Chasing Ubuntu Photography
PhotoPhilanthropy Photo Essay Submission.
These are scenes from a courtroom in the jungle, complete with the judge, lawyers, engineers, media, indigenous leaders, and the public. There is also the blaring 100-degree sun, mosquitos, and the loud and fuming oil processing station. This is just one out of 102 court-appointed judicial inspections – one day – in a two-decade battle for cleanup and healthcare in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Oil operations from 1964-1990 resulted in pollution throughout the once pristine rainforest in Ecuador causing high levels of cancer and other health problems. For 20 years 30,000 people have been part of a class action suit against Chevron demanding a cleanup and healthcare. The Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía, the Frente (Amazon Defense Coalition), has been leading the battle through organizing, political advocacy, and litigation.
Documenting the final inspections, I was impacted by the resiliency and compassion of the people who exemplify what it takes to fight for justice. I learned that committing to end corporate abuse will be a frustratingly long road. The people of the Frente taught me that uniting as one global community anything is possible, even a win in the courtroom for the Ecuadorian people.