Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chevron Lies About Its Toxic Legacy in Ecuador. Who Says? Chevron.

By now, many readers of this blog know that oil giant Chevron has long whined that it is the victim of a grand conspiracy in Ecuador, designed to force the company to make a big payout over pollution that isn't theirs. The company repeatedly claims that it operated in a responsible manner in Ecuador, and that, if any oil contamination remains in Ecuador today, it must be the responsibility of national oil company Petroecuador.

Having recently returned from the Ecuadorean Amazon after visiting with victims of Chevron's contamination, talking with the company's own former workers, and touring sites where only Chevron has ever operated, I know this is a lie.

But don't take my word for it. Take Chevron's.

Or, more specifically, take two extremely thorough independent audits commissioned by the company itself, looking into its environmental impact as it was preparing to depart Ecuador after nearly three decades of operations. [See the two audits here & here]

According to today's press release from the Amazon Defense Coalition:

A U.S. Federal Court has been presented with two separate audits conducted at Chevron’s request that show “clear and convincing evidence” that the oil giant knowingly dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste directly into the Amazon and subsequently lied to cover it up...

The audits themselves are filled with technical jargon and don't make for exactly riveting reading. But all you need to see are a handful of excerpts that cement the fact that Chevron knowingly abandoned massive contamination in Ecuador, and continues to lie about it today to the victims, to the public, and to the courts.

A few excerpts from Chevron's audits, as highlighted in the ADC's press release:

  • “All twenty-two production stations are currently, or have at some time, discharged oily produced water to the environment and flared excess gas. The stations have produced a total of approximately 1.4 billion barrels of oil, 250 million cubic feet of gas and 375 million barrels of produced water during the period 1964 to 1990.”
  • “The audit identified hydrocarbon contamination requiring remediation at all production facilities and a majority of the drill sites.”
  • “Produced water (which contains carcinogens and toxic heavy metals) is being discharged to the environment in all cases.”
  • “Produced waste is then passed through a series of open, unlined pits. The remaining oil emulsion and produced water is discharged into a local creek or river or in some instances directly into the jungle...Produced water has historically not been tested prior to disposal...”
  • “Contamination of soil and water was observed at well sites, production stations and along roadways, flowlines and secondary pipelines.”
  • “Workover, completion wastes, salt solutions and oil/water emulsions have historically been disposed of into well site pits. ... Little maintenance has reportedly been done on any of the pits at the well sites.”
  • “[Texaco’s] operation included the intentional burning of crude oil from spills and contained in pits. This operation usually created large amounts of black smoke and soot that can potentially impair the environment and human health.”

In his 1894 list of paradoxical axioms 'Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young', Irish poet Oscar Wilde wrote, "If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out."

I have always enjoyed this phrase for its multiple meanings.

In Chevron's case, the company has battled the truth, as it's potentially far more expensive than its self-serving lies. But it has also inadvertently told the truth on a few occasions, such as throughout the audits excerpted above, which tell a frighteningly truthful tale of the deliberate decisions the company made for decades which poisoned the environment of tens of thousands of people in Ecuador.

Or when Chevron's Miami-based lawyer Ricardo Reis Vega explains Chevron's supposed remediation of its pollution in Ecuador in the documentary film CRUDE (film excerpt below re-mixed by Diran Lyons):

These occasional accidental truthful admissions, along with the mountains of evidence studied in the ongoing trial, will be affirmed before too long.

In the interests of the many people who continue to suffer from Chevron's neglect and dishonesty in Ecuador, let us hope that someone at the company will develop a conscience and remember the lessons their mothers taught them as children.

Pinocchio, anyone?

– Han

Han Shan is the Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign

Monday, August 16, 2010

Democracy Now! on Chevron's Corporate Spy Scandal in Ecuador

Today, Democracy Now! covered Chevron's attempt to hire a journalist to turn corporate spy to undermine the rule of law in Ecuador. Mary Cuddehe, the journalist who turned down the offer and exposed the effort in The Atlantic magazine, appears, along with Han Shan, Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign.

Journalist Exposes How Private Investigation Firm Hired by Chevron Tried to Recruit Her as a Spy to Undermine $27B Suit in Ecuadorian Amazon

Friday, August 13, 2010

Explosive Court Filing Reveals Chevron's Deceptive Legal Tactics in Ecuador

Yesterday, the plaintiffs taking on Chevron over its toxic contamination in Ecuador filed an explosive legal memo that shreds the company's latest deceptive attempts to manipulate U.S courts into helping it evade responsibility for massive environmental destruction and human suffering.

Filed yesterday with the U.S. District Court in New York, the must-read document is a 'Memorandum of Law' in opposition to a motion filed by Chevron last week to essentially serve a new round of subpoenas to filmmaker Joe Berlinger, director of the documentary Crude, and the crew that worked on the film.

The motion comes in the wake of Chevron's cabal of lawyers getting their hands on hundreds of hours of raw footage from the making of the acclaimed film Crude about Chevron's toxic legacy in Ecuador. Chevron alarmed journalists, filmmakers, free speech advocates, and others when it went to court to demand that acclaimed filmmaker Berlinger hand over all of the outtakes from the making of Crude. Chevron's subpoena of Berlinger is actually one of a rash of discovery motions the company is pursuing in this case under a federal statute allowing a party to apply to a U.S. court to obtain evidence for use in a legal proceeding outside the U.S. But Berlinger and his lawyers asserted that his footage was protected by the so-called journalist's privilege under the First Amendment and should be treated no differently than a reporter's notes.

Despite vigorous opposition from Berlinger and support from hundreds of prominent filmmakers, journalists, First Amendment advocates, and even a friend-of-the-court brief from 13 major media organizations including ABC, CBS, NBC, AP, Dow Jones, The Washington Post, The New York Times, etc., Chevron eventually prevailed in getting much of the footage they asked for. But not before Berlinger appealed the initial order and the appeals court carefully outlined the scope of the 'discovery' and made crystal clear how the footage could be used:

Material produced under this order shall be used by the petitioners solely for litigation, arbitration, or submission to official bodies, either local or international.

But Chevron ignored this order from the Second Circuit almost immediately. Upon receipt of the outtakes, Chevron filed its new motion, filled with ridiculously out-of-context excerpts from the footage that it claims showed misconduct on the part of the plaintiffs lawyers, and some sort of collusion with a court expert that it never really explains. Based on what it found in "preliminary" review of the footage already turned over, the motion supposedly appeals to the court for expanding its discovery beyond the 500 out of 600 hours of Crude outtakes that exist.

In response to the filing, Berlinger told Fortune Magazine:

"I am dismayed at the level of mischaracterizations in Chevron's Memorandum brief... The footage citations are being taken out of context and not being presented to the court in its entirety, creating numerous false impressions, precisely what we feared when we were first issued the original subpoena."

In fact, with its latest round of legal shenanigans, we see more clearly than ever the oil giant's cynical strategy of using absurd legal filings and abusing the courts to advance its dishonest public relations aims.

From the plaintiffs' legal memo (note the use of the term McMotion):

Now it is clear why Chevron hid the full outtakes from the Court and from Plaintiffs, and pressed to have this motion decided before Plaintiffs could even review the evidence. Chevron and its counsel have rushed to mislead the Court and the public with a McMotion based on sound-bites and highly-edited, de-contextualized snippets constituting less than 0.1% of the outtakes. It did so while concealing massive evidence in the outtakes of its won misconduct. And it did so in plain violation of a Second Circuit order.

Remember that order (above) from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals about "solely" using the material "for litigation, arbitration, or submission to official bodies"?

Well, according to the plaintiffs' filing:

No sooner did Chevron receive this footage than it rushed to file a procedurally-deficient Motion in support of its press strategy On August3, 2010, Chevron filed but did not serve the instant Motion. Rather than serve the respondents and interested parties, Chevron provided the Motion to its blogger, an individual named Carter Wood (who has admitted previously being paid by Chevron in connection to the case). Ex. 18 Chevron's blogger posted the blog at 7:47 p.m., included a link to the complaint, and quoted liberally from the outtakes (as transcribed by Chevron). Id. At 8:03 p.m., Chevron sent an international press release (by its Media Advisor Justin Higgs) announcing the present Motion, and linking to the blog, which linked to the Motion. At 9:03 p.m., still before serving the papers, Chevron posted on Twitter: "'Crude outtakes reveal Joe Berlinger followed trial lawyers' bidding to aid suit against #Chevron" to its Twitter.com page and linked to the blog."13

It was not until 10:07 p.m. when Chevron finally got around to serving its Motion on the actual litigants. Ex. 41.

In direct violation of the Second Circuit's order, Chevron then produced transcripts of the outtakes directly to the San Francisco Chronicle. This is made clear in an article that ran on August 5, 2010 in that newspaper. The article states: "[t]he Chronicle reviewed transcripts of the outtakes, supplied by Chevron."14 [emphasis is in the original]

In arguing for the District Court to deny Chevron's motion, the memo explains the real point of the company's motion to the court:

Chevron's sharing of the Motion and the blog with outtake excerpts to the press and to the world, before it even served Berlinger for the Lago Agrio plaintiffs, is also indicative of the entire purpose of the Motion: to attempt [sic] gain a PR advantage to embarrass the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs in the court of public opinion. The Berlinger Respondents and the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs were the last to know about a motion purportedly against them.

The memorandum goes on to review what was actually said in the seconds before and after the manipulatively-edited excerpts supplied to the court (and the media, and the public) in its motion. I encourage you to read it over to see how Chevron tries to deceive federal judge in a formal motion to the court.

Then the memo demolishes Chevron's absurd and oft-repeated claim that footage showing the plaintiffs' lawyers meeting with a engineer named Richard Cabrera is somehow proof of some kind of conspiracy to ruin Chevron.

The principal significance of the selected outtakes, according to Chevron, is that they reflect a meeting among Plaintiffs' counsel and Stratus at which Richard Cabrera is present [editor: Stratus is an environmental consulting firm assisting the plaintiffs in the case and Richard Cabrera is a court-appointed expert who reviewed evidence of contamination in the trial]. This is unremarkable. Chevron was free to meet with Cabrera, and has itself met with court experts outside the presence of Plaintiffs. In its massive submission, Chevron has cited no order, rule, regulation or law in Ecuador that would prohibit either Chevron or Plaintiffs from meeting "ex parte" with either Mr. Cabrera or any other court expert.

The memo continues, and turns Chevron's accusation on its head:

Notwithstanding Chevron's hyperbolic claims of fraud, collusion, and the like, the Ecuadorian court – which is the only court with knowledge of Ecuadorian law, procedure, and this case, and the only court in a position to rule on those issues – has given no indication that such contacts were or are improper. In response to this filing, the Lago Agrio court did not chastise the Plaintiffs. Nor did it suggest in any way, that under the law of Ecuador – the forum, after all, that Chevron chose, Exs. 23-31 – Plaintiffs committed any impropriety whatsoever. Is Chevron actually suggesting that so-called ex parte contact with court experts was prohibited or improper in the Lago Agrio case? It would be an interesting assertion, because if that is the case, Chevron will have much to answer for in Lago Agrio.

The plaintiffs' 24-page memo is predictably filled with legalese, and references to Exhibits and Declarations and such. But you don't need a law degree to understand this fascinating dissection of Chevron's legal-slash-media strategy.

But the challenge amidst all of this legal drama is to remember that there real lives at stake.

I just returned from the Ecuadorean Amazon where I saw with my own eyes the oil contamination that Chevron claims to have cleaned up. Where I smelled the oily sludge that lines the streams where Chevron dumped untreated toxic wastewater for years and years. Where I interviewed former Chevron/Texaco oil contractors who told me of their regret at being part of the company's destructive practices. And, finally, where I spoke with countless people who told me with tears in their eyes of miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer diagnoses, and Chevron's devastation of their environment, economy, and culture.

Marta Isabel Arrobo, 49, described tumors and other health problems her family has encountered. Photo by Caroline Bennett.

In a legal battle over its fundamental responsibility for poisoning communities throughout the Ecuadorean Amazon, Chevron knows it will lose. The evidence is littered throughout the rainforest. It bubbles to the surface, and floats on streams, and manifests itself in the throat cancer of an old woman waiting to see the nurse at the health clinic in San Carlos. And so Chevron tries to change the subject.

But in the end, despite all its legal acrobatics and PR spin, the company will be held accountable. It's only a matter of whether it takes a few more months or another twenty years. After decades of fighting for justice and clean up of their lands, the people of the Ecuadorean Amazon have waited far too long already.

– Han

Han Shan is Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chevron's Secret Agent in Ecuador: Meet Kroll's Sam Anson

Early last week, I wrote here for the first time about a bombshell article in The Atlantic by a reporter who disclosed how Chevron attempted to recruit her to spy for her in Ecuador. Corporate espionage? Not really. Just one more facet of its treacherous campaign to undermine efforts by indigenous people and poor farmers in Ecuador to hold the oil giant responsible for massive oil contamination in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest region.

Chevron has added international "risk consulting" firm Kroll, Inc. to the long list of hired guns trying to help Chevron in this nefarious enterprise. According to the article, 'A Spy in the Jungle' by freelance writer Mary Cuddehe, a Kroll recruiter named Sam invited Mary to join him "for a long weekend at a luxury hotel in Bogot√°," all-expenses-paid. After going over the case from Chevron's self-serving perspective, Sam proposed a very lucrative short-term gig. Mary would pose as a journalist – easy enough – while digging up dirt on the plaintiffs who continue to suffer and die as a result of Chevron's poisoning of their environment.

In the end, Mary decides she wants no part of the sordid plan. She writes:

Despite my curiosity, I knew I had to say no. If I'm ever going to answer those questions, it will have to be in my role as a journalist, not as a corporate spy.

Mary does the right thing, exposing the plan in The Atlantic, and helping to highlight the underhanded tactics Chevron is employing in Ecuador. She also artfully divulges a handful of clues so that any google-savvy reader can figure out exactly who this mysterious Kroll operative named 'Sam' is.

In an article (whose title I stole for this post) on The Chevron Pit today, it is revealed that the recruiter is Sam Anson, Kroll's Managing Director for Latin America & the Caribbean.

An excerpt:

The Cuddehe article described "Sam" as a former free lance writer reporting on race and hip hop… a former American journalist… someone in his mid-40s… who carries himself with "the ease that comes with professional achievement". He was also described as a Kroll operative working for Chevron.

Well, that seems to fit Sam Anson neatly. A former reporter before going over to the dark side (check out a Vibe magazine article written by "Sam Anson" on race and hip hop here, and Anson's LinkedIn profile lists him as a former "investigative reporter" for various publications), Anson has a long history with Kroll. He has been with the company for a decade, moving from Managing Director of the company's Los Angeles unit to his current position – at least according to his LinkedIn profile. But we can't give you a link for that – Anson deleted it sometime last week after the article appeared. (You can still catch a glimpse on Google's Cache, if you hurry…) And a simple Google search of his name gives us a bunch of pictures of Mr. Anson (which we've conveniently pasted into this blog), and a bunch of articles (here and here) citing Anson as Kroll's Managing Director for Latin America & the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, Sam Anson [pictured, above and at right] and his bosses at Kroll are on a long list of lobbyists, PR spinmasters, corporate law firms, and other power-brokers making a pretty penny trying to help Chevron escape liability for one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in history.

Call it a hunch but Sam Anson seems like the kind of guy who probably googles himself once or ten times a week so hopefully he'll find this article soon enough.

And, Sam (hi!), if you have indeed found this, and read this much, well, thanks for entertaining a new perspective. No more insults from me-- just an invitation. It's not too late, Sam. You can come back from the dark side.

I understand that paying the bills on a freelance writer's salary must have been tough. But using what sounds in Mary's article like a decent combo of smarts and charm to help Chevron f*ck over tens of thousands of people in Ecuador just ain't the way to go. And deep down, I'm sure you know it.

– Han

Han Shan is Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Amazon Defense Coalition: Chevron Outed for Corporate Espionage Spy Scandal in Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest

On Monday, I wrote here about what I called a "bombshell" of a short article in The Atlantic about Chevron trying to bribe a journalist to become a corporate spy to derail the litigation to hold the company accountable for massive contamination in Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest. The article, called A Spy in the Jungle, was written by Marry Cuddehe. Yesterday, the Amazon Defense Coalition (ADC) issued a press release in response to the revelations.

As this is another in a series of shocking examples of Chevron's dirty tricks campaign to deny justice to the thousands of people who continue to suffer from the company's pollution, I'm going to post the ADC press release in full below. -Han, Amazon Watch

Amazon Defense Coalition: Chevron Outed for Corporate Espionage Spy Scandal in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest

Atlantic Magazine Exposes Offer to Journalist to Go Undercover to Sabotage $27 Billion Environmental Case

LAGO AGRIO, Ecuador-- Chevron, long accused of engaging in an illegal dirty tricks campaign in Ecuador, tried to recruit an American journalist to take part in a corporate espionage spy ring in Ecuador’s Amazon to undermine an expected multi-billion judgment against the oil giant in a high-profile environmental lawsuit, according to an article published in the latest issue of The Atlantic.

Mary Cuddehe, an Iowa-born graduate of Columbia University with a Masters degree in Journalism, published an article documenting that the investigative firm Kroll has been running an espionage operation in Ecuador on behalf of Chevron, which faces a $27 billion damages claim for creating what experts believe is the worst oil-related catastrophe on the planet.

A Kroll employee offered Cuddehe $20,000 for six weeks of work to appear as an independent journalist while working as an undercover spy in Lago Agrio, Ecuador. Lago Agrio is the jungle town in the Amazon where the trial is being held at Chevron’s request after the case was originally filed in New York federal court several years ago.

The Kroll employee, identified as a former journalist named Sam, paid for Cuddehe to travel to Bogota where the case was explained and she was offered the money in the suite of a luxury hotel. Cuddehe said in a blog that she has published articles in The New Republic, the Miami Herald, and for the Associated Press.

“Last February, I got an offer from Kroll ... to go undercover as a journalist-spy in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” wrote Cuddehe in the article, titled “A Spy In the Jungle”.

“At first I thought I was underqualified for the job. But as it turned out I was exactly what they were looking for: a pawn.”

She added: “...there was a reason [Chevron] wanted me… If I went to Lago Agrio myself and pretended to write a story, no one would suspect that the starry-eyed young American poking around was actually shilling for Chevron.”

Representatives for the Amazon communities who are victims of the environmental damage blasted Chevron and Kroll for engaging in corporate espionage. The article suggested that numerous Kroll employees were working on the Ecuador project from a base in neighboring Colombia.

With headquarters in New York, Kroll is considered the largest investigative firm in the world and is publicly traded.

“This is disturbing evidence of questionable if not outright illicit conduct by Chevron and Kroll, possibly subjecting Chevron’s lawyers to sanctions or penalty in the U.S.,” said Jonathan Abady, an American lawyer who represents the plaintiffs. “It is hard to imagine Kroll engaging in this conduct alone without oversight from Chevron’s lawyers.”

“Legitimate investigations are fine; paying journalists to lie is unethical and a direct attack on the credibility of all journalists worldwide,” he added.

Abady noted that Kroll investigators who misrepresent themselves at the behest of legal counsel could be violating the ethical rules of the legal profession, subjecting Chevron’s lawyers to sanctions in the United States.

Events described in Cuddehe’s article fit with a larger pattern in recent years of unethical and potentially illegal activity by Chevron to undermine the rule of law in Ecuador. The company has admitted to deliberately dumping more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon when it operated an oil concession from 1964 to 1990.

Last year, the Amazonian communities accused Chevron of violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Ecuador by engaging in a “sting” operation where a bribe was offered to help remove the trial judge from the case. An investigation determined that the “sting” operation and bribe offer was made by a long-time Chevron employee, Diego Borja.

Chevron later paid to move Borja to a luxury villa close to Chevron’s global headquarters in California to avoid questioning by Ecuadorian prosecutors.

Once in the U.S., Borja was taped in a telephone conversation with childhood friend Santiago Escobar as saying Chevron was “cooking” evidence in the Ecuador trial, using fake soil samples, and representing its own laboratory as independent when in fact it was operated by Chevron agents. He described himself to Escobar as being in charge of Chevron’s dirty tricks campaign in Ecuador.

Borja also admitted to Escobar that Chevron bribed an Ecuadorian army official in 2005 to charge local indigenous leaders were planning a terrorist attack against Chevron’s lawyers, forcing the cancellation of a critical judicial inspection of a contaminated Chevron well site.

Information relating to the Borja sting operation has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2006, lawyers for the Amazonian communities were hit with a series of anonymous threats that prompted protest letters from the International Commission of Jurists and the United Nations.

The U.S. law firms employed by Chevron to defend the Ecuador trial are Gibson Dunn, King & Spalding and Jones Day. One or more of the firms likely is overseeing Kroll’s work, said Abady.

“I have two words for Chevron’s management and Board of Directors: Hewlett Packard,” said Ilann Maazel, who represents the Amazonian plaintiffs in the United States. “This is outrageous and potentially exposes Chevron to even more liability.”

In 2006 the Chairperson of Hewlett Packard’s Board, Patricia Dunn, was forced to resign and fight criminal charges from California’s Attorney General for authorizing espionage to find out the source of leaks to journalists. Chevron is a California-based company.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chevron Tries to Bribe a Journalist to Turn Corporate Spy in Ecuador

Today, The Atlantic published a bombshell of a short article from a writer in Mexico City named Mary Cuddehe. In rather straight-forward fashion – which still rings with the somewhat sinister drama that surely surrounded the events for her – Mary describes oil giant Chevron's attempts to recruit her as a corporate spy in an effort to undermine the lawsuit to hold the company accountable for massive contamination in Ecuador's rainforest.

Okay, actually Chevron didn't try to recruit her personally. Instead, Chevron hired the large corporate "risk consulting" firm Kroll, Inc. to hire Mary. For those keeping score, add Kroll to Chevron's long list of high-powered hired guns.

A Kroll recruiter named Sam invited Mary to travel from her home in Mexico City "for a long weekend at a luxury hotel in Bogot√°," all-expenses-paid.

Sam/Kroll/Chevron proposed a very lucrative short-term gig posing as a journalist to try and dig up dirt on the plaintiffs who continue to suffer and die as a result of Chevron's poisoning of their environment.

Here's an excerpt:

The case truly began slipping away from Chevron when the Ecuadorian court assigned a single independent expert to assess the environmental damages. The expert settled on a $27.3 billion figure that Chevron alone would be held responsible for covering. A judgment could come as early as the first quarter of 2011, and at this stage, many believe Chevron will lose.   

Sam explained that once the company realized it was losing the PR battle, if not the whole war, it regrouped and hired Kroll. Based in New York, Kroll has a global network of employees, vast resources, and powerful connections. I heard one story about the son of a New York heiress who was snatched by his father and taken somewhere in the Middle East. After  months of fruitless searching, his mother turned to Kroll. The firm soon discovered that father and son were going to Cuba, where Kroll was able to negotiate the father's detainment. Given this reach, I knew Kroll could hire someone with a medical background, legal training, or at least some familiarity with Ecuador. But there was a reason they wanted me.

With one Google search, anyone could see that I was, in fact, a journalist. If I went to Lago Agrio as myself and pretended to write a story, no one would suspect that the starry-eyed young American poking around was actually shilling for Chevron.

After being offered $20,000 plus expenses for the six-week job, Mary is tempted, but makes the principled choice:

Part of me wanted to say yes. I was thrilled by the idea of a six-week paid adventure in the jungle, and I was curious about the case. Had the health study been fixed? Were the plaintiffs colluding with Beristain? Was Chevron desperate and paranoid, merely trying to smear its opponents? Despite my curiosity, I knew I had to say no. If I'm ever going to answer those questions, it will have to be in my role as a journalist, not as a corporate spy.

Facing a mountain of incontrovertible evidence, it seems that Chevron quit worrying about the facts long ago, and has focused on smoke and mirrors, lobbying, legal tricks, and attempts to corrupt the legal process itself.

In fact, at the same time Chevron tries to bribe a journalist to help them smear an expert who found higher-than-normal cancer rates in the area they polluted, the oil giant hides and pays a former Chevron contractor who was recorded bragging about tampering with evidence for the company.

Hopefully, her recent experience with Chevron's slimy hired guns has prepared Ms. Cuddehe to go to Ecuador and look for the one thing the oil giant doesn't want found: the unvarnished truth.

Read the entire article here.

– Han

Han Shan is Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign