On September 7, 2018, a 2011 ruling by the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court ordering American oil company Chevron to pay $9.5 billion in damages to afflicted Ecuadorian villagers was overturned by the International Arbitration Court in The Hague, putting the 25-year legal battle between the big oil company and the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon to an end.
In 1993, Ecuadorian villagers accused Chevron subsidiary, Texaco, of knowingly dumping toxic oil waste into the environment surrounding the Lago Agrio oil field between the years 1964 and 1992, causing massive and irreversible damage to valuable soil and water resources utilized for their food production and consumption thereby increasing the incidence of health related conditions such as cancer thirty-fold.
Chevron agreed to spend $40 million to decontaminate the affected areas and in 1998, signed an agreement with the Ecuadorian government, absolving the company from any responsibility before shutting down Texaco operations during the same year.
In 2005, to prove that it was successful in ridding the area of toxic waste, Chevron sent a team of experts to do soil and water tests but damning video footage that was never meant to reach the public eye has since then surfaced, allegedly disproving the company’s claims that the land had been cleared of contamination.
By 2012, Ecuador’s courts deemed Chevron guilty of environmental damage, ordering it to pay $9.5Bn in damages and fines, a verdict Chevron refused to comply with and furiously battled, accusing prosecutors of bribery and coercion to achieve their win. The oil firm, with the help of numerous lawyers and law firms was successful, effectively countering their legal opponents and later seeking further arbitration with the International Arbitration Court which then annulled the 2012 ruling.
Pablo Fajardo, the Ecuadorian whistle-blower and lawyer who has tirelessly fought for the rights of his indigenous countrymen, questions the jurisdiction of the Hague court, asking how an international body, formed by business lawyers can impose such ruling, going above Ecuador’s sovereign and constitutional right to protect its own people.
Watch the Ecuadorian people’s plight in the investigative Facebook video below, uploaded by Premières Lignes’ Paul Moreira for Brut.
Multinational oil company Chevron vs. the Ecuadorian villagers: Chevron wins.An international court overturned the historic ruling ordering the US company to pay $9.5 billion in damages. An investigation by Premières Lignes’ Paul Moreira for Brut.
Posted by Brut nature on Sunday, October 7, 2018
Source: Brut Nature
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