The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Chevron says victim of unfair trial in Ecuador

QUITO, July 2 (Reuters) - By Alonso Soto
Oil major Chevron Corp. alleged irregularities in a $6 billion lawsuit that accuses it of polluting Ecuador's rainforest and will challenge any ruling against the U.S. firm, a top company lawyer said on Monday.
"The due process is not being respected in our case," Ricardo Veiga, Chevron's managing counsel for Latin America, told Reuters during a visit to Quito.
"We will not hesitate to go to international tribunals to review what we believe is an unfair trial and lack of due process in this country," he added.
Jungle residents, including the Cofan Indian tribe, accuse Chevron's Texaco subsidiary of dumping 18 billion gallons of oil-polluted water from 1972 to 1992. Nearly 30,000 jungle residents are demanding money with which to clean up.
Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001 and the company denies any wrongdoing to the provincial judge reviewing the lawsuit.
President Rafael Correa, a leftist former economy minister, has publicly sided with the plaintiffs and even offered help gathering evidence to boost their case.
"We are very concerned ... we believe the judiciary should be independent to review the facts," Veiga said.
He accused the plaintiffs of manipulating the court in their favor and questions the objectivity of an expert named by the judge to determine if there was any contamination and if the company caused it.
The plaintiffs' lawyers deny any court manipulation and said they hope the judge would deliver a ruling by next year.
"Chevron's attitude simply shows that they are afraid because the truth is coming out after 20 years," said Alejandro Ponce, one of the lawyers. "They are making accusations without any proof."
Chevron argues it was released from any liability when it paid $40 million for an environmental clean-up in the 1990's and blames state oil company Petroecuador for much of the pollution.
Chevron no longer operates in Ecuador, South America's fifth-largest oil producer with an output of around 530,000 barrels of oil per day.

No comments:

Post a Comment