Chevron Ecuador: Hypocrisy By The Numbers
In September 2013, Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa announced with great fanfare a new campaign against Chevron, dubbed “The Dirty Hand of Chevron”.
According to Ecuador’s political leaders, the crusade against the company was necessary because Chevron had engaged in a multimillion-dollar “worldwide campaign to discredit Ecuador and its democratic institutions.” Foreign Secretary Ricardo Patino spared no hyperbole when speaking at the United Nations, stating: “Chevron has launched a smear campaign on Ecuador on a large scale; it must be said on a planetary scale. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars in political lobbying and lying propaganda. They repeat it to those who want to read and hear that Ecuadorian courts are totally corrupt, and they spare no resources to promote this idea.”
Correa promised that foreign politicians, international journalists and celebrities would all travel to Ecuador to dip their hand in an oil pit and criticize Chevron.
He also used this alleged offensive by Chevron as justification for hiring a U.S.-based PR firm, MCSquared, signing an unprecedented $6.4 million contract with the firm.
But while the Republic has accused Chevron of embarking on a global PR campaign against the country, statistics from the last year tell a very different story:
Since the “Dirty Hand of Chevron” campaign began in September 2013, Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued 268 anti-Chevron press releases. This equates to nearly 17 press releases per month over the last 16 months.
Meanwhile, their partners-in-fraud (Steven Donziger, Pablo Fajardo and their supporters) issued 53 anti-Chevron press releases both in Ecuador and the United States in 2014. This equates to more than 4 per month.
In addition to their flurry of press releases, the Republic and the plaintiffs’ lawyers held anti-Chevron events across the globe. Last year alone they sponsored more than 380 events nearly 50 countries.
Conversely, Chevron only issued two press releases related to the Ecuador litigation last year: one announcing the fraud and racketeering findings by a U.S. federal court against Steven Donziger and one announcing Patton Boggs’ withdrawal from the fraudulent lawsuit.
No matter the number of press releases issued, events held, websites launched or Twitter-bots enlisted, the “Dirty Hand of Chevron” campaign cannot change the truth: There is no evidence to support claims against Chevron in Ecuador, the Ecuadorian judgment has been proven to be fraudulent, and the Republic of Ecuador is responsible for any remaining environmental obligations in the Amazon.