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New York, U.S.A. — Karen Hinton, the spokesperson for the Ecuadorian indigenous and farmer communities who won a historic environmental judgment against Chevron in 2011, released the following statement in response to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s ruling, denying Chevron’s summary judgment motion in the oil giant’s RICO case:
“Judge Kaplan’s decision is yet another setback in a string of recent defeats for Chevron in its improper campaign to evade its legal obligation to clean up the massive environmental contamination in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. The rainforest communities in Ecuador who have fought to hold Chevron accountable will continue to take all necessary and proper legal measures to seize Chevron assets to ensure that their legal rights are vindicated and that Chevron complies with its legal obligations.
“We also note that Kaplan’s refusal to grant Chevron’s request that the Ecuador judgment be rendered unenforceable on summary judgment is yet another rebuke to the oil giant’s fabricated fraud charges — this time by a judge favored by Chevron who has shown a consistent bias against the indigenous and farmer communities who for decades have fought to hold Chevron accountable for criminal misconduct that has decimated their cultures and caused widespread health and economic problems to thousands of people.
“In rejecting the heart of Chevron’s request for summary judgment, Kaplan rendered a ruling consistent with recent decisions of appellate courts in the United States and Ecuador that determined that no U.S. court has the legal authority to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment. We remind observers that the proceedings before Judge Kaplan are and will be irrelevant to the enforcement proceedings now underway in Canada, Brazil, and other countries where such actions might be filed.”
Image Courtesy of Rainforest Action Network