This is because in Ecuador, it would be easy to get away from losing the case by lobbying the government into applying loose regulations.
The first phase of the trials consists of field inspections. Attorneys Adolfo Callejas and Diego Larrea represent the defendants while attorney Pablo Fajardo represents the plaintiffs. Fajardo wons Goldman Environmental prize in 2008. Steven Donziger is another lawyer and Fajardo’s advisor/the plaintiffs’ consulting attorney. Fajardo accuses Chevron-Texaco of drilling pits in its operations and later covering them with hazardous waste. Petroleum is one of the toxic wastes in the pits. As evidence, he digs the ground and exposes crude oil-mixed soil two inches below the surface. He claims that Chevron-Texaco dumped more than one billon gallons of poisonous and toxic water into rivers, which contaminated drinking water making people fall sick – they suffered from and died of cancer and leukemia. Since the actors are living in that reality, their dialogs and actions are vivid and natural. In addition, to confront this huge and powerful international corporate company, the plaintiffs try to use sources such as magazines, media and celebrities as much as possible. Among the witnesses in the film is a mother who claims that her 18-year-old daughter is sick. She says that since she needed money for her daughter’s medical treatment, she bought chicken, which she intended to raise and then sell. However, they died because of drinking contaminated water. The mother starts crying.
The defendants blame PetroEcuador claiming that they handed over to them in 1992. They claim that this case is not purely for clean up but that it is for money. Arguing that the cause of Ecuadoreans’ health problem has nothing to do with oil, Sara McMillen, Chevron-Texaco’s chief environmental scientist, claims that living in a poor region is the cause. He adds that since they lack sewage treatment, they drink water with great amount of