The [F]law podcast team sits down with Steven Donziger to discuss his litigation efforts against Chevron and his subsequent detainment by the US government.
Steven Donziger is a human rights lawyer who has spent the last three decades in a protracted fight to hold Chevron, an American oil company accountable for wreaking devastation on indigenous communities and farmland in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Beginning in the 1970s, Texaco, now owned by Chevron, began drilling for oil in the Amazon. As a result, rural farmers and indigenous communities were victims of an enormous ecological catastrophe. Chevron dumped billions of gallons of hazardous oil waste and millions of gallons of crude oil on Amazonian land leading to toxic pollution that contributed to widespread illness among the Ecuadorian people. When Steven Donziger visited the region, he described the landscape as an apocalyptic disaster. In response to Chevron’s pollution, Donziger and a team of like-minded lawyers brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of over 30,000 indigenous people and rural farmers in Ecuador against Chevron. In legal documents, Donziger’s team contended that Chevron’s activity created an “Amazon Chernobyl” spanning 1700 square miles. Although in 2011, Donziger was able to initially win an $18 billion judgment against the oil company in Ecuadorian court. Chevron has since spent hundreds of millions of dollars to evade accountability, paying dozens of law firms to use a variety of novel and nefarious legal tactics to help complete its campaign to destroy Steven Donziger and his work.
To learn more about Steven Donziger and the fight for environmental justice in Ecuador:
- Hosted by Andrew Rossi-Schroeder
- Produced by Liz Turner
- Edited by Liz Turner and Sean Healey
- Music by Sean Healey