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The mobilization week to achieve an international treaty to regulate and force transnational companies to respect human rights, respect international laws and hold countries of origin responsible for the actions of their companies in the South, started this Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, with a special hearing by the Permanent Peoples´ Trbunal where Shell, Glencore, Mekorot, Chevron, Pacific Rim and Hidralia, among other transnational corporations, were accused of humanitarian and environmental rights abuses.
At Salle Mahatma Ghandi of La Maison des Associations, Pablo Fajardo and Oscar Herrera from Ecuador shared revealing testimonies about what the organizations refer to as the “architecture of impunity”.
Pablo is a lawyer working against oil company Chevron-Texaco with reference to the irreparable environmental damage caused by this company in the Ecuadorian Amazon forest, while Oscar worked for said company in Orellana province.
The former worker described the terrible working conditions of the employees living near the oil company and the different strategies through which the US corporation aimed to greenwash the effects of their actions in the South American territory.
Meanwhile, Fajardo said that in the lawsuit filed in 1993 in US courts against Chevron, it was proven that the company had spilled 60,000 liters of oil and other polluting substances and that it was done intentionally, with persecution, murder of witnesses and other crimes
Although the case was transferred in 2003 to Ecuadorian jurisdiction, the US court made Chevron pay 9.5 million dollars in total. However, in the meantime, Chevron got rid of all its assets in Ecuador and the fine remains unpaid.
The oil company didn’t give up and filed appeals to the international courts of its convenience and has blackmailed other countries through investments to prevent its assets and properties from being seized in third countries.
This Tuesday, the mobilization week will continue with parallel events at the Palais des Nations where the United Nations Human Rights Council is based and where organizations on the one side and governments on the other continue negotiating on the possibility of an international treaty and a public court to try corporations for their behavior against the rights of communities and States.
Imagen: RWR/Víctor Barro - Friends of Earth Spain
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