Carmen Guaman with her fourteen-year-old daughter Veronica at their home in La Primavera. Veronica suffers from a neurological birth defect. Photo: Lou DematteisDoak Bishop, a Chevron lawyer from the American firm King & Spalding, said the following before a panel of international investment arbitrators on February 15th:
“The plaintiffs are really irrelevant. They always were irrelevant. There were never any real parties in interest in this case. The plaintiff’s lawyers have no clients… There will be no prejudice to [the rainforest communities] or any individual by holding up enforcement of the judgment.”
Meanwhile, the Huffington Post published over a dozen photos of Ecuadorians who have died or have severe medical problems resulting from Chevron’s contamination. See here for photos, taken by Lou Dematteis.
Maria Villasis shows the scars from four operations on her liver and gallbladder at her farm near Guanta oil well #8. Photo: Lou DematteisBy arguing that no Ecuadorians had been harmed or were in danger of being harmed, Bishop was trying to convince the panel of arbitrators that they should block the Ecuadorians from enforcing their judgment against Chevron in other countries, a strategy that has failed for multiple reasons. See here.
Chevron has a long history of trying to dehumanize the Ecuadorians by denying their very existence or by belittling their culture, said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the communities.