[News] Victory for Ecuador's Indigenous People, Canada Court Rejects Toxic-Spilling Chevron's Case
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 1 11:53:56 EDT 2017
Victory for Ecuador's Indigenous People, Canada Court Rejects
Toxic-Spilling Chevron's Case
31 October 2017
Ecuador's Indigenous groups will no longer have to cough up US$1 million
on legal fees that Chevron, the oil giant, had earlier claimed from the
groups, Ontario's top court has ruled.
Indigenous Groups From Canada Join Ecuador's Fight Against Chevron
The court dismissed Chevron's claim to legal fees, saying it was a
recourse to block the case.
"An order for security for costs should only be made where the justness
of the case demands it," the Appeal Court said. "Courts must be vigilant
to ensure an order that is designed to be protective in nature is not
used as a litigation tactic to prevent a case from being heard on its
"Chevron Corp and Chevron Canada have annual gross revenues in the
billions of dollars. It is difficult to believe that either of these
two corporations, which form part of a global conglomerate with
approximately 1,500 subsidiaries, require protection for costs awards
that amount or could amount to a minuscule fraction of their revenues,"
the court added in a statement.
The decision marks an important victory for the Indigenous people in the
region, as they can now continue with their 5-year fight where they are
seeking US$9.5 billion for decades-long damage caused to the ancestral
lands and trauma caused to the inhabitants.
"We are thrilled Canadian courts denied this naked attempt by Chevron to
block justice to the affected peoples of Ecuador," Luis Yanza, a Goldman
Prize winner representing the Defense Front of the Amazon, an
Ecuador-based nonprofit that spearheaded the case said.
Ecuador's Indigenous groups first filed the case against the oil
conglomerate in 1993, Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for
the plaintiffs, said. "This decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal is
critically important," Salazar said. "Twenty-four years obviously is too
long for any litigation, but especially one involving severe harm to
indigenous groups as a result of environmental pollution."
“This decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal is critically important,”
Salazar added. “Twenty-four years obviously is too long for any
litigation, but especially one involving severe harm to indigenous
groups as a result of environmental pollution."
Chevron is known for causing an "Amazon Chernobyl" with the oil behemoth
dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest and water
bodies that severely impacted the Indigenous people in the region, even
causing a cancer epidemic, where many communities saw their families
"There can be no doubt that the environmental devastation to the
appellants’ lands has severely hampered their ability to earn a
livelihood. If we accept the findings that underlie the Ecuadorian
judgment – findings that have not been undermined in our courts – Texaco
has contributed to the appellants’ misfortune," the court said in a
Chevron lost the case against the Indigenous communities in Ecuador in
2013, but rejected the court's ruling, further selling off its assets in
the Latin American country. But the Indigenous communities continued to
fight for their rights and the damages caused, taking their fight to the
Canadian court. The Canadian top court, too, ruled against Chevron once
in 2015 but the oil giant made several claims rejecting the ruling,
saying the court had no jurisdiction.
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