Amazon Watch's latest official blog gives us a heads-up that one of the Ecuadorians suing Chevron will be at the oil giant's next shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California, Chevron's headquarters, on May 29th, urging CEO and Chairman of the Board John Watson to take a permanent hike. The blog is below and here. Enjoy!
Two years ago Ecuadorian farmer Servio Curipoma left his rainforest home and traveled thousands of miles to bring his story to the United States. This month he returns to demand – on behalf of all the Amazonian communities that have been destroyed by Chevron – that John Watson pay a personal price for his region's suffering. Servio is calling on Watson to resign from his dirty post as CEO of Chevron.
Servio Returns to Hand Watson a Pink Slip
You may remember how Servio had us all grasping our seats just two years ago with his deeply personal story of how Chevron devastated his lands and drinking water, causing a public health crisis that continues to this day. Servio lost both his parents (his mother's heartbreaking story is told here) and a sister to cancer, which doctors have attributed to drinking water contaminated by toxic crude waste. Since that time, Servio has become an active voice for his community over the past 16 years, demanding that Chevron take responsibility for the contamination that has so severely affected his family.
In 2011, we were honored to accompany Servio to the halls of power in Washington DC and New York to meet with decision makers in the government, media and environmental and human rights groups. He then took it right to Chevron's doorstep in San Ramon, California to confront John Watson and Chevron face to face. At that time Chevron had just lost the $19 billion legal battle for environmental and human rights crimes in Ecuador. Watson, who had been CEO for just over a year, was dismissive of Servio and his plea for help for the communities of Ecuador. Watson, an architect of the Texaco-Chevron merger, knew full well what had happened in the rainforest and did everything but take responsibility for the disaster, blaming Servio's suffering on Ecuadorian oil companies. Of course Watson knows that to be untrue since Texaco was the sole operator and has been found guilty of deliberately creating the environmental disaster.
Servio will return to Chevron headquarters for their Annual General Meeting on May 29th with a pink slip in hand for Watson and clear a demand of the Board of Directors. In the last two years, rather than face the reality and consequences of the judgment against them, John Watson has led Chevron on a "scorched earth" legal campaign against anyone and everyone who has ever spoken up about the company's atrocious crimes in Ecuador. He has labeled Servio and his community members as global conspirators and accused THEM of attempting to extort money from Chevron. Ludicrous and completely unacceptable! He has even attacked his own shareholders and tagged human rights and environmental organizations (including Amazon Watch) as co-conspirators. His company now faces a criminal investigation in California, billions of dollars in damages in Brazil, has its assets frozen in Argentina and Watson himself will be deposed in a matter of weeks related to the matter.
John Watson clearly represents the failed approach and reprehensible strategy of Chevron. Human rights and environmental organizations have now called for his resignation. Thousands of individuals citing these serious issues and others have added their voices to Servio's in a growing chorus that demands that John Watson must go! Please join them if you haven't already.
When will Chevron finally FESS UP and CLEAN UP its toxic mess in Ecuador and help the communities who still suffer to this very day?