Million Dollar Fee Denounced for Chevron Mediator Against Ecuador

Prensa Latina
15 May 2013

Quito, Ecuador – The mediator that presided over the case against Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador charged nearly a million dollars in fees, reported the Andes agency today, citing the Cecilia Olivet report, "When Injustice is a Business."

The mediator, who presided over the case that ignored the sovereign sentence from a court in Ecuador charging the U.S. oil company for environmental and health damages it caused Amazon comunities, charged $939,000 dollars for his services, said the complaint.

Cecilia Olivet, the Uruguayan expert specializing in E.U. trade and investment, is also author of the book "When Injustice is a Business," which presents evidence of how legal firms, mediators and financiers are feeding the boom in investment mediation.

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) are used to benefit transnational corporations in order to sue States, and are a means for international mediation centers to affect national sovereignty, said Olivet.

In the case of Chevron-Texaco against Ecuador, the mediator billed the transnational a total of 719 hours at $660 USD per hour plus taxes or IVA, said the investigation.

Olivet said that when companies sue governments before international mediators, the mediators have the power to divert taxpayer money to corporations.

A select club of 15 lawyers move the strings of capital, and "mediators, far from being neutral, have become powerful actors who have determined an investment arbitrage system favorable to the corporations we know," said the study.

Of these 15 mediators four are from the United States, three are from France, three from Canada, and the rest from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium.

On the secret list there is only one South American, a Chilean linked to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.