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30,000 Indigenous People Battle for Environmental Justice in Amazon


Filmmaker Joe Berlinger was shocked when he traveled to the rainforest of Ecuador and saw the native Cofan native peoples eating canned tuna. "Here we were, in what is supposed to be paradise, in one of the most bio-diverse places on earth, and people who have lived off the water for years can no longer sustain themselves because the fish are dead!"

With that, Berlinger had the subject for his latest documentary film, ", a group dedicated to helping indigenous people in the Amazon. Following a trip to Ecuador, Styler promotes a clean water campaign with Pablo Fajardo at the 2007 Live Earth concert, a global environmental event broadcast from Giants Stadium in New York.

While the case drags on in court, the documentary debuted at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in early 2009. Since then, it has been shown at more than two dozen movie festivals in the United States and was released commercially in early September.

Berlinger says the most emotionally-charged screening was in Quito, Ecuador, where 1,300 people jammed into a 1,200-seat university auditorium. "The reaction was incredible and everyone involved with the case was there. Pablo was the last for me to bring up on stage, and it was like a hero's welcome."

And, it's there that Pablo Fajardo advised citizens to stay informed and to put pressure on Chevron and the Ecuadorian government to act responsibly. For its part, Chevron has accused the plaintiffs of trying to bribe Ecuadorian officials. The $27 billion lawsuit is far from being settled.


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