More Chevron Ecuador news: the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and his staff have released the report called “Sixth Report to the Congress on the Operation of the Andean Trade Preference Act as Amended June 30, 2012.” Is a document that has been the source of a pack of lies told by the Amazon Defense Coalition, and its spokesperson Karen Hilton. I can’t pick any other way to say it, sadly, because I don’t like calling someone a liar, but the alternative is to say that Karen Hilton didn’t read the report – so I’ll opt for that approach. In either case, what Karen Hilton’s reported is wrong.
First, the “Sixth Report to the Congress on the Operation of the Andean Trade Preference Act” can only be called an open attack on Ecuador’s violations of the U.S. – Ecuador Bi-Lateral Investment Treaty. Indeed, Ecuador has been bad many times. Just check this damming paragraph in the report on page 27:
Arbitral Awards: The United States-Ecuador BIT provides for international arbitration of disputes at the investor’s initiative. However, developments in the past few years give rise to concerns about the government’s long-term commitment to international arbitration for the settlement of investor disputes. In September 2009, the government requested the Ecuadorian National Assembly to approve the termination of 13 BITs, including the BIT with the United States, stating that the BIT’s provisions on international arbitration and national treatment conflict with the country’s 2008 Constitution. The National Assembly has voted in favor of terminating five of the BITs but against terminating four others. It has not voted on the U.S. BIT. As of the date of this report, only Ecuador’s BIT with Finland has been terminated. The United States-Ecuador BIT remains in force. Separately, Ecuador withdrew from the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on January 7, 2010, although the government continues to participate in pending international arbitration cases.
In August 2011, a U.S. company obtained an arbitral award against Ecuador for violating the United States-Ecuador BIT by failing to provide effective means of resolving commercial disputes in Ecuadorian courts. The case relates to claims filed in Ecuador by the company in the early 1990s, the resolution of which the arbitral tribunal held to have been unduly delayed. The government’s petition to have the award set aside was denied in May 2012, although that decision may be appealed. In September 2009, the company filed another arbitration claim against Ecuador under the BIT, claiming, among other things, government mistreatment in connection with a then-pending lawsuit in the Ecuadorian courts, a lawsuit decided against the company in February 2011. The Ecuadorian government sought a stay of the arbitration in U.S. federal court, but that request was denied. In February 2012, the arbitral panel issued an interim award directing the Ecuadorian government to suspend enforcement and recognition of the judgment against the company in the lawsuit. The Administration is monitoring developments in connection with these matters under the relevant ATPA eligibility criteria.
And to make matters worse for Ecuador, the report reads this way on page 41: “Currently, the ATPA/ATPDEA is scheduled to expire on July 31, 2013.”
But even with that, and a number of complaints against Ecuador and its corrupt practices, Ms. Hinton makes this outrageous claim: “Chevron’s attempt to enlist the U.S. government to quash a private litigation in the courts of a democratic ally is unconscionable and we applaud the Obama Administration for rejecting it.”
I could not believe what I was reading. Moreover, it’s followed by another set of lies:
In fact, the judgment against Chevron was based on an eight-year trial that produced “overwhelming” scientific evidence that the oil giant dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into Amazon waterways and abandoned more than 900 toxic waste pits that have pipes to funnel oil sludge into streams and rivers used by indigenous groups for their drinking water.
Anyone who pays half attention to this case knows it was a fraud from the start. But if you need reminders, here’s two:
Karen Hinton’s continuing the false narrative, hoping the guillible and stupid will pay attention to her comments. I’m sorry to be hurtful, but I do wish Karen would tell the truth: the case brought by the Amazon Defense Coalition is a ploy to gain millions for a few, perhaps including herself.