Sunday, November 14  |6pm to 7pm                                                                                                         


Litigating Indigenous Rights and the Environment in Latin America
By Steven Donziger

Fedex Global Education Center Room 1005. UNC-Chapel Hill
301 Pittsboro St (corner of McCauley and Pittsboro--parking in garage free)

pizza and drinks served

followed by a screening of "Crude"
Parking is available for free

Sunday, November 14 | 7 pm

Nelson Mandela Auditorium, FedEx Global Education Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Crude: The real price of oil

Joe Berlinger. (Ecuador/USA, 2009) 90 min

With introduction by Steven Donziger.

This film is the epic story of one of the largest and most controversial environmental lawsuits on the planet. The inside story of the infamous “Amazon Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes legal drama, set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film subverts the conventions of advocacy filmmaking, exploring a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus. The landmark case takes place in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, pitting 30,000 indigenous and colonial rainforest dwellers against the U.S. oil giant Chevron. The plaintiffs claim that Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – spent three decades systematically contaminating one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, poisoning the water, air and land. The plaintiffs allege that the pollution has created a “death zone” in an area the size of the Rhode Island, resulting in increased rates of cancer, leukemia, birth defects, and a multiplicity of other health ailments. They further allege that the oil operations in the region contributed to the destruction of indigenous peoples and irrevocably impacted their traditional way of life. Chevron vociferously fights the claims, charging that the case is a complete fabrication, perpetrated by “environmental con men” who are seeking to line their pockets with the company’s billions. English and Spanish with English subtitles.

Reception to follow

For more info:

Steven Donziger

Steven Donziger and Joe Berlinger in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Steven Donziger is an attorney who has worked for several years as part of the legal team in the landmark environmental case, Aguinda v. ChevronTexaco.   The case, which is now in its 17th year and encompasses litigations in three countries, seeks clean-up for what many experts consider to be the worst oil-related disaster on the planet covering an area the size of Rhode Island in the Ecuador rainforest.  The case has raised profound and novel questions about indigenous rights, environmental law, investor rights, foreign policy, public health policy, and the ability of legal processes to provide redress to victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by corporations.

Mr. Donziger previously worked as a journalist for United Press International, filing more than 150 stories from Central America  in the 1980s before receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991. He is the former director of the National Criminal Justice Commission, a private organization composed of 34 national and international leaders in the field of criminal justice, which in 1996 released the first comprehensive study of American crime policy since the 1968 Kerner Commission report. He also has served as a trial attorney for the District of Columbia Public Defender Service in Washington, DC.