The Economist – A volcano erupts – Rafael Correa lambasts us and “the empire of capital”
Our reporting is based on a commodity that seems to be lacking in Mr Correa’s mental universe: facts. He may not like the fact that a previous, elected Ecuadorean government settled in full the claims against Texaco, but it did. Contrary to the contention of Ecuador’s ambassador to London (see article), an international tribunal in The Hague recently ruled, in a case brought by Chevron, that class-action suits of the kind initiated against the firm in Lago Agrio were precluded by that earlier settlement.
As for that tar pit: a plan drawn up in 1995 specified the share of remediation work that Texaco was supposed to perform. The pool into which Mr Correa dipped his hand, known as Aguarico-4, is not one that the company was required to clean up. Petroecuador’s own corporate documents suggest a long-standing interest in Aguarico-4. Its statistical report of 2007 lists Aguarico-4 as a “production recovery” site; its 2011 report refers to “reconditioning work” going on at the pool.
That seems to confirm that Petroecuador has for some time regarded Aguarico-4 as its responsibility. It also seems to deny Mr Correa’s claim that the site has been neglected since 1986. Perhaps Mr Correa should tell all of humanity about that.