington, D.C., received a “mysterious package with no return address” – most probably from a whistleblower in 2011 – containing dozens of DVDs of recordings by Chevron. It also came with a handwritten noted that read: “I hope this is useful for you in the trial against Texaco/Chevron! Signed, A friend from Chevron.”
“A staffer avoided opening it fearing it may have been a bomb,” the nonprofit states on its website. “We could never have guessed that the contents would instead turn out to be a smoking gun in one of the largest and longest-running environmental cases in the world.”
The released footage purportedly shows an exchange between two individuals who appear to be Chevron workers looking for soil samples for oil contamination ahead of an inspection by Ecuadorian court officials.
While they hope to extract “clean” results to submit as evidence for the trial – that has been going on for decades between the residents of Ecuador's Amazon forest and the energy company – all they can find is crude waste in the area they selected for sampling.
While Chevron maintains the video proves nothing, Kevin Koenig, Ecuador program director for Amazon Watch, told VICE News that the latest footage "is smoking gun evidence of Chevron's corruption caught on tape."
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The Amazon has already been cut down by almost 20 percent over the past 40 years. Multinational energy corporations from all over the world have also polluted it in the name of crude oil. Controversies involving companies like Chevron and Texaco reveal disturbing statistics of the irreparable damage done to the rainforest.
Apart from court cases, dozens of online petitions have been launched requesting support for saving the Amazon jungle from oil drilling companies. Organizations like AVAAZ, WWF and GREENPEACE have long been urging the world to save the environment through saving the Amazon but to no avail.
According to a report by WWF, oil and gas extraction can have various adverse effects on the rainforest including deforestation, indigenous conflict, biodiversity loss, soil, aquatic and air pollution.
Greenpeace stated in its petition that Amazon stores 80 to 120 billion tons of carbon, helping to stabilize the planet's climate. Destroying the jungle would mean gradually destroying the whole planet.
AVAAZ warned in 2013 how wildlife and the pristine environment of the rainforest will suffer because of the oil exploitation projects.
However, nothing concrete has been done to save the rainforest from exploitation so far.