Readers of this blog may be somewhat familiar with Emergildo's story by now – an indigenous leader from the Cofan nation in Ecuador's Amazon, he first encountered Texaco's helicopters landing in his pristine rainforest home to drill for oil in 1964. About a decade later, his first two sons had died from sickness due to oil contamination and his wife has since suffered uterine cancer. He tells a tragic story of environmental devastation, cultural loss, and human suffering. But his story is also one of perseverance, courage and resilience as he continues to fight for clean up of Chevron/Texaco's contamination and bravely demands justice for his people and the thousands of others who have suffered from Chevron's callous neglect and greed.
Last week, Emergildo traveled to California, to pay a visit to Chevron CEO John Watson at his home, bearing a letter signed by himself, other indigenous nationalities in Ecuador, and the Amazon Defense Coalition, which represents the 30,000 plaintiffs in a monumental lawsuit demanding environmental clean-up from Chevron. Mr. Watson didn't answer the call so Emergildo headed to Chevron's headquarters in San Ramon and once again asked for Watson, only to be received by Chevron public relations executives, who accepted his letter as well as over 325,000 supporting petitions from more than 150 countries around the world.
After delivering his letter and the petitions, Emergildo recorded this personal video message to John Watson: