Decision taken by the Supreme Court of Justice from Argentina supports impunity for Chevron

Tuesday 11 June 2013

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Signatories: Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).

Editorial and Canal: Latin American Information Agency (Agencia Latinoamericana de Información) (ALAI).

Type of document: Documents and Communiqués.

Language: Spanish.

Theme: Sentence to Chevron.

Keywords: Self-determination, Human rights, Rights of nature, Rights of the people, Impunity, Justice, Indigenous peoples.

Countries and Regions: Argentina and Ecuador.

To the Argentinean people:

Confronted to the decision taken by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentinean Nation of supporting impunity to the oil company Chevron.

The Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, grouped in the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), with the support of Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, express their deep bewilderment on the decision taken by the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina to lift the embargo, legally implemented by Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda from the Civil Ancient Regional Law of Buenos Aires and later on ratified by the Appeals Chamber.

The action taken by the Court, grants impunity to one of the most questioned oil companies as a result of its human rights, collective and environmental rights in the world, but who presents its most perverse face in Ecuador, where for a period of 30 years under operation, it on purpose devastated over 480 thousand hectares of jungle in the Amazon, caused the death, destruction and displacement of thousand indigenous people and settlers living in that region, plus the annihilation of the flora and fauna. These effects continue being felt in that area and are quite evident at plain sight.

It really strike our attention that a Judge, well known all over Argentina and in other countries as wll, as a defendant of the environment and that even chairs a group of judges to protect the environment, as an expert of the United Nation, is the drafter of a resolution which based in technical aspects decide both at the Ecuadorian Court as well as on the sentences issued by the Argentinean Appeals Chamber paves the way for the Chevron Corporation to not fulfill with its responsibility and damage the Amazon territory, requiring extreme care from the whole world, thus remaining without any solution.

We are asking ourselves, paraphrasing the twitter in the account of the President of the Court, on the occasion of the World Day on the Environment: couldn’t it be possible that a decision was taken today without thinking in tomorrow? Did the pressure exerted by Chevron on the government of Neuquén, the Attorney General’s office in the Nation and the Argentinean State mede them yield to the blackmail of the oil company?

The verdict, is a strong slap on the face of 30 thousand fighters, indigenous people from the Kichwa, A´I Cofan, Siekopay, Secoya, Waorani nationalities and settlers, that on a trial lasting twenty years, accumulated 230 thousand pages of information, which include over 40 testimonies of affected people; 106 expert reports, 60 of which were payed by Chevron; plus more than 80 thousand chemical results of samples taken from the soil, water and sediments; as well as inspection and verification reports by the judge in charge of the cause, of 54 sites under operation by the oil company that openly verified what was declared by officials from the company, that around sixteen thousand million gallons of toxic water to the tideland and rivers of the area and 650 thousand crude oil barrels were dumped on purpose and 880 pitches were created without any recovery used as deposits of crude oil and its waste material. It is also a slap in the face for upright and honest judges who were able to remain firms and impartial when administering justice, in spite of the strong pressures to which they were subjected.

What has been said before is so contradictory as it is the fact that the American transnational has been able to gain such strong allies, even in actors that have come out in the open as defendants of rights, to be changed into supporters of a multinational, which hiding behind its subsidiaries, intents to evade the law of the world.

No we are asking ourselves, what will happen when in Argentina, an organized group of those considered to be at a vulnerability situation, to attain justice and dignity, will be compelled to present a demand against a transnational? Which are the guarantees our peoples have to see their rights acknowledged and that of the territories where we live in?

The Argentinean Supreme Court has set a legal precedent against the Argentinean people, but also against the Latin American people, that have been resisting in a permanent way and has been acting for justice and dignity, to preserve its identity, its honor, its resources and its life.

Being organizations that defend the rights of the people and representatives of nationalities in Ecuador, we feel deeply disappointed for this judge’s decision which might have contributed in allowing our nations to show their sovereignty and dignity facing the multinational companies, that all along the years have generated legislations and mechanisms such as that of the subsidiaries to go against all us.

Thus we are reaching to a conclusion that our countries are still under domination and that the rights of our population are second to the interest of large economic powers from developed countries.

Nevertheless for us the peoples that have lived under resistance and struggle this is just a stumble, which will not decrease our desire of supporting initiatives such as the Union of Affected. The trial ended with the victory for the Amazon inhabitants and the collection actions continue with new allies added every day.

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