Panel rejects Ecuadorian rainforest-pollution award


Octavio Córdova, one of the original plaintiffs in the Ecuadorian oilfield-pollution suit. (Photo by Comps Córdova)

While growing up in the Ecuadorian Amazon in the 1980s, Comps Córdova and his friends engaged in an unusual contest while swimming in the Dureno River: They would race to outpace one of the patches of oil frequently seen floating downriver. Córdova, now 43, couldn’t have imagined then that three decades later he’d succeed his 83-year-old father in seeking redress for oilfield pollution in the region—much less that he’d likely have to pass that baton to his own children. But a recent arbitration decision ensures that the rainforest region’s residents remain a long way from securing the accountability and compensation they demand in connection with the large-scale dumping of oilfield drilling wastes that took place there from 1964 to 1992. On Aug. 30, a tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague rejected the legitimacy of a US$9.5 billion judgment that an Ecuadorian... [Log in to read more]

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