In New York City, the trial has opened in a lawsuit by Chevron against the victims of its pollution in Ecuador. The Ecuadoreans won a landmark $18 billion judgment against Chevron in 2011 for widespread contamination resulting from toxic dumping by Texaco, which Chevron later bought. Now, Chevron is suing the victims and their U.S. lawyer, accusing them of using bribery. Critics say Chevron is attempting to evade accountability for environmental devastation they say led to some 1,400 deaths from cancer. Han Shan, a communications consultant for the victims, spoke as Ecuadorean villagers and their supporters rallied across from the courthouse Tuesday.
Han Shan: “Nearly every single person who’s been named as a defendant in Chevron’s retaliatory RICO suit has loved ones, has family members who have died, who have contracted cancer, who have suffered from birth defects and other oil-related illness due to Chevron’s contamination. This lawsuit essentially rubs salt in their wounds.”