A 25-year legal battle over oil pollution in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest

Oil drilling in Ecuador has caused long-term environmental damage. And a toxic legal battle. Now, frustrated indigenous communities are cleaning up the contamination themselves.

A quarter of a century after Ecuador filed a lawsuit against oil giant Chevron for allegedly dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and crude oil into the Amazon rainforest, the battle for compensation goes on. The pollution, disease and poverty caused by the calamity have made it one of South America’s worst environmental disasters.

Farmers and indigenous people have formed an alliance to devise their own solutions to resolve the contamination crisis.

Correspondent Dan Collyns reports from northeastern Ecuador.

Recently, the government of Ecuador said it will spend $10 million to clean up the damage left by the oil spills of the past 25 years. But the estimate for overall cleanup is in the billions.

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