Latin & South America

Today an Ecuador court fined Chevron $8.6 billion for environmental damage. According to the Wall Street Journal, $5.4 billion of that is to restore polluted soil, $1.4 billion to create a health system for the community, $800 million to treat individuals injured by the pollution, $600 million to restore polluted waters, $200 million to restore native species, $150 million...

The stakes just became larger in the ongoing battle over alleged environmental damage in Ecuador. Chevron just filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Steven Donziger and forty-seven lawyers, experts, consultants and named plaintiffs alleging RICO, fraud, tortious interference with contract, trespass and unjust enrichment. The Complaint is available here. The Complaint alleges...

"By no means should Google Maps be used as a reference to decide military actions between two countries." That's the official response from Google to news reports that Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica based on Google's improper drawing of the border. Details from the Tico Times. And no, the link is not to the Onion. The more serious question...

El Universal -- along with other newspapers -- is reporting that one of President Uribe's final acts in office was to file a complaint with the ICC alleging that Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, is responsible for permitting FARC guerrillas to use Venezuela as a staging area for crimes committed in Colombia: Jaime Granados, the lawyer of Colombian outgoing president...

As discussed here, one of the key arguments that the Ecuador plaintiffs are making in response to Chevron’s Motion is that the damaging quotes are being taken out of context. Without question one of the most damning excerpts is when lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Steve Donziger is quoted as saying that “Because at the end of the day, this is...

The ongoing saga regarding Chevron’s legal travails in Ecuador took an interesting twist this week. As I reported earlier, Chevron has secured key outtakes of the movie Crude that appeared to show alarming collusion between the plaintiff lawyers and the Court-appointed expert. According to pleadings filed yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, the outtakes include some amazing communications...

I've argued for the past couple of years that the ICC should open a formal investigation into the situation in Colombia, because it is a non-African situation that satisfies most, if not all, of my criteria for situational gravity: (1) crimes committed with government involvement; (2) systematic criminality; (3) socially alarming crimes such as enforced disappearance and torture.  Here is...

I know that will sound like a provocative question, but it's not meant to be.  According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel justifies its interdiction of the "Freedom Flotilla" by reference to Article 67(a) of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea, which permits the attack of neutral merchant vessels that "are believed on reasonable...

Yesterday a federal court in New York granted Chevron's request for discovery of outtakes from the 2009 documentary Crude about the multi-billion dollar litigation in Ecuador. Chevron's request was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, which authorizes a judge in the United States to order discovery of evidence to be used in proceedings before a foreign tribunal. As reported here, Chevron's...

Did the ICJ ruling on Uruguay and Argentina help to resolve the dispute? Sort of.  There are some pesky protestors, though, who are not exactly convinced by the ruling. Both sides said Tuesday's decision by the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands gave them what they need to resolve their differences, with Argentina taking heart from a part of the...

This is not surprising, although I doubt they have much a legal basis to resist enforcement. Ecuadorean officials are rejecting an international arbitration tribunal's ruling that it violated international law and must pay $700 million to the ChevronCorp. President Rafael Correa's administration is analyzing options for appeal under national and international law, Attorney General Diego Garcia said in a statement Wednesday. "This new effort...

This is just the first round of a potentially huge investor-state arbitration claim filed by Chevron against Ecuador. $700 million now, but up to $27 billion later. (For some background, see here and here about a federal court's refusal to stay one of the arbitration proceedings.). Chevron Corp (CVX.N) won a three-year-old arbitration fight against Ecuador over a commercial dispute as...