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Ecuador: finally, the polluter is commanded to pay

Author: Independent [UK], Published on: 16 February 2011

Deep in the Amazonian rainforest yesterday a court reached a judgment that will resonate through the boardrooms of some of the world's richest and most powerful companies. A judge…ruled that Texaco was responsible for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste in the rivers of the Amazon rainforest between 1972 and 1992 and that Chevron, which merged with Texaco in 2001, is liable for an $8.6bn (£5.3bn) fine…The oil giant has gone to enormous lengths…to undermine the Ecuadorean legal system…[T]his ruling in Ecuador could be a sign that poorer countries too are no longer prepared to be the Western world's dumping ground…Multinational firms need to be made to understand that, wherever in the world they operate, they will be required to pay the full costs when they wreck environments and destroy lives.

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