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  • A member of an Indigenous community in Ecuador shows the contamination by Chevron in the Amazon.

    A member of an Indigenous community in Ecuador shows the contamination by Chevron in the Amazon. | Photo: AFP

Ecuador will open a new lawsuit in Canada against the multinational oil giant next month.

A group of Indigenous citizens from Canada is visiting the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador to document environmental damage reportedly committed by multinational oil giant Chevron.

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Some 20 people traveled to Lago Agrio in the northern province of Sucumbios to study the contamination left by the oil giant Texaco, acquired by Chevron in 2001.

"We speak our own languages, we have our distinctive and unique cultures, our ceremonies and traditions, and we feel part of this community and we stand with them, Indigenous brothers and sisters,"said Canadian Indigenous lawyer Ed John.

Ecuador will open a new lawsuit in Canada next month, because of the spill of tens of thousands of oil residues in the area between 1964 and 1992. 

"After we filed a lawsuit in 1993, they (Texaco) made an agreement with the Ecuadorian government to invest US$40 million in cleaning, which for us was a shame of cleaning," said Steven Donziger, the attorney who represents the plaintiffs.

"One of the things they did was to cover the wells with dirt, not clean them," Donziger added. "And so they continued polluting the subsoil and groundwater."

Ecuador, after winning the first ruling, still hasn't received their compensation from this case.

In Canada, "the oil company has millions in assets that could be seized and thus execute the sentence of the trial won in Ecuador," the Amazon Defense Front said.

"The compensation we are pursuing in Canada would be the greatest of all environmental cleanings in the history of the world," the Front said. "The most important environmental battle on the planet."

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