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22 Sep 2011

Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service

Chevron Lobbying Efforts Revealed by Leaked Cables [Ecuador]

Chevron tried to shake off multibillion-dollar environmental claims in Ecuador by lobbying government officials...according to diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks...[I]n a cable to the U.S. secretary of state, former U.S. Ambassador Linda Jewell wrote: "Chevron had begun to quietly explore with senior GOE [Govt. 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..."...Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the Ecuadoreans suing Chevron, said the oil giant has "consistently tried to end run" the court case through government negotiations, in defiance of the official separation of powers in Ecuador... Chevron spokesman Justin Higgs confirmed that the oil giant spoke to Ecuador but did not address whether the oil giant asked the government to pressure its judiciary to dismiss the case..."Chevron has indeed had discussions with U.S. Embassy officials and the...[U.S. government] more broadly to secure its support in ensuring that Chevron's contractual and treaty-based rights in Ecuador are protected,"...