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Strange Bedfellows? Government of Ecuador and Amazon Watch Share Same PR firm

Date: Jan 15, 2010

The government of Ecuador and the American trial lawyers behind the lawsuit have colluded yet again in their attempt to extort $27 billion from Chevron.

Fenton Communications, the public relations agency that the government of Ecuador has paid $30,000 per month to “polish” President Rafael Correa’s public profile in the United States, and to lobby the U.S. Congress on its behalf, is now colluding with trial lawyers who are trying to extort money from Chevron Corporation.

On January 13, Correa’s PR firm issued a press release in an effort to tear down, with false accusations, new Chevron chairman and chief executive officer John Watson, just days into his term. In doing so, Fenton partnered with Amazon Watch, a San Francisco-based activist group that has partnered with and donated at least $67,889 to the Amazon Defense Coalition, the named financial beneficiary in the environmental lawsuit in Ecuador.

The New Yorker described Fenton Communications as a “firm that the government of Ecuador has hired to help Correa polish his profile in America,” while the agency’s own website touts its strategy to push for Ecuadorian trade benefits in Washington, D.C. over the past several years.

Time and again, President Correa has openly sided with the plaintiffs who are suing Chevron. This latest revelation weaves the web of connections even tighter between the forces that have levied fraudulent claims against Chevron and the supposedly impartial government of Ecuador.

This episode also further reinforces the fact that Chevron cannot receive a fair trial in Ecuador. It is clear the Government of Ecuador, its consultants and activist NGO partners are driving an illegitimate court process that will likely result in an unjust and unsubstantiated verdict against Chevron.

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