Photo Credit: San Francisco Sentinel
The jury in a San Francisco federal court this week cleared Chevron of charges for human rights abuses committed in NIgeria. More details on the decision and its impact below the fold.The Bowoto v Chevron case we covered last month was centered around a conflict in Nigeria 10 years ago. Larry Bowoto and 100 other Nigerians were staging a peaceful protest on a Chevron oil platform demanding talks between the corporation and local villagers about job training and opportunities. Locals have lost work and seen their livelihood decline with the negative environmental impact resulting from Chevron's presence. When protesters were told Chevron would not engage in talks, Nigerian soldiers flown in by helicopter opened fire on the villagers. Two were killed and others were wounded.
Chevron was being charged for torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, assault, battery and negligence. If the jury found the corporation guilty, it would have been the first time in history an American corporation was charged in an American court for human rights abuses abroad.
According to Reuters,
The lawyer for the plaintiffs had argued that Nigeria military forces landed on Parabe to retake the platform were on Chevron's payroll and supervised by the company.
Chevron in a statement said it was gratified by the jury's verdict. "It was never Chevron Nigeria Ltd's intent that anyone on the platform be harmed, and we deeply regret the loss of life and injuries that occurred," the statement added.
More on Chevron:
Chevron in Ecuador
Bowoto V Chevron
Chevron's Inhumane Energy