Ecuadorian judge in Chevron suit admits to being bribed

posted at 3:31 pm on February 3, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

It was just last month that we learned more details of the years long lawsuit in Ecuador against Chevron, with the claims of the plaintiffs and their American, eco-warrior backers getting ripped into increasingly smaller pieces. Everyone dragged into this sordid affair on the part of those bringing the suit has been coming to regret it, as one level of mendacity after another on the part of the Ecuadorian court has been revealed. But if all of that wasn’t enough, this should really be the cherry on top of it all.

Today new allegations of deceit and wrongdoing were leveled against the plaintiffs’ lawyers bringing the already deeply troubled environmental suit against Chevron in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, which stems from Texaco’s oil drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1992. (Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001.)

In Manhattan federal district court this morning, Chevron filed the declaration of a former Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who describes how he and a second former judge, Nicolás Zambrano, allegedly allowed the plaintiffs lawyers to ghostwrite their entire 188-page, $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron in exchange for a promise of $500,000 from the anticipated recovery.

The bribery charge is completely new, and the ghostwriting charge is more sweeping and better substantiated than before.

So rather than messing around with questions of whether the contracts were written properly, or who owned what when, I see we’re now going to just go with, “to hell with it. Let’s just let them write the judgement and hit the bar.” It’s a beautiful thing, really, and quite efficient. It probably saved a ton of time mucking about finding fake witnesses, forging documents or thinking up lies to keep track of.

I’m not sure what happens to a judge in Ecuador who admits to signing off on a deal like that. Probably nothing, but since he’s already fled the country to the United States after turning states’ evidence against the plaintiffs, it probably won’t matter. But he’s now open to suspicion for anything he does, including helping Chevron.

Even so, its new evidence is vulnerable to counterattack. While Guerra swears that he is receiving no compensation for his testimony, he admits that Chevron has paid him $38,000 to compensate him for the value of the physical evidence he has turned over corroborating his account, including the documents and forensic evidence stored on his computers, cellphones, thumb drives, and bank account records. Chevron also admits that it has committed to protect Guerra’s security, which has already included helping him and four family members leave Ecuador and take up residence in the United States.

He’s never going to see that half million dollars now, that’s for sure. But since he was willing to admit his part in the fraud, I suppose saving his life from assassins and covering his expenses is at least the humane thing to do. Either way… stay tuned. One day we may finally see this entire debacle put to rest once and for all, and we’ll be sure to cover it for you.

EDIT: (Jazz) Last paragraph should have read “half a million” and not “half a billion.” My apologies.


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I didn’t know the judge was from Chicago…

Khun Joe on February 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Hell, half the electorate in this country has been bribed. It’s not even a secret.

trigon on February 3, 2013 at 3:36 PM

He’s never going to see that half billion million dollars now

I know, I know…Millions, billions, trillions.

What difference does it make???

lol

Resist We Much on February 3, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Ecuadorian judge in Chevron suit admits to being bribed

…he can now register as a Democrat in this country…and get a position in the JugEar administration!

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 3:39 PM

And the bag man was Kerry Kennedy!

Blake on February 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

And the bag WOman was Kerry Kennedy!

Blake on February 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

:-)

Resist We Much on February 3, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Chevron also admits that it has committed to protect Guerra’s security, which has already included helping him and four family members leave Ecuador and take up residence in the United States

…it’s okay!…our government is pushing for the use of more drones here…he’ll be safe!…in hackers heavan!

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM

There is no such word as “judgement.”

A judge issues a judgment.

-Spelling Police

BigAlSouth on February 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I’m not sure what happens to a judge in Ecuador who admits to signing off on a deal like that.

He gets to become president of Ecuador?

rbj on February 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

What’s the over/under on this guy being Obama’s next SCOTUS nominee?

jhffmn on February 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Now that one of the judges has admitted to taking a bribe, I’m sure that Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes will be updating his reporting on this. Right Steve? Steve?

. . . (crickets) . . .

Captain Kirock on February 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

I’m not sure what happens to a judge in Ecuador who admits to signing off on a deal like that.

He gets appointed to Obama’s cabinet.

Free Constitution on February 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM

There is no such word as “judgement.”

A judge issues a judgment.

-Spelling Police

BigAlSouth on February 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

It the UK, “judgment” is usually spelled as “judgement.” So, there IS a word “judgement.” It may not be used frequently in the US, but it is still a word and the spelling is correct…in Britain and other Commonwealth countries.

Resist We Much on February 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

But he’s now open to suspicion for anything he does, including helping Chevron.

Hold on now. I think you’re forgetting that he could easily qualify for Senator from New Jersey or even for Secretary of Defense.

Curtiss on February 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I usually don’t click on something written by Jazz Shaw anymore, and one of the reasons is his signature sloppiness.

1) “So rather than messing around with questions of whether the contracts were written properly, or who owned what when…” No one, including Jazz Shaw, knows what Jazz Saw is talking about here. (The underlying lawsuit was about alleged environmental damages.)

2) As another commenter pointed out, Shaw makes the dumb “judgement” spelling error.

3) Later Shaw refers to the alleged $500,000 bribe as “half a billion,” which would likely be the biggest bribe evah.

That’s 3 dumb-ass mistakes found in a 2-minute scan of a very short blog post. In other words, typical Jazz Shaw.

BCrago66 on February 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Welcome to the Hot Gas Pedantic Hour.

Curtiss on February 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Hey but he meant well. And he is Hispanic so he gets a pass there. If he is also a pedophile there is likely much to admire about this fellow: Harry Reid.

pat on February 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM

We need a new EPA director.

He can get a free immigration card and Obama can replace Jackson.

seven on February 3, 2013 at 7:33 PM

…in exchange for a promise of $500,000 from the anticipated recovery.

He’s never going to see that half billion dollars now, that’s for sure.

Uh, I think that is half a MILLION not a billion. But then, math is hard.

woodNfish on February 3, 2013 at 8:07 PM

BCrago66 on February 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

You could have done us all a tremendous favor; and not clicked on this JS post.
That would have saved us from reading your puerile little comment.

[Word to the wise: Don't click on writers you don't like. Your comments will only be mocked; and you'll become a laughingstock.]

Solaratov on February 3, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Pay to play?
Ghostwritten ruling?

I’ll bet Chief Just-Us Benedict Roberts isn’t feeling quite so lonely anymore!

viking01 on February 3, 2013 at 9:35 PM

I look forward to the news that the scumbag lawyer for the plaintiffs has been debarred, bankrupted and jailed.

Jaibones on February 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM

That’s 3 dumb-ass mistakes found in a 2-minute scan of a very short blog post. In other words, typical Jazz Shaw.

BCrago66 on February 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

One sentence, 2 hyphenating errors.

BobMbx on February 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM