11 December 2008
Earlier this month, Chevron was found not guilty of charges that it helped the Nigerian military kill and maim supposedly non-violent protesters at one of its oil platforms in 1998. To hear it from Chevron itself, one gets a much different picture. Through various press releases, Chevron repeatedly refers to the protesters as "hostage takers" and claims that they "requested the rescue [by the Nigerian military] as a reasonable response to a dangerous invasion of the Parabe platform and, the invaders were harmed when they attacked military personnel." Needless to say, the plaintiffs, a group from the Ilaje community nearby, have vowed to appeal the decision.
Lamentably, Chevron is up to its old tricks of attacking communities demanding justice. A recent field report by Environmental Rights Action of Nigeria shares testimony that the company was involved in the shooting of unarmed protesters at its Escravos facility near Warri in Delta State.
Regardless of their guilt in a court of law, or what they say in their press releases about their investments in the region, Chevron has a clearly demonstrated record of contempt for communities in the Niger Delta. Chevron must be stopped!