Cruda Realidad: Petróleo, Devastación Y Resistencia en la Amazonía

Front Cover
City Lights Publishers, Jun 1, 2008 - History - 128 pages
1 Review

Crude Reflections/Cruda Realidad chronicles the human and environmental impact of oil drilling in the Ecuadoran Amazon, where the pollution is so extensive that medical experts currently predict thousands of deaths from cancer and the disappearance of five indigenous rainforest communities. Community leaders and doctors already report elevated rates of cancer in the region, as well as birth defects. Photographers Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak have documented the physical and emotional reality of those affected by this toxic contamination, roughly 30 times greater than the more widely reported Exxon Valdez spill.

While the images and testimonies of victims are a central component of the story, the book also documents an uplifting campaign for justice, culminating in a landmark legal case now being adjudicated in Ecuador. This is also the story of a campaign to preserve the as-yet undeveloped southern Amazon, where several indigenous nations are fighting to keep oil drilling off their lands and out of the region. While focusing on one geographic region, Crude Reflections makes a statement about the need for safe environmental practices and the importance of preservation in the Amazon basin and throughout the world.

For more information visit

Text accompanying photos is in Spanish and English.

Praise for Crude Reflections:

"As I viewed each photograph, I felt as if I was stepping into the Amazon rainforest, and the commentary and stories are told in a way that brings meaning not only to the plight of the people of Ecuador, but of all people fighting for environmental justice."
—Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender

Check out JUSTICIA NOW!, a documentary about ChevronTexaco's toxic legacy in the Northern Ecuadoran region of the Amazon rainforest & a courageous group of people, Los Afectados (The Affected Ones), who are seeking justice for the ensuing cancer, sickness & death in the largest environmental class action lawsuit in history. Featuring Pablo Fajardo, Luis Yanza, Daryl Hannah, John Quigley & Stuart Townsend.

Download this film for free:

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CityLightsBooks - LibraryThing

Crude Reflections/Cruda Realidad chronicles the human and environmental impact of oil drilling in the Ecuadoran Amazon, where the pollution is so extensive that medical experts currently predict ... Read full review


Foreword PrólogoTrudie Styler and Sting
Map of Ecuador Mapa del Ecuador
Supporters Apoyo

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Award-winning photographer Dematteis is a former staff photographer for Reuters. He has exhibited extensively at home and abroad, and his photos have been included in the NY Times "Pictures of the Year." His anthology of the Sandinista years, "Nicaragua: A Decade of Revolution," was published by Norton in 1991, and also published his book "A Portrait of Vietnam" in Photographer and human rights advocate, Szymczak has worked with Global Exchange, Rain Forest Action Network, the Ruckus Society and Amazon Watch. She was awarded a Titcomb Foundation award to document the impact of ChevronTexaco's oil development on people in the Ecuadorian region of the Amazon, part of a larger project called "Blook of the Earth," a multi-region photo Former lead singer and bassist for rock band The Police. With his wife Trudie Styler and Raoni Metuktire, a Kayapó Indian leader in Brazil, Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation to help save the rainforests. His support for these causes continues to this day, and includes an annual benefit concert held at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Bibliographic information