Thursday, November 8th 2012 - 06:58 UTC

Argentine Judge orders Chevron assets seizure related to court case in Ecuador

An Argentine judge has embargoed up to 19 billion dollars in Chevron assets in connection with an environmental lawsuit by Ecuadorean villagers, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said on Wednesday.

Lawyer Enrique Bruchou represents Ecuadorean Amazon tribes and villagers

An Ecuadorean court last year ordered Chevron Corp to pay the enormous sum for contamination of watersheds over nearly 30 years that the plaintiffs say sickened indigenous tribes people and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon.

Chevron has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud. Because the company has few assets in the Andean nation, the plaintiffs are seeking enforcement of the ruling in other countries including Brazil and Canada.

“The freeze order applies to the entire 19 billon dollars 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,” the plaintiffs said in a statement.

The ruling could pave the way for the plaintiffs to collect on the award. But it could also be just another round of judicial ping-pong in a complex legal battle that has included frequent appeals and vicious accusations.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Enrique Bruchou, said the ruling by Argentine judge Adrian Elcuj includes an embargo on 40% of Chevron's Argentine oil revenue, the company's shares in its Argentine subsidiary and a stake in an oil pipeline.

“We consider this to be an exemplary ruling,” he said. “We are letting the world know that foreign investment is welcome in Latin America, but that investors must adhere to the same environmental standards that apply in their own countries.”

Chevron, Argentina's fourth-largest oil producer said it was not aware of any Argentine court order and reiterated its position that the Ecuador ruling is unenforceable.

“The Ecuador judgment is a product of bribery, fraud, and it is illegitimate ... We do not believe that the Ecuador judgment is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law,” the company said in a statement.

Bruchou said the company can appeal, but would have to file for an appeal in Ecuador because the judge issued the embargo after a request by an Ecuadorean court.

The plaintiffs plan to file similar suits in Colombia as well as in as yet unidentified countries in Asia and Europe.

A U.S. appeals court in January said that a U.S. judge did not have the authority to stop courts in other countries from enforcing the judgment. Chevron appealed the decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal in October.
 

29 comments Feed

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1 surfer (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 07:40 am Report abuse
Hopefully compensation is forthcoming and then spent appropriately on any further cleanup.
2 Huntsman Extraordinaire (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 08:27 am Report abuse
Smells like another opportunity for nationalisation and the lining of KFCs pockets, as well as furthering her goal of becoming the most isolated country in the world (short of North Korea anyway).
3 JuanGabriel (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 08:31 am Report abuse
lol as if Ecuador will see any of this money, i'm sure there are new hotels to be built in Patagonia
4 Welsh Wizard (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 09:39 am Report abuse
Saw on bloomberg last night the Chevron doesn't have any assets in Argentina...
5 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 09:53 am Report abuse
If I remember rightly,
Chevron wasn't even in Ecuador during the period in question.
They inherited a historic problem of contamination when they took over a company that had won oil in upper Amazonia.

The Ecuador national oil company was equally culpable of contamination and poor clean-up,
.... but I doubt whether litigation and compensations would be requested of them
.... otherwise the legal advocate for the local population would be suing the Government for an equal amount
- wouldn't he?
6 agent999 (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 11:26 am Report abuse
This really is makes sense, Chevron is the only US oil company that has shown any interest in investing in Argentina's oil.
In 1998 an agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador after a $40 million clean-up absolves it of liability and that Ecuador's state-run oil company is responsible for much of the pollution in the oil patch Texaco quit more than two decades ago before Chevron was involved.

“Bruchou said the company can appeal, but would have to file for an appeal in Ecuador because the judge issued the embargo after a request by an Ecuadoran court.”

Its fine for Argentina to hold up an Ecuadoran court order against a US company but then accuses a Ghana court of not knowing the law.
7 Tompaine (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 11:45 am Report abuse
Poor Chevron!
8 wesley mouch (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 12:06 pm Report abuse
The Peronists will steal a good part of the seized assets. Anyone with a dollar in Argentina is at risk.
9 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 12:43 pm Report abuse
If I recall, Texaco was the company that polluted the environment. Chevron bought Texaco. If they had not righted the environment, I hardly feel sorry for them.
10 Simon68 (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 01:00 pm Report abuse
This is CFK's payback to Chevron for not investing in YPF!!!!!
11 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 02:46 pm Report abuse
Texaco fucked up the country there. Chevron took a risk when they bought Texaco with the enviromental damge they left behind. However I am sure that asslips sees it as a chance to seize assets and dollars and it will never go to Ecuador
12 Britworker (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 02:52 pm Report abuse
So it's ok for the judiciary in Argentina to seize assets on behalf of another but not the Ghanaian judiciary. Yet another example of their two faced behaviour!
13 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 04:15 pm Report abuse
Asslips will do as she pleases right up until the end. I think the Botox Junkie feels that is MNL can seize her militray (that sounds funny, seizing her military and no shots fired) that she can seize Chevrom. I bet asslips asked Ecuador to file suit in argentina. But not matter, Texaco fucked up Ecuador.
I have yet to hear a troll explain to me why so called “vulture funds” are wrong and why they do not have to be paid.......for the shear reason they refused a haircut?
14 ProRG_American (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 05:21 pm Report abuse
12 Britworker (#) The Ghanan “seizure” beause it is a Naval or war asset. It cannot be seized. Argentina never surrendered it's sovereign rights as being reported. It is a lie. That is why 28 other attempted seizures failed to materialize. They were illegal attempts to seize state property. The Libertad matter is an act of agression and illegal.
15 agent999 (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 05:48 pm Report abuse
@14

keep on dreaming
16 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
“In 1998 an agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador after a $40 million clean-up absolves it of liability and that Ecuador's state-run oil company is responsible for much of the pollution in the oil patch Texaco quit more than two decades ago before Chevron was involved”

Does this 'clean break' agreement, signed by the government of Ecuador, write a line under the dispute or not?
In law .. in international law, it should.
In South American politics, international law can be un-written on a whim .... or so it seems.
17 Ayayay (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 07:34 pm Report abuse
sucks to be Chevron. go solar &ev!
18 briton (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 08:14 pm Report abuse
14 ProRG_American
[theory]
The Ghana “seizure” because it is a Naval or war asset. It cannot be seized. Argentina never surrendered it's sovereign rights

[Facts]
It has done.lol.
………………………….
Now see what the argie debts have done,

Everybody’s jumping on the band wagon now.
How long before CFK impounds all assets from countries that owe her money.lol.
.
19 Brit Bob (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 08:59 pm Report abuse
Will someone tell the yanks that as members of the UN C24Committee Argieland is trying to decolonise American Samoa, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.

And that Argieland has just unveiled a statue of Ho Chi Minh in downtown Buenos Ayres.

Time for the IMF Red Card!
20 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 09:17 pm Report abuse
#14 It is written in the loan documents, the waiving of sovereign rights over all assets.

#19 We have the same problem as you Brits do, they want to be assoicated with us. Besides,,,,,they UN is meant for small undeveloped nations........not the top.....5.....lol
21 briton (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 10:21 pm Report abuse
C24 should be scrapped
C24, =all countries that have teritory should demand it is scrapped,

but they do not, [why]
dispite all the trouble it causes us , and others, [why]

scrap the damm thing and be done with it..
22 ProRG_American (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 10:36 pm Report abuse
Yaaaawwwn!
23 Dam edge conTroll (#) Nov 08th, 2012 - 11:11 pm Report abuse
Fiat Justicia ruat caelum
24 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 09th, 2012 - 12:51 am Report abuse
I think titi boi is back
25 briton (#) Nov 09th, 2012 - 01:25 am Report abuse
22 ProRG_American (#)
Yaaaawwwn

to argentina,,,yes.
26 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 09th, 2012 - 01:55 am Report abuse
Great news =)
27 St.John (#) Nov 09th, 2012 - 09:44 am Report abuse
@ 14 ProRG_American

“The Ghanan “seizure” beause it is a Naval or war asset. It cannot be seized. Argentina never surrendered it's sovereign rights as being reported.”

Are you blind or stupid?

A couple of week ago I supplied a link to the precise text of the Argentine waiver. Any Argentine government asset, naval and war assets includded, is under that waiver.
28 toooldtodieyoung (#) Nov 09th, 2012 - 10:14 pm Report abuse
“An Argentine judge has embargoed up to 19 billion dollars in Chevron assets in connection with an environmental lawsuit by Ecuadorean villagers”

Nice............. So KFC / TMBOA / Ol' Turkey Neck / The Harpy is planning to pay back these Vulture Funds with Chevron assets........
29 Captain Poppy (#) Nov 10th, 2012 - 02:29 am Report abuse
One has nothing to do with the other. TMBOA may just be buying the wood for her casket.

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