CETIM struggles against corporate power and impunity for many years. It has long had a firm commitment to the adoption of binding international norms on multinationals to end impunity for the human rights violations that they commit.
In this framework CETIM works closely with the Union of People Affected by Texaco (now Chevron) – UDAPT – who will denounce the damages provoked by the multinational during the Annual Meeting of Chevron’s Shareholders the 25th of May 2016.
The past 21st of May, the 3rd international day of action against Chevron (the “AntiChevron Day”), the UDAPT launched several actions to rise awareness concerning Chevron’s human and environmental rights violations in the world. The affected communities declared that the AntiChevron Day represents for them: “An opportunity to demonstrate the reality experienced by people who are subjected to the abuses of corporate power, to the weakness of nation states before this same power and to the structure of global impunity.”
At this occasion, a new map on environmental conflicts caused by the oil company in several countries across five continents was launched at the Atlas of Environmental Justice (EJAtlas).
This central event has allowed to put together the struggles carried on by more than 30 affected communities, their lawyers, organizations and activists who support them in their lawsuits against the multinational. The emblematic struggle of the indigenous and peasant communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon shows how difficult it is to obtain justice and reparation. During 22 years they fought in several national courts, US, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Canada. And even before the International Criminal Court. Until now no national court has achieved to obtain the enforcement of the 9.5 billion of dollars sentence issued by the Ecuadorian Supreme Court for the reparation of the enormous damages caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Voluntary agreements for corporate liability have been prooved inefficient. For Pablo Fajardo, lead lawyer of the UDAPT: “Corporations have the power to establish the rules of the game and enjoy eternal impunity worldwide. They also prevent the establishment of clear rules. Our fight is embedded in the legal systems of the world. They are unjust and inadequate, but we have to fight within them”.
Humberto Piaguaje, indigenous leader and the coordinator of the UDAPT, will present this map among other documents to the shareholders of the multinational during the Annual Meeting of Chevron’s Shareholders, which will be held on May the 25th, at the headquarters of the company (San Ramón, California, United States).
The necessity to have a legal binding framework for multinational corporations
Facing the powerlessness of states, the civil society, affected communities and NGO’s worldwide have to unite in this battle to denounce corporate violations, to claim reparation, to fight for access to justice and a binding legal framework to hold corporations accountable for the damages caused to land and people. CETIM works in this sense for more than 20 years inside the UN to establish this framework that can contribute to end the impunity of the multinationals for the violations committed. This will improve in the long term and at the global level the protection and respect for human rights.
Corporations like Chevron are a danger for the planet. Without access to justice and reparation, people on the different countries will continue to suffer sickness and death. Infertile and contaminated lands will be abandoned. Humberto Piaguaje, indigenous leader and the coordinator of the UDAPT says : “We only have one earth, we will live here and we will die here, we have to be aware of our actions”.
For more information on the subject, you can read the following documents :