By Rick Kearns
Criollo, a leader of the Cofan people from the Oriente region of Ecuador, grew up in one of the areas where Chevron (then Texaco) was drilling and has been the subject of a massive lawsuit. He came to Chevron’s base of operations to say that the contamination killed two of his sons, along with many other Ecuadorians, and caused his wife to contract uterine cancer.
Watson did not answer when the group pressed the buzzer to his gated home, according to Han Shan, coordinator of Amazon Watch’s Cleanup Ecuador campaign. Shan noted that Criollo did read his message into Watson’s speaker at the gate, and then left a copy of a petition signed by 325,000 people from around the world, asking Chevron to clean up the affected area.
Even so, this was a good publicity stunt with a lot of symbolic value. Criollo met with California legislators and got at least one article out of it.
For more on the subject, see Pay Ecuador Not to Drill in Amazon? and Crude Reviewed.
Below: "Emergildo Criollo, (center) a leader of the Cofan people from the Oriente region of Ecuador, walked up Happy Valley Road in Lafayette, Calif. on his way to deliver a petition signed by 325,000 people to Chevron CEO John Watson."