A ‘defense’ more political than technical brings new problems to the country. The government of Lenin Moreno warns of a millionaire judicial setback in the arbitration filed by the Chevron-Texaco oil companies against the State and is already thinking of repeated trials against former officials of the previous administration.
The Executive considers that an adequate defense of the State was not exercised before the international instances since the oil multinational filed the claim before the Arbitration Court of The Hague, in September 2009.
The Secretary General of the Presidency, Eduardo Jurado, said yesterday that instead of adjusting the defense of the case to the international legal level, this was used by the previous authorities to gain political and media prominence.
“The previous regime signed contracts for more than $ 10 million in communication campaigns on a national and international scale and pretended to make the country believe that international celebrities supported the cause when, in reality, they received a high payment with public funds,” Jurado said.
He did not specify on which officers the repetition trials could fall, if an unfavorable ruling was made for Ecuador, but he referred to two specific contracts that, according to him, were in charge of the Foreign Ministry at the time of Ricardo Patiño, to reinforce the campaign that it was called ‘The dirty hand of Chevron’.
“A contract for $ 2.5 million was signed with the company Satre for the arrival of personalities and cover their stays. In addition, he was hired for $ 6.4 million with the MCSquare company to pay celebrities such as Mia Farrow ($ 188,000) and Danny Glover ($ 330,000), “he said.
The objective would be, with an eventual repetition process, to recover those values.
It is expected that today the Arbitration Court will issue a partial verdict regarding this claim. It will be known, therefore, if the judgment is favorable or not to Ecuador and if it includes the amount of an economic remediation.
Jurado, however, said that a possible ruling against the country could affect the economy and reputation.
“Having taken justice into their hands, it leads to all Ecuadorians having to pay out of our pockets money that we should never have lost,” he said.
The Chevron case has its origin in 1993, when a group of Ecuadorian Amazonians sued the company for alleged environmental damage not repaired. This legal process was resolved in the national courts, which determined that the oil company had to pay $ 9,500 million to those affected, a ruling that was appealed and has not been executed. For nine years, the State has entered into litigation because the US Company accuses it of violating the Bilateral Investment Treaty, failing to guarantee fair and equitable treatment and having colluded with the plaintiffs to commit an alleged procedural fraud.
From Belgium, the ex-president Rafael Correa accused the government of Lenin Moreno of having agreed with the oil company. “Denouncing to the world ‘Chevron’s dirty hand’ has been ‘manipulating public opinion,'” the ex-president wrote, which he took advantage of to promote the September 13 running of the Correísta.
The Government reported yesterday that, at present, Ecuador faces more than 35 international arbitration processes, for which hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid to cancel the lawyers’ fees. EXPRESO could know that eight are investment arbitrations and seven are commercial ones. (I)