The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nell Greenberg,

Advocates Run for Human Rights, Ecuadorean Rainforest in Chevron-Sponsored Houston Marathon

New global campaign challenges Chevron’s new CEO John Watson to do the right thing


A team of human rights advocates will be running in this weekend's Chevron Houston marathon to draw attention to the sponsoring oil company's refusal to take responsibility for one of the largest environmental disasters in human history.

The team will be running for Emergildo Crillo, an Indigenous Ecuadorean whose family has been devastated by developmental disabilities, cancer, and death as a result of Chevron's toxic legacy. Over the course of twenty-six years of oil drilling in Ecuador's Amazon, more than 18 billion gallons of toxic sludge were deliberately dumped into the rainforest. Emergildo's family drank, bathed, and fished in one of the waterways that Chevron has refused to clean up. Chevron is facing a potential $27 billion pollution judgment in an Ecuadorean court for the unprecedented environmental and public health disaster.

While in Houston, Rainforest Action Network advocates will run in the race, drop "Change Chevron" banners along the race route, distribute "I'm Running for Human Rights" stickers to runners at the Marathon expo, and host a free screening of Crude - the critically acclaimed documentary about the crisis in Ecuador - for Chevron employees and the Houston community.

"At the Chevron Houston marathon this Sunday we will be running for Emergildo and in memory of the more than 1,400 Ecuadoreans who have died because of Chevron's negligence," said Maria Ramos, a runner and Change Chevron Campaign Director at Rainforest Action Network. "Instead of continuing Chevron's race to the bottom, John Watson, the oil giant's new CEO, has the responsibility to change course and change Chevron. Energy shouldn't cost lives."

Rainforest Action Network, an international human rights and environmental organization is kicking off a new campaign to Change Chevron in Houston this weekend. The campaign will unite shareholders, investors, celebrities, and communities to challenge Chevron's new CEO, John Watson, to clean up the company's toxic legacy in Ecuador, develop a global environment and human rights policy that will prevent similar tragedies in the future, and adopt aggressive strategies to provide clean energy to a carbon-constrained world.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices staff in Tokyo, Japan, and Edmonton, Canada, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world. We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.