Sunday, May 30, 2010

Corporate Criminals - Chevron

BP is not the worst criminal conspiracy dressed as an oil company. Royal Dutch Shell (more later) and Chevron are much worse.

The Crimes of Chevron
Slavery, Vandalism, Murder by Proxy
One of Chevron's Amazon oil pits.
(Here's Daryl Hannah at another.)

Chevron is partnered with the Myanmar (Burma) military junta in building a gas pipeline project. Finding workers for this huge project was no problem - the Myanmar military simply impressed the indigenous people into slave labor gangs.

The recruiting system is simple. The junta burns their villages to the ground, herds the population at gunpoint into relocation (concentration) camps, doesn't allow them to grown their own food and tells them the only way to eat is to work. They work clearing the forest, as porters (slaves are cheaper than trucks), and sex slaves for the project engineers. It should be noted that Chevron does not directly impress the workers. The Burma junta does the "hiring," Chevron just profits from the arrangement. Chevron nobly claim they are providing "jobs" for the people in the region. Chevron neglects to note they are non-paying jobs with benefits that include torture and rape. Some reports say the workers are being paid a token for their forced labor. Burmese citizens who protest the pipeline project are murdered by the government. (See also Burma Digest about oppression in Karen State, End Human Trafficking on Chevron's link to forced labor, the Free Burma Rangers, and Rebecca Tarbottom on the True Cost of Chevron in Burma)

In Ecuador, Chevron's attack on indigenous people involves the destruction of their land and the poisoning of their rivers. When shareholders met last week in Houston, Chevron used the Houston police department to forcibly exclude shareholders who disagreed with management on its conduct in Ecuador from attending the annual meeting.

Chevron is an American corporation with headquarters in California. In California slavery is punished by at least three years in prison per count. What Chevron dumps in the Amazon River violates the Clean Water Act (if it were done in the US), it violates Ecuador law too.

Chevron has revenues of $167 billion last year and is the third largest business in the United States. Their CEO made nearly $9 million last year, 85% of it from non-salary bonuses and options.

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