Today, oil giant Chevron will appear in federal court in New York to defend a last-ditch and likely futile effort to escape a trial in Ecuador. Chevron wants to take the case to binding arbitration under the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, where the Amazon rainforest communities who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit would not be able to appear.
Today's hearing is before Judge Leonard B. Sand, who handed Chevron a defeat in 2007, permanently staying the company's first attempt at arbitration. Jonathon Abady, an American lawyer representing the rainforest communities in the federal court action, says, "Chevron acts like a fugitive from justice in Ecuador because the evidence establishing the company’s misconduct is overwhelming."
According to a press release from the Amazon Defense Coalition (ADC), which represents the 30,000 indigenous people and campesinos who are suing Chevron for clean-up of massive contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the oil giant is:
trying to abandon the trial even though over the last seven years the parties have produced more than 64,000 chemical sampling results, conducted 103 court-supervised inspections of former Chevron well sites scattered throughout the rainforest, and created a trial record than runs to more than 200,000 pages.Read the rest of the ADC press release.
Han Shan is Coordinator of the Clean Up Ecuador Campaign