ADVANTAGES

In 1964, Texaco (now Chevron), discovered oil in the remote northern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, known as the Oriente; the East. The of this pristine rainforest, including the Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Huaorani tribes, lived traditional lifestyles largely untouched by modern civilization. The forests and rivers provided the physical and cultural subsistence base for their daily survival. They had little idea what to expect or how to prepare when oil workers moved into their backyard and founded the town of Lago Agrio, or "Sour Lake", named after the town in Texas where oil company Texaco was founded. The Ecuadorian government had similarly little idea what to expect; no one had ever successfully drilled for oil in the Amazon rainforest before. The government entrusted Texaco, a well-known U.S. company with more than a half-century's worth of experience, to employ modern oil-drilling practices and technology in the country's emerging oil patch. However, despite existing environmental laws, Texaco made deliberate, cost-cutting operational decisions that, for 28 years, resulted in an that experts have called "Chernobyl in the Amazon."

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