Before you read the rest of the news, look at this video:Now, here’s the latest:
Ecuador Judge Alberto Guerra has stepped forward to admit that he was paid off by lawyers suing Chevron and led by New York Lawyer Steven Donziger.
Judge Alberto Guerra now becomes the third judge – yes, THIRD JUDGE – tied to this case who has either admitted or been accused of taking bribes from the legal team managed by Mr. Donziger. The total list of bent Ecuador judges involved in the Chevron Ecuador case: Judge Juan Nunez, Judge Nicholas Zambrano, and now Judge Alberto Guerra.
This is what the press release issued by Chevron reads:
In a sworn declaration filed today in New York federal court, Alberto Guerra, who presided over the case when it was first filed in 2003, reveals that he was paid thousands of dollars by the plaintiffs’ lawyers and a subsequent judge, Nicholas Zambrano, for illegally ghostwriting judicial orders issued by
Zambrano and steering the case in the plaintiffs’ favor. Guerra, who is no longer a judge, attests that the plaintiffs’ lawyers were permitted to draft the $18 billion judgment in their own favor after they promised to pay Zambrano a $500,000 bribe out of the judgment’s enforcement proceeds, and that Guerra then reviewed the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ draft for Zambrano before the judge issued it as his own.
“Another participant in the fraud has now come forward rather than wait to be exposed by others,” said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. “Chevron urges additional whistleblowers in Ecuador, the United States, and elsewhere to come forward. It is never too late to tell the truth.”
Guerra’s declaration, which is corroborated by computer, bank, and shipping records, as well as the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ own internal e-mails, provides a direct account of corruption that has tainted the trial for years. Guerra describes multiple meetings with the plaintiffs’ lawyers and representatives
Juan Nunez Was The First Corrupt Ecuador Judge
Followers of this Chevron Ecuador case will recall that the first Ecuador judge to be accused of at least looking like he had taken a bribe was Juan Nunez. In this video from 2009, this blogger points to the fact that Nunez was on camera explaining that Chevron would lose the lawsuit in Ecuador that he was presiding over. Nunez also explained that $3 million would be needed to at least make that outcome a possibility.
In addition, reports are that Judge Nunez tried to steer part of that bribe money to Ecuador President Correa’s sister Pierina Correa, saying to Diego Borja (who was working to expose how corrupt the Ecuador system is by posing as a supporter of the lawsuit against Chevron) “Tell Pierina clearly, ‘Madam Pierina, what we came to do beyond anything else is to participate, participate in the remediation. That’s why I want to make you part of this.’”
(There are people who attack Diego Borja for playing a false role, but had he not done so, none of the evidence of bribery would have been revealed. That he works for Chevron is immaterial; that he uncovered evidence of Judge Nunez taking bribes is.)
Now the video presented to start this blog post should make sense. But just in case it does not, here’s the video again:
Stay tuned. There’s more to this story in this long-running case. It’s important to also remember that, contrary to what you may read, Chevron was never in Ecuador and in 2001 bought Texaco, which was one-third of an oil-producing company called “TexPet” – the other two-thirds was represented by Ecuador’s state-run oil company now called Petroecuador.
Petroecuador went into taking over the TexPet oil production facilities in 1992, but was so undercapitalized it could not successfully prevent the thousands of oil spills that have happened since 1992.
If this case were honest, Petroecuador would be sued by Ecuador, not Chevron.