Truth to Power

Sour Lake

In a forsaken little town in the Ecuadorean Amazon, an overgrown oil camp called Lago Agrio, the giant Chevron Corporation has been maneuvered into a makeshift courtroom and is being sued to answer for conditions in 1,700 square miles of rain forest said by environmentalists to be one of the world’s most contaminated industrial sites. The pollution consists of huge quantities of crude oil and associated wastes, mixed in with the toxic compounds used for drilling operations-a noxious soup that for decades was dumped into leaky pits, or directly into the Amazonian watershed. The company that did much of this work was Texaco-an outfit with a swashbuckling reputation worldwide.


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