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Crude

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Submitted By brettdog
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Crude With international corporations now spanning the globe in every direction, we see in cases like the one in Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger, the story of a large group of people effected by the negligent actions of big-money businesses whom have one only one real concern; profit. When the good, moral action is only defined by profits, a lack of accountability is directly related to your number of shareholders and stock price, the health and safety of those physically involved is disregarded. These actions of intrusive globalization can erode and eventually completely eradicate entire civilizations such as the rural Ecuadoreans seen in this powerful documentary. Since these peoples are primarily indigenous and have little to no voice as to what a powerful destructive corporation can and will do to them, in order to counteract rampant negligence by corporations in their globalized quest for maximized profit, it is crucial that the growth and evolution of transnational advocacy networks give the people who matter a venue to be heard on a large scale. People all over the world, both nationally and internationally are often silenced or disregarded because as many say, “money talks”, however this all changes when these individuals or small groups of people create coalitions, whether they are near each other, or simply someone on the other side of the planet who is trying to help them and make a difference. It all starts with one person and once the movement gains momentum, it is much harder for corporations and money to stifle and silence. The key to creating these transnational advocacy networks, as seen in Crude, is the presence and backing of a Non-Governmental Organization, or NGO, as Steven R. Donziger (the American Lawyer seen in the case) helped get the popularly called “Amazonian Chernobyl” into the headlines and eventual coverage support by Vanity Fair. As seen in Crude, and defined in Art and Jervis International Politics, “NGOs play a central role in all advocacy networks, usually initiating actions and pressuring more powerful actors to take positions. NGO’s introduce new ideas, provide information, and lobby for policy changes.” (Keck & Sikkink, 1998: p.275). Vanity Fair did just that by getting the news of this incredibly cruel, disastrous negligence out to the entire world, and by doing so the Lago Agrio case gained momentum worldwide in support of Pablo Fajardo, the lead attorney, and forced the attention and activism of Rafael Correa, the President of the Republic of Ecuador at the time. There is a fine line sometimes between the necessary interventions of NGO’s. In the case of the Lago Agrio Oil Field, it was crucial that the voice of some 30,000 plus individuals be heard and recognized for being directly exposed to toxic petrol waste and chemical endangerment of their water supply and wildlife. In a case presented in Art and Jervis, International Politics; NGOs: Fighting Poverty, Hurting the Poor (Mallaby, 8/1/2004,p.482), a small group of people was targeted to have their lands invaded and a Dam built on top of their homes, but at the same time it would provide electricity in order to kick start economic growth, and ultimately benefit poor citizens in the entire country of Uganda. Who is to judge these struggles between right and wrong? The answer is the people of the country as a whole. If millions benefit at the cost of a hundred being displaced, it is in the hands of everyone to decide whether or not to disrupt a few for the greater good. It is not the decision of an outsider NGO in this case to make any decisions, but only to give everyone in the country an option to speak their mind on the matter so that others can weigh their own opinion on the matter. Thus, it is important for NGO’s and globalization to work hand in hand to avoid wrongdoings of international corporations, but also to try their hardest not to retard the growth of developing peoples, nations, and continents as a whole. In the Lago Agria case it was completely necessary for someone to step in and take a stand for the people, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_R._Donziger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crude_(2009_film) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_R._Donziger http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/22/AR2009102201443.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization http://clg.portalxm.com/library/keytext.cfm?keytext_id=114

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