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Chevron vs. Ecuador in the Chevron Ecuador Judgment

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*This is a submitted guest post that tickled my interest despite being off-topic. Enjoy.*

Richard Cabrera, the economist/ geologist who hails from Ecuador is once again back in the news. The Ecuador government (in the name of the indigenous people of Ecuador) have filed a claim against Chevron, the multinational energy corporation. The government are claiming that Chevron failed to do a “reasonable” environmental clean-up on conclusion of their oil operations some 18 years previously. Chevron are said to have found evidence that Cabrera was in fact working for the plaintiffs and thus is not acting as an independent professional in the proceedings.

In the Chevron Ecuador judgment, Chevron is being sued by the Ecuador government for a total of $27 billion. The government state that between 1968 and 1992, during and after the Chevron/ Texaco oil production operations, the clean-up of the Amazon delta failed to materialize. Chevron on the other hand claim that it is the state-run company who took over the operations (Petroecuador) in 1992 who is responsible for oil damage to the environment.

Returning to the case of Richard Cabrera, despite many years of denial by Cabrera, one of the plaintiffs’ own consulting firms has admitted in a United States court that they did in fact deal directly with Mr Cabrera. According to Reuters, Hewitt Pate who is Chevron’s vice president and general counsel said that there is evidence that Cabrera was employed in another case prior to the case against Chevron by one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. This in itself is not pertinent to the facts, however, Cabrera never disclosed it to the court.

Further, Richard Cabrera has been named by SFGate.com (http://blog.sfgate.com/abraham/2010/02/09/chevron-ecuador-economist-will-be-paid-by-ecuador-from-judgement/) as a potential beneficiary to a portion of the award if Ecuador are to win the case against Chevron.

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