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Chernobyl in the Jungle

This Magazine Staff

Amazon Rain Forest

Looking for an adventurous and educational holiday to beat the winter blues? Why not tour the chaos and misery of the mess Texaco Oil left behind in the Amazon Basin. For the last fifteen years Chevron Corp, which acquired Texaco Oil in 2001, has been in a deadlock legal battle with the citizens of Lago Agrigo, Ecuador. With the case against the oil giant is set to conclude latter this year, locals are busying themselves touring the public around the toxic waste dump they now call home.
Among the claims against Texaco Oil:
1. Soaking dirt roads with crude to keep down the dust
2. Encouraging local oilfield workers to smoother their legs and scalp with crude
3. Dumping 18 billion gallons of wastewater into unlined waste pits
4. Burning natural gas and solid waste, resulting in deadly air pollution
The result has been over 1400 deaths from cancer in the tiny community, nearly twice Ecuador’s national rate. While it’s impossible to predict who will win the legal battle, local experts believe the payout from Chevron could be as high as $27.3 billion.
For more on this story and other eco-catastrophe, check out forecast earth.

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