Showing the door to Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) and scuttling US free trade negotiations have long been agenda priorities for Ecuadorian social movements and political sectors. But following government steps that have all but made these goals a reality, the atmosphere seems more anxious than celebratory.
Ecuador will oppose an arbitration suit filed last week by Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY) with the World Bank’s International Center for Investment Disputes in Washington, DC, said Ecuadorean Attorney General Jose Maria Borja.
US-based Occidental Petroleum has responded swiftly to a move by the Ecuadorian Government to kick the company out of Ecuador. The firm filed a request for arbitration with the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) yesterday. The company’s claim is expected to be for at least $1 Billion (US) in damages.
Students and police have clashed again in Ecuador, as protests against a possible rise in bus fares entered a second week. The students also want the government to cancel its contract with the Occidental Petroleum Corporation and for it to refuse to join the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.
In Ecuador, residents of the country’s eastern rainforest are suing Chevron Texaco. They say that the methods Texaco used to drill for oil in the 1970’s and 1980’s caused billions of dollars in environmental damage and health problems that continue today.