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Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas, Rejects Donation from Ecuadorian Indigenous

Ecuadorian indigenous visited museum to donate poster-size photographs to show the environmental disaster left by Chevron-Texaco in the rainforest

Submitted by: MCSquared PR Inc.

Categories: Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 28, 2014 – 09:41 AM EST


MIDLAND, Texas, May 28 /CSRwire/ - Indigenous from the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest visited the Midland Petroleum Museum in Texas this Tuesday to donate three poster-size photographs depicting the struggle that their communities have endured for decades due to a massive oil contamination, which according to a court ruling and Chevron experts, was caused by Texaco, now Chevron. The museum rejected the donation and demanded the Ecuadorians to leave the building.

Humberto Piaguaje and Robinson Yumbo from the Secoya and Cofan nations, respectively, offered their donation to the museum’s executive director, Kathy Shannon, indicating that the photos belong in the museum because Texaco’s contamination in Ecuador is an important part of the history of petroleum. Piaguaje told reporters that their intention was to inform the public about what Chevron-Texaco did in Ecuador.

The museum’s director politely admitted the visitors into the museum’s offices, but when she noticed that the photos contained images of oil contaminated sites, including one of a child in a swing next to a rusted oil barrel with the Texaco logo, she refused the donation vaguely stating that she did not “want to be a part of this”. Inside the office, a stand displayed an enlarged copy of a $500,000 check by Chevron made out to the museum.

Unlike previous years, Chevron is holding its annual shareholder’s meeting at the Petroleum Museum in Midland. According to Piaguaje, Ecuadorian indigenous, human rights advocates and environmentalists will rally outside the meeting to show that they will continue to fight until Chevron takes responsibility for the environmental damage to their land. “No matter where they go, we will be there to face the company’s management and shareholders until justice is made and Chevron takes responsibility for what they did in our homeland”, said Piaguaje.

Between 1964 and 1990, Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, used illegal disposal methods to systematically dump roughly 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits and local waterways, contaminating soil and water sources for local communities and leaving lasting environmental damage and a public health crisis. The issue has amounted to a 20-year legal battle between the affected communities and Chevron.

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