Cultural & Environmental Destruction in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Descending from the Andes into the oil boomtown of Coca, the Ecuadorian Amazon stretches as far as the eye can see. Nearly half a century ago, this part of the rainforest was the pristine home of five indigenous groups – the Quichua, Cofan, Huaorani, Siona, and Secoya. In the early 1960s, American oil company Texaco discovered heavy crude oil beneath this jungle region called the Oriente, or the East. Over the next three decades Texaco (now Chevron) spilled an estimated 17 million gallons of oil, and dumped over 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into the rivers and streams relied upon by local residents for drinking and bathing. The invasion of the region by oil workers wreaked havoc on the cultures of the indigenous communities while Texaco's environmental devastation condemned the tribes to an ongoing public health crisis.
Jan 5, 2011