Published on May 28, 2014
Episode #2 in the Adventures of Donny Rico (and Chevron): How to Pollute the Amazon and Get Away wit' it! "Who's Bribin' Who?"
To draw attention to Chevron's threat to open society and freedom of speech Amazon Watch presents The Adventures of "Donny Rico".
(see Episode #1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be9Xn...)
Episode 2 focuses on the absurd testimony of Chevron's "key witness" in the bogus RICO action against the Ecuadorians and their lawyers.
Read More on the Eye On the Amazon: http://amazonwatch.org/news/2014/0528...
The only direct testimony supporting Chevron's key claim—i.e. that the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' legal team "bribed" the trial judge to allow them to write the opinion—comes from Guerra, the disgraced former Ecuadorian judge who is probably one of the most openly
corrupt witnesses ever to blight an American courthouse.
His entire testimony violated U.S. law, which prevents witnesses from being paid for their testimony.
Key facts about Guerra:
1. He admits he accepted and paid bribes throughout his legal career, both as a practicing lawyer and as a sitting judge.
2. He was removed as a judge for misconduct.
3. In early 2012, he was nearly destitute and desperate to join his son and daughter living in the United States (his son illegally), but had no basis for immigration.
4. At that time, a high-profile news story broke about an Ecuadorian judge accepting a decision written by a party and given to him on a flash drive. Guerra approached Chevron seeking payment with exactly the same story: he claimed he had evidence that the plaintiffs wrote the judgment and gave it to the judge on a flash drive.
5. Chevron lawyer Andres Rivero and Chevron investigator Yohi Ackerman immediately paid him $18,000 in cash for his story, in violation of ethical rules against paying fact witnesses. Chevron later paid Guerra another $30,000 in cash. It then entered into an agreement to pay him $12,000 a month for at least two years and perhaps indefinitely.
6. Chevron operatives then bought Guerra a car, auto insurance, and health insurance. Company lawyers then moved Guerra, his wife, and his younger son and his son's entire family to the United States and hired lawyers to get them green cards. The incentives
for Guerra to say anything to keep the money flowing are obvious.
7. Guerra could never produce the flash drive. His computers did not turn up even a single email from Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the affected communities in Ecuador, despite the fact Guerra had told Chevron Fajardo had sent him a flash drive with the judgment on it. And Guerra claims to have "lost" his calendar during the year that he said he was in a meeting with Mr. Donziger where discussion of the "bribe" took place. In any event, during the time of the claimed meeting, Mr. Donziger was not even in Ecuador because of an illness in his family, according to immigration records and undisputed testimony.
8. Guerra's testimony changed constantly depending on new evidence. Other documents he produced to substantiate his account appear blatantly forged. All the while, Chevron's high-priced attorneys from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, led by Randy Mastro (who bills at $1,140 per hour), negotiated directly with Guerra in Chicago over his "price" while simultaneously preparing Guerra's sworn affidavit. The entire process is a violation of the ethical rules, as this affidavit by noted legal ethicist Erwin Chemerinsky attests.
9. In his decision, Judge Kaplan admitted Guerra was corrupt. Yet Judge Kaplan decided to credit Guerra's testimony anyway. Otherwise, there would be no high-profile "bribery"
A grassroots campaign has already been launched by the Sierra Club and Amazon Watch asking members of the US Senate to investigate and put a stop to Chevron's abuse of the justice system, and vilification of the environmental and human rights community.
Chevron's actions in this case and elsewhere set a dangerous precedent and represent a growing and serious threat to the ability of civil society to hold corporations accountable for their misdeeds around the world. Now a wide cross-section of U.S.-based environmental and corporate governance groups have condemned Chevron's most recent retaliatory attacks to intimidate the Ecuadorian indigenous peoples and farmers who have been harmed by the oil giant's massive contamination of their ancestral lands.
Learn more and take action at http://chevrontoxico.com
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