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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news