A polluted landscape meets the airplane windows as the Andean mountain slopes blend into different shades of green in a backdrop of clouds. The flight takes us from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, to Lago Agrio (an Amazonian city bordering Colombia, developed by Texaco in 1972).
Closer to Lago Agrio, common visions of the tropics fade into a complex of large industrial hangers and bare land, a byproduct of oil extraction.
Scarring this toxic wasteland is the FARC conflict, guerilla warfare, along with the legacy of crude oil. In this area, families of the indigenous nations of Ecuador have been heavily affected by oil extraction. The flora, fauna and rivers have been poisoned by oil extraction. Evidence of this can be seen in the lakes of crude oil near extraction areas, barren of growth.
In his documentary Crude: The Real Price of Oil, Joe Berlinger zooms into this environmental crisis in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The toxic legacy of Chevron/Texaco lingers on these lands, and on their people, in the high rates of cancer, skin conditions, and birth defects, among many other health complications. In this documentary, the real price of oil is becomes visible and the stakes are raised in the struggle for environmental justice.
~ Maria del Camino Troya