Amsterdam/Geneva/Quito May 21st 2019
More than 250 organisations, networks, trade unions, and social movements worldwide, representing more than 250 millions of persons, are mobilised to denounce the Chevron’s impunity in Ecuador and ask the president of Ecuador to support the Chevron case in favour of the indigenous and peasant communities.
After 15 years of litigation in Ecuador for the remediation of the major environmental disaster in the Amazon, a coalition representing over 30.000 inhabitants, won the case against the oil-giant Chevron once and for all. The company always refused to pay and was finally successful using the mecanism of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) against the state. More than 250 organisations, social movements and trade unions worldwide representing more than 250 million people denounce the impunity of the corporation and ask the Ecuadorian government not to intervene in the trial between the affected communities, grouped in the UDAPT (Union of affected by Texaco Chevron, and the transnational and to protect their rights.
The case of the UDAPT, Union of those affected by Texaco, against Chevron (formely Texaco) is the largest environmental justice case in the world. Starting in 1993, on behalf of 30.000 indigenous and peasants in Ecuador, Chevron was sentenced 2011 to pay USD 9.5 billions to be used for the repair of the environmental, cultural and social damages caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1992. However, in 2018, Chevron won a case filed before the Permanent Court of arbitration of the Hague using ISDS against Ecuador. The company claimed that the state violated the bilateral investment agreements with the United States. The arbitrators ordered the Ecuadorian state to pay Chevron a financial compensation and to annul the sentence in favour of the affected communities which means that the state should violate its own constitution This would represent a dangerous international precedent as it sets an arbitral court above national courts. In an initiative promoted by the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples’ the Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Corporate Impunity, in alliance with members of the European Campaign “Rights for Peoples, rules for corporations-Stop-ISDS”, and other international networks and in close coordination with the Union of Those Affected by Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador (UDAPT), more than 250 organizations, social movements, trade unions ask in a letter addressed to the Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno not to intervene in the trial between the affected communities grouped in the UDAPT (Union of affected by Texaco Chevron) and the transnational coporation in order to protect their rights.
On the 21st of May, Global Anti-Chevron Day, in support of the important mobilisation in Ecuador by the affected communities, local groups in Europe, Latin America and United States will hand the letter to the Ecuadorian government representatives. The letter denounces Chevron’s impunity in Ecuador and other countries (Argentina, Brasil, Kazahkstan, United States and Indonesia) and also points out the major impacts caused by companies such as Chevron concerning global climate change. People in Ecuador and organisations all over the world will stand up against ISDS cases such as the Chevron case against Ecuador, and support the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument for transnational corporations with respect to human rights at the United Nations.
Pablo Fajardo (UDAPTs lead lawyer) declared: “After 15 years of litigation in Ecuador, the entire Ecuadorian justice system, based on the rule of law, fully ratified the verdict against the oil company. But Chevron using the ISDS system aims to impede the affected people to achieve justice. For us, the ISDS system has become the main obstacle to access to justice for people who are victims of corporate crimes.”
The ISDS system allows foreign investors to sue countries, if their policy stands in the way of their expected profits. Many of these cases are filed by fossil fuel companies against states trying to implement policies to protect their citizens and environment. For the affected communities in these countries, there it has proven to be almost impossible to hold these corporations accountable for human rights violations. In Europe, an ongoing civil society mobilisation against ISDS has collected half million of endorsements.
For interviews and more information please contact:
In Europe: Letty Fajardo Vera Tel.: 0031 64 094 0545 firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ecuador: Mirian Ojeda Rojas.: 00593 6-283 0405 -593 99 083 4021
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