Argentine judge embargoes $19 bn Chevron assets
An Ecuadorean court last year ordered Chevron Corp to pay the enormous sum for contamination of watersheds over nearly 30 years that the plaintiffs say sickened indigenous tribes people and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon.
Chevron has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud. Because the company has few assets in the Andean nation, the plaintiffs are seeking enforcement of the ruling in other countries including Brazil and Canada.
The freeze order applies to the entire $19 billon amount of the Ecuador judgment, meaning that Chevron will effectively be barred from investing further in Argentina unless it wants to risk seizure of those assets as well, the plaintiffs said in a statement. The ruling could pave the way for the plaintiffs to collect on the award. But it could also be just another round of judicial ping-pong in a complex legal battle that has included frequent appeals and vicious accusations.
The plaintiffs' lawyer, Enrique Bruchou, said the ruling by Argentine judge Adrian Elcuj includes an embargo on 40 percent of Chevron's Argentine oil revenue, the company's shares in its Argentine subsidiary and a stake in an oil pipeline.
We consider this to be an exemplary ruling, he said. We are letting the world know
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