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Ecuador protests denial of US visas for plaintiffs in Chevron oil damages case

 According to the ministry’s official announcement, the visas for the five Ecuadorian nationals were returned by the US Embassy in Quito “without any explanation.”

That group was to present testimony during a special event at the UN regarding the ecological impact caused by Chevron-Texaco’s oil operations in the Amazon rainforest region of Ecuador - which contaminated two million hectares, according to the country’s government.

At stake in the case is a US$19 billion judgment awarded by an Ecuadorean court against Chevron for cleanup and ecological damage, which is currently being fought at The Hague.

That case faced a setback on Tuesday when an interim ruling in favor of Texaco Corp., later acquired by Chevron, found that a 1995 agreement absolved the company from claims of “collective damage.”

The case against Chevron-Texaco has been ongoing for two decades, and stems from the oil company’s operations in the Amazon which date back to the period between 1972 and 1990.

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