For Peru's Indians, Lawsuit Against Big Oil Reflects a New Era

Author: Kelly Hearn, Washington Post, Published on: 31 January 2008

Last spring, U.S. lawyers representing Maynas and 24 other indigenous Peruvians sued Occidental Petroleum in a Los Angeles court, alleging that, among other offenses, the firm violated industry standards and Peruvian law by dumping toxic wastewater directly into rivers and streams. The company denies liability in the case. For indigenous groups, the Occidental lawsuit is emblematic of a new era. The Amazon region was once even more isolated than it is today, its people largely cut off from environmental defenders in Washington and other world capitals who might have protected their interests. Now, Indians have gained access to tools that level the playing field -- from multinational lawsuits to mapping technologies such as Google Earth. [also refers to Pluspetrol]

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Related companies: Occidental Petroleum Pluspetrol