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Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

On Tuesday, Nobel Laureate and renowned indigenous rights advocate Rigoberta Menchú joined more than one thousand civil society demonstrators from across the hemisphere—including Ecuador, the U.S., and Canada—who gathered in front of the World Bank in Washington DC to show their support for the Ecuadorian Government and Ecuadorian people against Chevron’s attacks. Inside, a panel of international arbitrators for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) court began hearing arguments in Chevron’s unprecedented attempt to hold the Ecuadorian State responsible for the $9 billion that Ecuadorian courts ruled the oil giant must pay to alleviate the damages caused to the environment and villagers affected by its contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest after 20 years of operations in the Andean country.

“We cannot allow Chevron’s impunity, which has devastating consequences, including for the sovereignty of Ecuador,” said Dr. Menchu. “We are going to seek justice wherever we can find it … Chevron now wants to become the victim. That is the biggest cynicism we have ever heard in our efforts to defend our mother earth. Chevron was responsible for massive contamination in Ecuador and committing ecocide.”

Ecuadorian Charge d’Affaires A.I., Ambassador Efrain Baus, speaking about the grassroots show of support for Ecuador, said: “It is powerful to see the passion of citizens who have traveled from near and far to let their voice be heard. The unfounded attacks against our country by a company that caused so much damage to the people and environment of Ecuador is audacious, and it is even worse that they now want to have the people of Ecuador pay for their actions. For years they wanted the case to be brought to Ecuador, but only when that court ruled against them did they change their tune.”

Following the demonstration in front of ICSID, Dr. Menchú joined Mexican researcher and Economist Ana Esther Ceceña and Ambassador Baus at the International Trade Center, near the White House, for a forum on “Ecuador: Transnational Corporations and Human Rights”. At the forum, they discussed the threats that irresponsible transnational corporations pose to the human rights of indigenous peoples in places like Ecuador and Canada.

Ana Esther Ceceña, who specializes in the study of power relations and economic dominance, said that the Chevron case at the International Court of Arbitration is setting a precedent “Of suing a country for the damage they caused with the intention to make that country pay for the damage. This situation is senseless and evil but it secures the power companies have on countries and peoples around the world. If we allow Chevron to win this case, how many more big transnational companies do you think would follow Chevron’s example? All of them.”

Representatives from various Canadian indigenous nations, who have also suffered damages by transnational companies that operated in their territories, participated at the gathering in front of the ICSID, where the arbitration hearings are taking place, and in the forum to show their support in the position of Ecuador and the affected communities—mainly from indigenous Ecuadorian nations.

In a press conference after the forum, Rigoberta Menchú told the press “It is very important to factor in the human dimension, because there has been an impact on the quality of people’s lives. There is evidence of infection, poor health, and mortality that have been documented. In the coming months we will have to go visit the affected areas and show the impact on human rights,” she added. “Do not let Chevron’s ecocide become standard practice. We need to continue seeking justice and demand no impunity for Chevron.”

These events overlapped with the 2015 Earth Day celebrations taking place in Washington, D.C., where a tent was arranged at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Festival and concert by the Washington Monument to spread the message of the “We Deserve Justice” campaign. The tent coalesced support for the campaign through the signing of a petition to seek justice for the Ecuadorian State against Chevron’s attacks. The “We Deserve Justice” campaign also participated on the main stage of the event with a video that portrays Chevron’s tactics to avoid responsibility for the environmental damage caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle to the more than 250,000 people who attended the event.


Monday, April 20th, 2015

La Premio Nobel de Paz y la más prominente líder indígena de Latinoamérica, Rigoberta Menchú, se dirigirá a cientos de ecuatorianos que se manifestaran mañana en el parque Edward Murrow en Washington, a las 10:00 frente al Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias Relativas a Inversiones, CIADI, ubicado en el edificio del Banco Mundial, para expresar su apoyo al Estado ecuatoriano frente a las acusaciones y demandas hechas por Chevron-Texaco.

En ese lugar iniciará mañana la audiencia del Tribunal de Arbitraje, responsable del proceso que inició Chevron-Texaco contra Ecuador, acusándolo de supuestas violaciones al tratado bilateral de inversiones firmado entre Ecuador y Estados Unidos, a pesar que dicho TBI fue firmado en 1997 y empresa dejo Ecuador en 1992.

En un intento de evasión de la justicia, Chevron Texaco lleva a cabo estrategias como la de enjuiciar al Estado Ecuatoriano y deslegitimar al sistema de justicia nacional e incumplir la sentencia emitida por la Corte Suprema de Justicia de 2013, donde se obligaba a la compañía trasnacional a pagar por las afectaciones cometidas en la Amazonía ecuatoriana y a las poblaciones de la zona entre 1964 y 1990. Además, en el mismo lugar de la concentración se instalará una carpa de información permanente sobre el caso.

La Sra. Menchú, quien también es Presidenta de la Alta Comisión Internacional en apoyo a las iniciativas relacionadas a compañias transnacionales lideradas por Ecuador, también participará en el foro “Ecuador: Compañías Transnacionales y Derechos Humanos”, el cual que se llevará a cabo en el Anfiteatro del Centro Internacional de Comercio del Ronald Reagan Building a las 14:30; y en el que también participará la Investigadora y Profesora mexicana, Ana Esther Ceceña.

Previo a estos eventos, la comunidad ecuatoriana en los Estados Unidos participó activamente de los eventos en el marco del Día Mundial de la Tierra 2015, que se celebra todos los años con un Festival en Washington DC al que asisten más de 350.000 personas. En este evento se sensibilizó al público sobre la contaminación causada por Chevron en el Ecuador y se motivó a los presentes a expresar su apoyo a la causa ecuatoriana que busca justicia ante los ataques, demandas y acusaciones de la empresa.


Monday, April 20th, 2015

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Latin America’s most prominent indigenous leader Rigoberta Menchú will address hundreds of citizens scheduled to demonstrate tomorrow at 10:00 am at Edward Murrow Park, in front of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID, located inside the World Bank Building, to express their support to the Ecuadorian state regarding the accusations and demands made by Chevron-Texaco.

In this venue, the hearing of the Arbitration Tribunal responsible for the process initiated by Chevron-Texaco against Ecuador, will begin. This hearing will be decisive in matters of justice and transnational accountability for mass environmental and human rights violations.

In an attempt to evade justice and accountability, Chevron-Texaco is trying to discredit Ecuador’s legal system, which issued a sentence in 2013 obligating the transnational oil company to pay for the human and environmental damages caused during its oil extraction operations between 1964 and 1990 in Ecuador’s Amazon region.

Mrs. Menchú, also President of the International High-Level Commission in support to the initiatives related to transnationals led by Ecuador, will also speak at the “Ecuador: Transnational companies and human rights” forum that will take place Washington, DC’s International Trade Center’s Amphitheater at 2:30 pm. Mexican Professor and Researcher, Ana Esther Ceceña, will also participate in this forum.

Prior to April 21 events, Ecuador participated in the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Festival, in Washington DC, to raise awareness of Chevron’s environmental pollution in the Amazon and receive support to the Ecuadorian state from the accusations and demands presented by Chevron-Texaco.


Saturday, April 18th, 2015

The Ecuadorian community in the United States and Canada, will participate in various activities that have been organized in Washington D.C., to express their support to the Ecuadorian state from the accusations and demands presented by Chevron-Texaco. The company actually attempts to delegitimize in Ecuadorian justice system, which ruled against it due to the social and environmental damages caused in part of the Amazon region in Ecuador, during its oil extraction operations between 1964 and 1990.

The activities begin next April 21 with the forum “Ecuador: Transnational companies and human rights”, hosting Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and President of the International High-Level Comission in support to the initiatives related to transnationals led by Ecuador. Mexican Professor and Researcher, Ana Esther Ceceña, will also participate in the forum, which will take place in the International Trade Center’s Amphitheater at 2:30 pm.

Prior to the forum, there will be a concentration in support of Ecuador in front of the World Bank’s headquarters, which will start at 10:00 am. That same day in that venue will begin the hearing of the Arbitration Tribunal responsible for the process initiated by Chevron-Texaco against Ecuador, in representation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague.


Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Ecuatorianos residentes en Estados Unidos y Canadá participarán en una serie de actividades en Washington D.C., en respaldo al Estado y pueblo ecuatoriano,frente a las demandas que ha presentado en su contra la empresa Chevron-Texaco. Dicha empresa busca deslegitimar la justicia ecuatoriana que la sentenció por los daños sociales y ambientales que causó en la Amazonía ecuatoriana durante sus operaciones de extracción de petróleo entre los años 1964 y 1990.

Las actividades inician el 21 de abril con el Foro “Ecuador: Transnacionales y derechos humanos”, que contará con la participación de la Premio Nobel de la Paz, Rigoberta Merchú, quien además es la presidenta del Comisión internacional de alto nivel de apoyo a propuestas de Ecuador sobre temas relacionados a transnacionales. También intervendrá la académica e investigadora mexicana Ana Esther Ceceña, en este Foro que se realizará en el Anfiteatro del International Trade Center, a las 14:30.

Previo al Foro se desarrollará una concentración de respaldo a Ecuador, frente a la sede del Banco Mundial en esa ciudad, a partir de las 10h00. Allí se iniciará la audiencia del Tribuna Arbitral a cargo del proceso de Chevron y Texaco en contra de Ecuador, ante la Corte Permanente de La Haya, entre el 21 de abril y el 8 de mayo del presente año.