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US court rejects oil company’s appeal to dismiss judgment issued by Ecuadoran court.

• Luis Ángel Saavedra
 US oil company Chevron is finding itself increasingly backed into a corner. After 19 years of legal proceedings, the firm is running short on options to evade the responsibility for environmental damage caused in the Ecuadoran Amazon by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001. Now even a US court has turned its back on the company by rejecting a motion to dismiss, in any country where Chevron has assets, the judgment handed down in Ecuador that requires the firm to pay US$9.5 billion in damages — a figure that could double if Chevron does not issue a public apology to the affected communities.

Texaco left the country in 1992, after 28 years and 339 oil wells drilled in 15 oil blocks — but not before dumping 18 billion barrels of toxic water into the Ecuadoran jungle and leaving behind 627 pools of toxic waste. This affected 30,000 people, including campesinos and indigenous populations from five nations: the Siona, Secoya, Cofán, Huaorani, and Kichwa.

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