On Friday, June 26, 2009 Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s website “The Digital Newspaper of the Citizens’ Revolution” ran an article (click image above for larger version) that accuses Chevron’s lawyers of committing fraud, mocks Texaco’s $40 million remediation, and says that it is Chevron’s responsibility to pay $27 billion in damages.
Three days later, on June 29, 2009 in an interview with Democracy Now, President Correa says, in regards to the lawsuit against Chevron, “I reiterate, as the executive branch, we are not a party, and we cannot meddle in judicial matters.”
While claiming that the judiciary is independent, the executive branch continues to politicize this case by making comments that side with the plaintiffs and assign guilt to Chevron. Interference on the part of the Ecuadorian state has been undeniable. In a March 20, 2007 press release, President Correa stated, “The support from the government will translate into help in gathering proof and support for the population directly affected by the contamination Texaco produced.” In Ecuador, where the International Bar Association has concluded that “there is a serious politicization of the judiciary” and “that in many cases no effective independence exists,” such pronouncements have created an environment that makes it impossible for Chevron to get a fair trial in Ecuador.