By GONZALO SOLANO Associated Press Writer
October 20,2005 | ESTACION GUANTA, Ecuador -- About 50 Cofan Indians, some holding handkerchiefs over their faces to fend off an acrid chemical stench, gathered around two contaminated open pits they say were left behind and never adequately cleaned up by the former Texaco Corp.
A 35-year-old Cofan woman stood near one of the black pools. Nearby was a marsh, covered by a dense layer of crude and toxic waste that the Cofan Indians say seeped into streams and rivers used for drinking water by almost half of their 900 people, driving them from the area.
"We are poor people. We want to show the environmental damage from Texaco," Edita Requalme, dressed in a brightly colored traditional blouse and skirt, said in broken Spanish on Wednesday. "Contaminated water makes us ill. It causes skin problems and even miscarriages."( Collapse )