Lawyers for Amazonian Indians are seeking the seizure of $2 billion of Chevron Corp.'s assets in Argentina as they try to collect an $18.7 billion environmental judgment won in Ecuador last year.
Argentine lawyer Enrique Bruchou said Thursday that his seizure request should send a strong signal to foreign investors that they must apply the same environmental standards wherever they do business. Similar lawsuits were filed this year in Canada and Brazil.
"We will win this case. And it's going to set an example for the world that we in Latin America have grown up now and that we need to be treated as equals," Bruchou said.
Chevron is refusing to pay, saying fraud marked the trial and that the Texaco Petroleum Co. mitigated the environmental damage long before it became a Chevron subsidiary in 2001.
"The Ecuador judgment is a product of bribery, fraud, and it is illegitimate. The company does not believe that the Ecuador judgment is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law," the San Ramon, Calif.-based oil giant said in a statement.