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Ecuador Indigenous Leaders Criticize Secret Trade Arbitrators For Interference With $12b Chevron Pollution Judgment

Author: Amazon Defense Coalition via CSR Wire, Published on: 7 September 2018

Indigenous leaders and rainforest communities in Ecuador’s Amazon...criticized a secret panel of three private trade arbitrators for trying to interfere with the enforcement of their $12 billion pollution judgment against Chevron in Canadian courts under the supposed “authority” of the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty.  “This decision...who claim the right to ‘judge’ Indigenous peoples and impoverished farmers secretly...is outrageous,” said Carmen Cartuche, an Ecuadorian community leader and the President of organization that brought the lawsuit against Chevron on behalf of 30,000 affected peoples.  “Their effort is little more than an attempt by the global corporate establishment to use unfair trade agreements to try to block legitimate social movements...”...

Donziger’s full statement...:

The findings of the private arbitrators who met in secret and did not accept the Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples as a party are deeply flawed...The arbitral decision will not stop the Canadian enforcement proceeding against Chevron, which already has been validated by the Canada Supreme Court and will continue to conclusion.  The latest arbitral decision also represents a radical and dangerous new assertion of corporate power over human rights via the increasing use of secret private trade courts that favor corporations over the average citizen...

Aaron Page, U.S. legal counsel to the Ecuadorian communities, issued the following statement:

In the recently released arbitral decision, a trio of British and American corporate lawyers and elite academics, repeat players in an Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS) explicitly designed to protect the interests of multinational corporations, purport to overrule lengthy and detailed decisions of Ecuador’s Supreme Court and Constitutional Court on issues of Ecuadorian law...It embraces the most tortured arguments in favor of corporate immunity, while ignoring the humanitarian crisis linked to Chevron’s contamination that has devastated Ecuadorian indigenous and rural peoples for over 50 years...

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