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The movie Chevron doesn't want you to see
By Tracy L. Barnett Posted in Indigenous Peoples, Latin America, Sustainability on November 8, 2009
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Like most of his friends and neighbors in the Amazon village where he was born, Pablo Fajardo went to work for Texaco at an early age. But unlike most of his coworkers, he was unwilling to disregard the flagrant abuses of the land and people that he witnessed every day on the job.

He made up his mind to become a lawyer, and now he’s the lead attorney representing 30,000 Amazonian citizens in a class-action suit that is now entering its 15th year. It’s that battle that’s at the heart of Joe Berlinger’s stunning new documentary, “Crude.”

I’d already read the infuriating story of Chevron-Texaco’s contamination of millions of acres of Amazon rainforest, and one man’s battle to bring them to justice, in Vanity Fair’s May 2007 Green Edition. But Berlinger’s film brings this story to life in a way that written words cannot. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour calls the movie “an extraordinary merging of journalism and art.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The movie opened last night in Houston, the home base of Texaco, now Chevron, and I joined a the Emerging Green Builders group in watching the Houston premeire. Scenes of the movie were filmed at the Chevron building just 10 blocks from where we sat, as Fajardo and an indigenous family braced themselves to go inside and present their case.

“You have been in our territory for 28 years; now I ask just three minutes of your time,” the tribesman said to his adversaries.

Now I ask three minutes of your time to watch the trailer…. and then I think you’ll agree that this movie belongs on your must-see list.

Amazon Chevron Crude Ecuador Pablo Fajardo

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  1. This movie does a great job at putting the humanitarian and environmental crisis front and center where it should be. And it’s not just one-sided: the director does give Chevron a chance to defend itself…although you are hard pressed to buy their defense in the face of so much evidence pointing to their culpability. I have a friend who just started a new blog to track what’s going on. Check it out: I have found information on the law suit at

    1. It’s true – some of the most poignant scenes in the movie show Chevron spokespeople denying everything, then it cuts away to images of oily water, cancer victims, dead chickens, etc.
      Thanks for the comment and for the tips. I will definitely check those sites out.

  2. I’ve been following as well! I started boycotting Chevron after I saw Crude. This mess needs to be cleaned up!