May 25, 2016, marked the first international day of action against the US-based Chevron Corporation. Civil society organizations and tens of thousands of activists from all over the world, whose rights have been violated by the company, joined in action on that day. Well-known public-interest organizations from Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, and Australia were among the participants. The day of action was timed to coincide with the meeting of Chevron shareholders, which took place on May 25 in California, USA.
The initiative for the large-scale protests against the activities of Chevron came from activists in Ecuador, where the company had been poisoning the Amazon. According to open sources (public documents), over 60 to 90 years of the last century, the Texaco company, which was later purchased by Chevron, dumped more than 18,000 gallons of toxic water in the jungle of Ecuador. The oil spill amounted to about 17 million gallons, almost twice as much as was released in the Exxon Valdez tanker incident in 1989. Hydrocarbon production was stopped in Ecuador nearly 30 years ago, but the ecosystem has not yet recovered. The incidence of cancer in the population has increased, and the company, despite lawsuits, avoids responsibility. Also, according to the coalition Publish What You Pay, Chevron is the most non-transparent company in the world, as it conceals information that is important to many societies in many countries.
The goal of the protesters was to demonstrate the unity of society against the human rights violations that have been committed by the oil corporation and its record of environmental degradation.
A letter of accession to the initiative was signed by Kazakh activists, "We completed the dossier of numerous violations by Chevron with shocking information about the tragedy of Berezovka, Kazakhstan, children poisoned by emissions of the nearby Karachaganak field, where the company produces oil in the consortium ‘Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV,’” said Sergey Solyanik, consultant for Crude Accountability and co-coordinator of the coalition Children or Oil?
Chevron is the leading producer of hydrocarbon raw materials in Kazakhstan through investments in the Tengiz and Karachaganak. Children or Oil? calls upon the Chevron Corporation and other companies within the KPO consortium to acknowledge their responsibility for the tragedy of the children of Berezovka, who continue to feel sick after the accident on November 28, 2014, and to urgently assist in the medical examination and treatment of children for severe poisoning.
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