As you may recall, over the course of Ecuador’s attempted Chevron Shakedown, there have been sporadic protests in the streets wherever and whenever court actions were taking place. This included the hearings at the International Arbitration Tribunal, where people who were ostensibly environmental activists and “Friends of the Rain Forests” showed up to voice their displeasure with the energy giant’s unwillingness to pay off Steven Donziger and his fellow racketeers. (I only use that term because the man was found guilty of racketeering as a result of the attempted shakedown.)
But were all of those protesters really just concerned citizens making their voices heard? That claim is looking pretty dubious at this point. (Washington Free Beacon)
The government of Ecuador organized protests that took place outside the building where a legal dispute between the South American nation and oil giant Chevron was being hashed out, documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon reveal.
A top official at the South American nation’s foreign ministry recruited expatriates in the United States to join a March rally outside of proceedings of the International Arbitration Tribunal, the documents show.
An after-action report filed by Davila Aveiga Grace Patricia, who is listed as the chief of staff of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, shows that various Ecuadorian agencies were collaborating to put a public face on the protests.
Patricia flew from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to New York, where she met with Ecuadorian consul Jorge Lopez, the report says. They planned activities during the arbitration “with the participation of Consuls, expatriates, political leaders, Embassy and Foreign Ministry team.”
The Ecuador official seems to have been quite busy with this project according to records. She developed a “strategy for action, dissemination, and denunciation that has a bearing on the meetings about Chevron.” She was also in regular contact with expatriates who might be willing to join in on the campaign against Chevron during the hearings. In what seems to demonstrate even more direct control over the “protesters” surrounding the events, promotional materials critical of Chevron were developed and handed out during the proceedings which bore the official seal of her office.
Did they also pay the protesters, either directly or by way of financing travel and accommodations? The records don’t seem to go into that level of detail, but given the liberal habit of hiring protesters for every progressive cause under the sun we probably shouldn’t be terribly shocked if it turns out that they did.
There’s a reason that there is no true, popular uprising against Chevron except among limousine liberals, Hollywood stars and the professional protesting class. The company provides vast numbers of jobs for Americans, dumps huge amounts of money into the economy (both directly and indirectly) and has been part of the US resurgence as a global energy leader. In short, they’re actually contributing something to the country rather than just talking about it. To be honest, Chevron has probably done more in six months to advance America’s foreign policy position than the White House has managed in six years.
Ecuador and their allies in the US have been losing this fight every step of the way and the show isn’t over yet. Stay tuned.