BY CHRONICLE STAFF
In a case eerily reminiscent of the lawsuit against Chevron in
On Friday, a group of Amazon Indians and their supporters - including actress Daryl Hannah - dressed in white hazmat suits demonstrated outside a hotel in Los Angeles to demand that Oxy clean up the toxic waste created by 30 years of drilling in the Peruvian rain forest, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Who would go into somebody's house, decimate it, poison it and just because they've left say they're no longer responsible?" said Hannah. "That's what Oxy did."
DENIES DAMAGE, LIABILITY
However, Oxy denies any environmental damage. “Oxy’s former operations in
As for any liability, when Oxy sold the block to Pluspetrol, the Argentine company assumed responsibility for past, present and future operating conditions in Block 1-AB, Kline adds. In an agreement with representatives of the indigenous communities and the Peruvian government in late 2006, Pluspetrol, committed to certain operational changes, environmental remediation and public health initiatives in its operations at that and an adjacent block. Leaders of the Federation of Communities Native to the
This statement is confirmed by a 2007 report of the Ombudsman Office of Peru (Defensoria del Pueblo), which is constitutionally empowered to investigate social and environmental conflicts arising from the activities of the extractive industry, he adds. "The Ombudsman report found that the conflict regarding environmental conditions in the
Oxy also says that it has maintained a good dialogue and relationship with key Indian groups in
Following a request by one of the federations, Organizacion Shakay Achuar del Morona (OSHAM) — and under the oversight of the Peruvian government — Oxy supported two training workshops for community members that were taught by independent consultants. In 2002 and 2004, OSHAM and Oxy signed agreements that granted Oxy the right to conduct seismic work and drill exploration wells. Included in the agreements were jointly developed codes of conduct setting the standards for the interaction of natives with project personnel, defining scope of operations, protection for the environment, and ensuring the tranquility of the community.
“During the months and years following the agreements we reached in the Amazon region, there was some fracturing of the community groups, which led to establishment of splinter groups and changes in position by various factions,” Kline says. “Oxy continued to negotiate agreements with legitimately established and represented community federations reiterating and reinforcing all previous agreements."
Like Chevron, Oxy has been the target of a
The plaintiffs and their counsel, including ERI, the Venice firm Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris & Hoffman LLP and San Francisco lawyer Natalie Bridgeman, are currently weighing the next steps in the case, including the possibility of appeal, the statement said.
Moving the case to
© Copyright Latin Business Chronicle