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Amazon residents win $8.6 billion ruling against Chevron

February 15, 2011
"We know that this is only one part of our fight and we will continue until there is justice and the damage is healed. The world should know that what happened in the Amazon and our fight for life, for justice."
- Humberto Piaguaje, Local Leader

A judge in Ecuador this week awarded $8.64 billion to Ecuadorian residents of the Amazon who had sued Chevron for years of crude oil pollution, but both sides said Tuesday they will appeal the verdict.

Chevron charges the verdict against them is the "product of fraud," and the plaintiffs say the size of the award is too small in comparison to what would be needed to do a real cleanup.

Luis Yanza, speaking for the residents' group the Assembly of those Affected by Chevron, said at a news conference that the ruling was "historic" and a "collective victory." However, he said, "Eight billion dollars doesn't represent a significant amount to repair the environmental damages."

The judgment against Chevron is the latest in 18 years of litigation between the Amazon residents and Texaco, which was later purchased by Chevron. It was decided in a courtroom in the Amazon by Judge Nicolas Zambrano.

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