Trudie Styler, the co-founder of the Rainforest Foundation with her husband Sting, blasted Chevron for its irresponsible behavior in Ecuador in an online interview last week with Katie Couric of CBS News. The interview was during the run-up to the Rainforest Foundation's annual fundraiser at Carnegie Hall, which featured inspired performances by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Lada Gaga, and Elton John.
Styler on numerous occasions has visited Ecuador's Amazon region, where Chevron is accused in a lawsuit of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste. She has partnered with UNICEF and the Amazon Defense Coalition to start a project to deliver clean water to the region. Her work was featured in Crude, a Joe Berlinger documentary about the lawsuit.
Styler told Couric: "I work in down in Ecuador, where we've seen the plight of the indigenous people there. They've had their lands decimated by Chevron, the oil company, and they have no clean water. They have no good land to grow anything on. This to me is sort of like, just an example of how we are completely ignorant to what their plight is. It doesn't apply to us, because it's not in our backyard…[in Ecuador] You
see a microcosm of what hell is really like for the people who lived with good air, with good water; they could fish from their streams. They could raise their children who were joyful in the sort of beautiful, simple lives they were living. Along comes oil companies…and they're left with nothing but illness."
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