The sentence against the U.S. oil company Chevron was ratified yesterday by the National Court of Justice (CNJ for its acronym in spanish) of Ecuador, however it was halved the indemnization of over 19 millions for the environmental damage caused by Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where they extracted crude oil between 1964 and 1992.
The decision of the Chamber of Civil and Commercial law of the CNJ was corroborated by Pablo Fajardo, lawyer for the plaintiffs, who applauded the attitude of the Court to ratify the sentence against the oil company, though showed his displeasure by the reduction of the compensation.
Fajardo said that the oil company was sentenced in 2011 in the Court of the Amazon province of Sucumbios to pay some 9.500 million dollars, and this amount would be doubled if the oil company not asked, publicly, forgiveness for the damage.
However, Chevron, did not made the public apology demanded by the Court of Sucumbios, so that the amount exceeded to $ 19 billion, but yesterday the CNJ eliminated the clause about the request for forgiveness (punitive damages), with what the figure was reduced to half.
“As punitive damages, are not regulated in the national legal order, public apologies are not mandatory and consequently the payment of this concept is not viable,” said the CNJ through a document.
Following this decision, the compensation to be paid by the oil company is 8.646 million dollars, plus 10 per cent more which the law requires for concept of service in favor of the Amazon defense front, which brings together the Amazonian Indians who sued Chevron.
So far Chevron, has not acted on the decision of the CNJ, but has rejected the ruling in the courts of Ecuador and has sued New York plaintiff attorneys for alleged corruption and for having orchestrated an alleged fraud against them.