World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Argentine Judge Slaps Embargo On $19bn in Chevron Assets


Argentine Judge Slaps Embargo On $19 Billion in Chevron Assets


BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 07 /CSRwire/ - In a major blow to Chevron’s effort to avoid paying a historic $19 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, an Argentine judge today signed the first of what is expected to be many orders freezing billions of dollars of assets owned by the U.S. oil company.

The order, signed by Civil Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda of the Commercial Court of Justice in Buenos Aries, freezes almost all Chevron assets in Argentina pending enforcement of the Ecuador judgment. The embargo applies to 100% of Chevron's capital in Argentina, 100% of dividends, all of Chevron's stake in pipeline operator Oleoductos del Valle SA, 40% of Chevron's oil sales to Argentine refineries, and 40% of the money Chevron has deposited in Argentine banks, said Enrique Bruchou, the lawyer who represents the indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador who brought the lawsuit.

In 2011, Chevron was found liable in Ecuador for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancer and other oil-related health problems. A video on the case can be seen here; a written summary of the evidence can be read here; and a segment from the U.S. news show 60 Minutes on the case can be viewed here.

Since Chevron has refused to pay the Ecuador judgment despite submitting to jurisdiction there, lawyers for the affected rainforest communities filed an action last week to seize the oil giant's assets in Argentina. The affected communities filed asset seizure actions against Chevron in the last few weeks in Canada, Brazil, and Ecuador.

Chevron has at least $2 billion worth of assets in Argentina, said Bruchou. The freeze order applies to the entire $19 billon amount of the Ecuador judgment, meaning that Chevron will effectively be barred from investing further in Argentina unless it wants to risk seizure of those assets as well.

“We are now on the fast track to collection in our two-decade struggle to force Chevron to clean up its awful environmental disaster,” said Luis Yanza, the Ecuadorian community organizer and driving force behind the lawsuit since it was filed in 1993.

“We are committed to holding Chevron fully accountable for the crimes it has committed against our indigenous peoples,” he added.

The move by the Argentine judge is the first time the plaintiffs have been successful in freezing assets outside their home territory of Ecuador. The assets will remain frozen until the court rules whether it will enforce the Ecuador judgment, which is expected to be relatively smooth given that the nation has signed a reciprocal enforcement treaty in the region that includes Ecuador.

The legal action in Argentina derives its authority in part from an international treaty in Latin America called the Inter-American Convention on the Execution of Preventive Measures. The treaty, which dates from the late 1970s, allows for the automatic freezing of assets of a defendant that fails to abide by the law and refuses to pay a final foreign judgment.

To continue reading, please click here.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news