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Ecuador’s president denounces Chevron as ‘enemy of our country’

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, August 17, 2013 17:45 EDT
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Ecuador's President Rafael Correa delivers his weekly address from the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito on Aug. 15, 2013. [AFP]
 
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Ecuador’s firebrand leftist President Rafael Correa lambasted US oil giant Chevron as an enemy for allegedly besmirching his country as part of a lengthy court battle over Amazon pollution.

Last year an Ecuadoran court ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion dollars for polluting the rain forest.

The case is still alive and Correa says the company has spent $400 million and hired an army of hundreds of lawyers to discredit the government and get the ruling overturned on appeal in the country’s highest court.

In a weekly address on Saturday, Correa referred to Chevron as “that enemy of our country.”

“We are going to tell Latin America what Chevron has done in our country to shirk its responsibility, with that criminal campaign that is waging against Ecuador,” Correa said.

Chevron has never worked directly in Ecuador but inherited the pollution lawsuit when it acquired Texaco in 2001.

Texaco operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990 and after leaving it was sued by indigenous groups in pollution-related legal proceedings that have dragged on for nearly 20 years.

Correa is strong on protecting the environment and six years ago came up with a novel plan: have rich countries pay $3.6 billion into a trust fund for Ecuador in exchange for its not drilling in the Amazon.

But this week Correa finally abandoned the plan because so little money had been contributed.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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