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Oil and Justice in the Amazon23:48
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Indigenous people from around 40 different ethnic groups protest in front of Lago Agrio's Supreme Court in western Ecuador, July 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Eduardo Valenzuela).
Indigenous people from around 40 different ethnic groups protest in front of Lago Agrio's Supreme Court in western Ecuador, July 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Eduardo Valenzuela).

It's a battle pitting 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians, and a team of American trial lawyers, against the U.S. oil giant Chevron. The plaintiffs claim Chevron is responsible for the damage caused by 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste, and an Ecuadorian court-appointed expert recommends the company pay up to $16 billion.

Chevron says the case is fundamentally flawed. Activists call it a global game-changer.

This hour, On Point: Oil and justice in the Amazon.

* * *

Guests:

Isabel Ordonez, a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, she covers Chevron, Exxon, and Conoco Philips, for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. "Chevron Struggles With Toxic Claim In Ecuador," the first installment in her three-part series for Dow Jones on the Chevron-Ecuador case, is out today.

Steven Donziger, an attorney based in New York and an advisor to the legal team representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit "Aguinda vs. Texaco-Chevron."

Silvia Garrigo, former senior counsel for Chevron and now manager of Global Issues and Policy for the company. She has worked on the Ecuador case from the outset.

Kelly Hearn, staff reporter for The Washington Times and former correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. His reporting on Amazonian oil issues was sponsored by The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and his articles on the subject have appeared in The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic News and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He has covered the Chevron case since 2005.More links:

Texaco in Ecuador
Chevron's website devoted to telling its side of the story in the Ecuador case, contains the company's news releases and statements, its positions on the environmental and health claims, remediation, and more.

Amazon Watch
The advocacy group, whose stated mission is "to defend the environment and rights of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin," offers a special site devoted to the Ecuador case.

This program aired on August 6, 2008.

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