Chevron accused of racism as it fights Ecuador pollution ruling

The Guardian reports: Lawyers representing Ecuadorian plaintiffs in their long-running suit against Chevron over the dumping of toxic waste in the Amazon river basin have accused the oil giant of racism.

The allegation comes as Chevron vows to fight off a ruling that said the oil giant must pay $18bn for causing pollution in the Amazon rainforest more than 20 years ago.

An Ecuadorian appeals court upheld the case against Chevron on Tuesday, following an eight-year legal battle. The ruling was the latest leg in a decades-long legal dispute.

Chevron, which has accused the plaintiffs of submitting fraudulent evidence, has publicly vowed to continue the fight. “Chevron does not believe that the Ecuador ruling is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law. The company will continue to seek to hold accountable the perpetrators of this fraud,” the company said in a statement.

Pablo Fajardo, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer, said Chevron was guilty of “a racist attitude” and said that it was clear the judgment could now be enforced.

“Chevron does not want to ever recognise that indigenous or poor people have the right to access justice,” he said.

“Despite all the efforts of Chevron to floor this case, we have won. What that means is justice does exist. We are happy because after 18 years of battle and 40 years of suffering finally there will be justice and hopefully repair of the Amazon.”

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