Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said he would discuss a lawsuit against Chevron for environmental damage in Ecuador’s jungle areas with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez after plaintiffs took their case to that country.
An Ecuadorean court last year ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion for the contamination of watersheds over nearly 30 years that plaintiffs say damaged the health of indigenous tribespeople and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Because Chevron has few assets in Ecuador, the plaintiffs are seeking enforcement of the ruling in other countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Canada.
Last month, an Argentine judge ordered an embargo on up to $19 billion worth of Chevron’s assets in Argentina. The company appealed the decision.
Chevron has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud - a charge the plaintiffs’ lawyers categorically deny.
“Chevron seeks to delegitimize this legal action that it lost against our Amazonian people,” Correa told Argentine television on Tuesday, hours before a planned meeting with Argentina’s Fernandez. “We’re going to touch on the Chevron case. We haven’t intervened but of course we will always try to back our citizens so that these rulings are enforced.”