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Steven Donziger: The man who stood up to an oil giant, and paid the price

By Rex Weyler

In the fall of 2016, I travelled to Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, where I met Indigenous communities and Campesino farmers whose land had been polluted by toxic oil waste. They had won a landmark court judgement against the Chevron Corporation, but the company refused to pay. I visited the one, tiny clinic serving thousands of cancer patients, and also met the victims’ American lawyer, who has spent the last 27 years defending their rights.

You’ve probably never heard of Steven Donziger, but I believe history will place Donziger – a man vilified by his corporate opponents – alongside Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Vandana Shiva, and other leaders of human rights and environmental resistance to corporate malfeasance and arrogance.

At the time of writing, Donziger has been trapped in home detention for six months. He has still not actually been convicted of any crime. By all accounts, he appears to be a political prisoner of a private corporation bolstered by a cooperative federal judge.


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