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.

Photo: Still from video by Amazon Watch, via YouTube

172 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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David Hansen
David Hansen6 years ago

yuck that is a mess. hope they pay.

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Jaime Torquemada
Jaime Torquemada6 years ago

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.

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Janine H.
Janine H6 years ago

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)

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Michael O'Brien
Michael O'Brien6 years ago

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 !

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Allan Yorkowitz
.6 years ago

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

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