WikiLeaks, Chevron, and Ecuador

by Kevin Jon Heller

Kate Sheppard has an interesting post at Mother Jones today discussing a series of WikiLeaks cables that detail Chevron’s attempts to convince the Ecuadorian government to end the lawsuit against it.  Here are the two key cables she discusses:

This from a March 2006 cable written by US officials in Quito:

“In previous meetings, Chevron reps have suggested that the [US government] pressure the [Government of Ecuador] to assume responsibility for the environmental damage in the areas once operated by Chevron. Given the complex legal questions and the questions of fact disputed in the case, it does not seem likely that any available inducements would convince the [government of Ecuador] to assume what may amount to billions of dollars of environmental liability.”

Another cable from April 2008 also provides insight into Chevron’s attempts to get the government of Ecuador to help them get rid of the case:

“Meanwhile, Chevron had begun to quietly explore with senior [government of Ecuador] officials whether it could implement a series of social projects in the concession area in exchange for GOE support for ending the case, but now that the expert has released a huge estimate for alleged damage, it might be hard for the GOE to go that route, even if it has the ability to bring the case to a close.”

More cables about Chevron and Ecuador here, here, here, and here.

In contrast to Chevron’s half-baked allegations of judicial corruption in Ecuador, allegations of political corruption by Chevron seem wholly justified.

http://opiniojuris.org/2011/09/22/wikileaks-chevron-and-ecuador/

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