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Chevron's PR Campaign Masking Human Rights Abuses in Ecuador PDF Print E-mail
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by Amazon Watch   
27 August 2009
August 27, 2009

Contact: Nick Magel, 415-478-9600
Paul Paz y Miño, 510-773-4635

Corporation Responsible for Worst Oil-related Disaster on Earth Sponsors Nonprofits Conference

Chevron continues PR campaign to mask human rights abuses in Ecuador

San Francisco – Chevron, a company facing widespread criticism by many Bay Area organizations for human rights abuses and environmental destruction, is the primary sponsor of CompassPoint’s “Nonprofit Day”. CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a consulting, research, and training organization, that provides tools to the very same non-profits fighting the likes of Chevron. Chevron’s donation is the latest in a string of good-will gestures intended in deflecting attention from a $27 billion dollar lawsuit in Ecuador. Amazon Watch called upon Compasspoint and all the non-profits participating in the event to demand that Chevron fund a full-scale clean up of its toxic waste in the rainforest.

In a letter sent to Compasspoint, Amazon Watch voiced concern towards Compasspoint’s conflicting relationship with Chevron:

“We believe that as Chevron’s very prominent sponsorship of the event publicly associates your name with Chevron’s corporate brand and image, you should know what the Chevron brand has come to represent in the Ecuadorian rainforest and beyond.

“Your organization represents the best of the Bay Area. We hope that you will join us in using Chevron’s association with Nonprofit Day as an opportunity to press the company to do the moral thing in Ecuador.”

“Our concern is not in the intention of Compasspoint, rather that Chevron’s participation in Non-profit day dilutes the mission of the organization. This is typical Chevron spin, throwing peanuts to a good cause, while throwing punches at communities where they operate,” said Paul Paz y Miño, Managing Director at Amazon Watch. “This is the very same corporation that attacked last year’s Goldman Environmental Prize winners with a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle.” The Goldman Prize and its associated family fund are two of the most respected non-profits in the San Francisco Bay area.

Chevron has seen a wave of negative press in the past months primarily focused on the company’s dumping of more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water into Amazon waterways and abandonment of more than 900 unlined waste pits filled with oil sludge. In the past months Chevron has launched its PR crisis team at new levels hiring online bloggers, paying for bloggers to attend Chevron chaperoned trips to Ecuador, and just last week hiring three giants in the PR world, Edelman, Sard Verbinnen & Co., Hill & Knowlton to develop a crisis plan for the company.

A verdict in the $27 billion lawsuit in expected later this year or early 2010.

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Amazon Watch works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems.
For more information, visit:

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Further reading:

"Oil and Indians Don't Mix" and Other Observations, by Culture Change / Greg Palast, 12 June 2009: 12 June 2009

Suffering Escalated by Oil Companies, by Culture Change, June 2, 2009:

Earth First! & Allies Target Chevron: Bay Area Banner Hanging, Rally, Civil Disobedience, by Jan Lundberg, August 13, 2009:

Big Oil/Lundberg Survey Scare Tactics Against Climate Legislation, by Jan Lundberg, 11 July 2009:
Note: Chevron was long Lundberg Survey's main client, and may still be.

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