7 September 2016
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, condemn the actions by Chevron and stand with the affected communities in Ecuador who continue their decades long quest for justice from Chevron for its deliberate contamination of the Amazon rainforest. In its efforts to evade justice Chevron has repeatedly sought to silence critics and continues to ignore the $9.5 billion judgment against it for environmental damage in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
While Chevron continues its international litigation "shell game" thousands of people continue to be systematically poisoned and suffer daily from Chevron's refusal to pay a $9.5 billion judgment to clean up its toxic waste in Ecuador. Chevron's refusal to honor the judgment against it has forced these communities to come to Canada in a last ditch effort to seize assets to force Chevron to comply with the rule of law.
After agreeing to jurisdiction in Ecuador, Chevron sold its remaining assets there to escape justice. Now Chevron claims its assets in Canada are immunized because they are held by wholly owned subsidiaries. Chevron is seeking to make a mockery of justice by creating a jurisdiction shell-game to deny the Ecuadorians full justice for its environmental crimes in Ecuador.
In 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Ecuadorian communities to allow them to sue to seize Chevron Canada's assets to cover what is now a US$10 billion debt. We applaud this decision as it demonstrates the proper respect for the rule of law.
Outside of Canada, Chevron have managed to overwhelm its opponents with unprecedented legal force (hiring 60 law firms and more than 2,000 legal professionals) and even convinced a U.S. court to brand their opponents as criminals while formally excluding all evidence of Chevron's environmental harms. Chevron has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to witnesses in the case, including a former judge who has admitted payments totalling over $2 million USD from Chevron to testify about a bribe he later admitted was a lie.
As citizens deeply concerned with the social justice, indigenous rights and the environment, we make the following appeal to the government of Canada:
Do not allow Chevron to further abuse the law by permitting the company to sell off any of its Canadian assets before a decision can be reached in the trial. This would set a terrible precedent for other corporations intending to evade responsibility for environmental and human rights crimes.
To the people of Canada we urge you to stay vigilant in support of the affected communities, many of whom are indigenous peoples. Canada's population has a great deal in common with the people of Ecuador – who find their lives, culture and environment often at great risk due to irresponsible resource extraction.
Cercle des Premières Nations de l'UQAM
Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL)
Friends of the Earth Canada
Idle No More Canada
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
Sierra Club British Columbia (BC)
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
United Steelworkers (Canada)