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Chevron Fined $8 Billion by Ecuador Court

Chevron Fined $8 Billion by Ecuador Court

On February 14 a court in Ecuador ordered oil giant Chevron Corp to pay $8.6 billion in environmental damages in a case stemming from Texaco’s operations in Ecuador in the 1970s and 80s (Texaco was later acquired by Chevron.) The 47 plaintiffs, acting on behalf of some 30,000 farmers and members of indigenous Amazon tribes, had asked for $27 billion in damages.

Chevron’s response makes it clear this is not the last court decision: “The Ecuadorian court’s judgment is illegitimate and unenforceable. It is the product of fraud and is contrary to the legitimate scientific evidence. Chevron will appeal this decision in Ecuador and intends to see that justice prevails.”

The end of the story is probably still years in the future. The oil giant has claimed the case is a racketeering scheme where Chevron is the victim. Just last week Chevron won a restraining order against the plaintiffs in the Ecuador case, which could prevent them from enforcing a judgment and collecting damages in the U.S.. Chevron has no assets in Ecuador.

Also last week an international tribunal in The Hague said that Ecuador could not enforce any judgment against Chevron in the 18-year-old case, ordering the Ecuadorian government “to take all measures at its disposal to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement or recognition within and without Ecuador of any judgment.”

Texaco pumped oil in Ecuador from 1972 to 1990. The plaintiffs claim that unsafe drilling practices and insufficient cleanup has devastated the environment, agriculture and the health of indigenous people in the area. Some of the claims are painfully documented in this video:

Shareholders seemed unperturbed by today’s decision: Chevron’s stock closed up $1.22. The company’s 2010 revenues were $198 billion, with profits of $19 billion.

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Photo: Still from video by Amazon Watch, via YouTube

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167 comments

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8:10PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

yuck that is a mess. hope they pay.

8:05PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

I agree that Chevron should pay, but I have inside info that the government of Ecuador is also guilty of this contamination, it is a corrupt Ecuadorian gov. that has contaminated the environment by passing laws that have allow their own petroleum Co. But, how are going to collect that money, Chevron will bribe Ecuadorian officials and will be end of it.

12:05PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

This is a very sad story. Other animals and plants have to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten." (Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

7:01AM PDT on Mar 27, 2011

This is one of the reasons we can not travel the world with out being in Fear. Because of greedy corporations & Polititions who lie and just go along because they recieve $ to try to keep thier job. No wonder the rest of the world loves to hate us . Hopefully they understand the few are not the whole . I believe that most of America is Kind & Caring of The Planet & it's Inhabitants Rich or poor ! We need to start putting these people in Jail or better Yet, Extradition & Jail where they commit the crime . That would be justice !

12:54PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Here again, a corporate giant is allowed to stamp on a poor country - regardless of being wrong.

4:37PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

Burn in hell. Chevron!!

2:26PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

This could happen to us in the USA thanks to BP. Those people are humans just like the rest of us. Texaco needs to pay up big time and someone needs to serve some time in their prion in Ecuador.

3:22PM PST on Feb 25, 2011

Have you ever been to Ecuador? There's not a lot of wealth there (except for ExPats). The people are beautiful, friendly and hard working. They don't deserve what Chevron/Texaco has done to them! No one does............

4:20AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

This picture says it all!!! Chevron took, made billions destroying their land, water, & soil, the very elements needed to sustain life & then crapped on them!!! OMG!!! Shameful, destructive, disrespectful behavior!!! Anyone ever have to tell you to "CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF"?!?!?! "CLEAN UP YOUR MESS"!?!?!? "DO IT NOW"?!?!?!
I pray that God Blesses Chevron with a conscience to place Qiality Life 1st for ALL, with Love & Respect of Humanity/of Life on their obviously cold, hardened, greedy hearts!!!! Pay the Equadorians for the destruction they've caused, so they have a chance to recover from the damages Chevron has caused, which in my eyes is nothing short of an act of terrorism!!! It's not too late to make amends!!! All hearts, souls & the elements needed to sustain Life matter!!! "God Bless & Keep Us All In His Tender, Loving Care Always" :)

3:47AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

I find it odd that Chevron seems to not recognize the power of the court but I am sure they will expect that anything ruled in thier favor will be enforced . This is the (well one of them ) People in the world hate America . They believe this is who we are as that is what they have been shown buy a bunch of greedy scum . I wonder if everyone who owns thier stock knows of this and if they think it OK to ruin GODS work and hurt land that people need to survive . They read the stock quotes and then run off to church . Are these people for real ?

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