Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa welcomed Friday a ruling in a Canadian court seen as a major victory for Ecuadorian plaintiffs in a long-running legal battle against oil giant Chevron.
“Truth will overcome so much money,” Correa tweeted after the verdict was announced.
La verdad vencerá a los millones de dólares. http://t.co/mRi5YsvVTV— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) September 4, 2015
“Truth will overcome so much money.”
The tweet was in response to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada, which found Ecuadoreans who were affected by massive environmental contamination can take legal action against Chevron through Canadian courts.
In 2011, an Ecuadorean court found Chevron responsible for environmental contamination in the Ecuadorean Amazon and ordered the company to pay billions in compensation. A 2013 ruling by the Ecuadorean Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling and set the compensation at US$9.5 billion.
However, Chevron has refused to pay and as a result the plaintiffs were forced to try to enforce the ruling by seeking the seizure of Chevron's assets in Canada.
Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court affirms that Canada is an appropriate jurisdiction for the case.
“A finding of jurisdiction does nothing more than afford the plaintiffs the opportunity to seek recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment,” wrote Justice Clement Gasconon on behalf of the court.
According to a press release issued by the plaintiffs, Chevron has assets worth an estimated US$15 billion in Canada and produces an estimated US$2 billion to US$3 billion annually in profits.
The case is now expected to proceed in a lower court.
The case is unrelated to a separate dispute between the Ecuadorean state and Chevron.