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The Ecuadorian government threats to negotiate with Chevron on behalf of the people affected

Unión de Afectados y afectadas por las Operaciones de Texaco (UDAPT)

 

 

The people affected by Chevron adopt legal actions to preserve the case. They inform that Lenín Moreno cannot interfere with justice and negotiate a private judgement. They emphasize that this lawsuit has passed eight Administrations.

 

Quito, September 18, 2017.- The Union of People Affected by Texaco in Ecuador (UDAPT), insists that the Ecuadorian Government does not interfere in the private litigation against the oil company Texaco (currently Chevron). They warn that if they interfere with justice they would be committed an important illegality and a new human rights violation to Ecuadorian communities.

 

Such declarations were made after knowing the statement of the Foreign Trade Minister, Pablo Campana, about the decision of negotiating with the oil company to settle the litigation led by Ecuadorian rural and indigenous communities for more than 24 years. Willian Lucitante, UDAPT’s Executive Coordinator, reminds the Government and the State Official, that the Ecuadorian Amazon people lawsuit is a private one, and the President cannot negotiate on behalf of the plaintiffs and interfere with the Ecuadorian Courts decisions.

 

This would interfere with the independence of the Courts by invalidating a sentence ratified in the three judicial authorities of the country. Moreover this could not recognize the right of the affected people to claim the serious damage caused by the company, that has seriously impacted their lives, stated Lucitante.

 

The UDAPT’s Coordinator regrets these statements said by the Ecuadorian Foreign Trade Minister and requires the President to make this kind of pronouncements before asking his cabinet to be informed and not to be surprised by the pressures of Chevron. If this is not the case, UDAPT reserves the right to adopt all legal, constitutional and international law actions to protect its right to justice, health and life, preventing the State from negotiating with the multinational, behind the Ecuadorian plaintiffs.

 

“It could be that for the President Lenín Moreno it is more important the friendship with Chevron than the Ecuadorians’ rights?”, wonders Willian Lucitante. This would be in complete contradiction with the President’s public statements in favor of judicial independence and respect for human rights. “We hope that the President’s policy is in line with his statements and that his actions do not contradict his words”, he said.

 

The representative of those affected communities reported that the organization is aware of the serious economic problems that the country is going through. However, to subject itself to the North American oil company’s blackmails, would be a bad signal. Especially when the Ecuadorian Government supports in the United Nations, the adoption of a Binding Treaty, which seeks to force corporations to fulfill human rights at the supranational level. He points out that the emblematic “Chevron Case” has been analyzed in depth and has shown the corporate power and the structure of global impunity that allow companies to violate people human rights in the areas in which they operate, without mechanisms that force them to take responsibility and to compensate for the damages caused.

 

The National Government cannot privilege, illegally and unconstitutionally, the economic benefits of a company, which has also been recognized in the world as the most opaque and lying, instead of human rights. “It has been a battle faced by indigenous and countryside people against the political and economic powers, both of the oil company and of those who held power in Ecuador,” said the leader.

 

On the other hand, Pablo Fajardo, lawyer of the affected communities, reminded that for more than three years the Constitutional Court has not resolved the Extraordinary Action of Injunction, initiated on January 14, 2014. This procedure establishes that a case would be resolved within 30 days after its acceptance. This fact is also a rights’ violation and could be part of the negotiation with Chevron. The company’s intent is that the Government interferes in its favor, in exchange to cease the Arbitration process against the State.

 

Fajardo also stated that the lawsuit raised by Chevron in front of the Arbitration Tribunal against the Ecuadorian State, it is based on the company’s requirement to annul the judgment. The oil company is pressing the Tribunal to ensure that it violates legal provisions and the independence of the Judicial Role, which should respect, according to the State Structure and the Constitution.

 

He also said that UDAPT’s members are aware that, for years, Chevron has been offering money to the Government of Ecuador to obtain privileges within the Ecuadorian Courts. “Fortunately, until now, it has not happened”, however he considers that as long as the Protection Action is not resolved, in law, in the Constitutional Court, it could be an element of blackmail and pressure that the oil company has, to offer bribes to the Government of Ecuador. “We can’t believe that the Minister Campana is falling into this trap,” said the lawyer.

 

Finally, Willian Lucitante stated that the affected are on the edge about this new threat against their rights. All fraternal organizations, from Ecuador and all over the world, are awaiting actions of the National Government and demand that this one will be truly engaged in the fulfillment of the national legal framework and human rights.

 

 

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