Lots of People Angling for the Ecuador Shakedown Dollars

By September 18, 2009Briefly Legal, Energy

Blogger Bob McCarty, who has done much good reporting on the trial lawyer/environmentalist/Ecuador lawsuit against Chevron, provides an update in the wake of videos released by Chevron that forced the Ecuadorian judge to step down. The videos also implicated the ruling party of President Rafael Correa in a fully corrupted legal process.

It seems the Ecuadorian government sees the entire litigation as a money-making venture, with Washington Pesantez, the South American country’s prosecutor general, now admitting as much.

From “Proving Amazon Watch, Others Wrong Too Easy“:

[Amidst] the furor over Chevron’s release of video tapes that appear to implicate Ecuadoran government officials — including President Rafael Correa and Juan Nunez, the judge who was hearing the case but has since recused himself — in a $3 million bribery scheme, Pesantez held a press conference Sept. 4 in his Quito office.

During that press conference, Pesantez said a number of amazing things, one of which stands out: he stated that 90 percent of the $27 billion award pending against Chevron would go to the government of Ecuador. To understand exactly what he said, read the transcript of the prosecutor general’s press conference English or Spanish.

Funny, we thought all the money was going to go to the Amazon Defense Coalition.  Were the issues not so serious — a naked shakedown of a U.S. company by an increasingly anti-American government, aided by propagandizing NGOs and U.S. trial lawyers — we’d almost laugh at the prospect of them fighting among themselves.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • The assumption that the Ecuadorian government is a party to the lawsuit, since even if it isn’t named it will receive the proceeds from it, is incorrect. The Pesantez statement must be understood within the context of Ecuador’s law.

    What the prosecutor general was alluding to was that, under Ecuadorian law, 10% of the award would go to the Amazon Defense Coalition and 90% would be administered directly for remediation costs under a public trust mandated by government legislation.

    The government would not be entitled to any of the actual award.

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