Take physic, pomp

Ecuador and Chevron: What ‘clash of cultures’ really means

The LA Times is running a story today entitled “Chevron, Ecuador and a clash of cultures”. It’s a fairly good summary of the situation in the ongoing legal dispute from the environmental crimes ‘allegedly’ committed by Texaco/Chevron in Ecuador, the last paragraph summing up the mood:

“When the verdict is issued in Lago Agrio, it will prompt a round of appeals and other legal procedures, possibly in Ecuador and certainly in the United States, where Chevron has assets. The plaintiffs promise they will never give up. The company has assured investors that it will never pay. And the Amazon and its people will remain unhealed.”

Which is sad but true. The article even tries to explain the concept of ‘pachamama’ a little further than the normally scant attention paid to it by English media, so that was quite nice. However the title got me thinking that calling it all a ‘clash of cultures’ is pretty stupid, as the only culture clash going on here is “We crapped on your culture in a way we’d never do to our own culture”. And that’s all you need to know about culture in this case. Good story, bad title.

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