Recently uncovered records, from 2003 through 2008, show from 2003 through 2008, show Cabrera is co-founder, general manager, majority stockholder, and legal representative of an oilfield remediation company, Compania Ambiental Minera-Petrolera S.A. ("CAMPET"), which is registered to perform oilfield remediation and other services for Petroecuador.
In a press release, Chevron Vice President and General Counsel Hewitt Pate said, "For three years, Mr. Cabrera has concealed clear financial conflicts of interest that disqualify him from acting as an independent and objective evaluator of the evidence in the case. While Mr. Cabrera's financial interests alone are sufficient grounds for his report to be rejected, his intentional concealment of those interests further demonstrates that the entirety of his work lacks honesty, integrity, or credibility."
Ecuador is suing Chevron for $27 billion and for claims that between 1968 and 1992 Chevron / Texaco failed to clean up the Amazon Delta during and after its period of oil production, which stopped in 1992. Chevron asserts that it did clean up the area it was within and that since 1992, the state-run Petroecuador Company, which took over production from Chevron, has been responsible for the oil damage.
But the real, untold story is a messy and complex one, and has U.S. nonprofit organizations working as the "rabble rousers" for trail lawyers who claim to be concerned about the people of the Amazon, but have not sued the Government of Ecuador on that basis. An Ecuadorian judge, Judge Juan Nunez (who has since stepped down) and the government itself angling to make money from the Chevron lawsuit. And charges that the line of graft extends all the way to President Rafael Correa himself.
The real story is of a country that is just trying to nationalize its oil production. Ecuador has no real interest in cleaning up the Amazon, otherwise it would have changed the zoning to prohibit oil production long ago. The Ecuadorian Amazon has seen over 118 oil spills since Chevron left the region, yet Ecuador focuses on not just Chevron, but American Oil because it believes they have the resources and the cash such that they can be sued. The objective is simply to trap petrodollars for Ecuador's rich.
One of those who was allegedly working to gain a part of a $27 billion award was the man who came up with the number, Richard Cabrera. Chevron has been after Cabrera for over two years and with good reason. They simply feel he's not competent and attacked the methodology behind his initial findings of a $16 billion damage award, then went ape when he upped it to $27 billion without solid justification, accusing him of "Voodoo Economics."
The one fact that has long made Cabrera's estimates something from a cartoon is that Chevron has not operated in the region for 18 years, and the soil that Cabrera has looked at is not part of embargoed property; it's still used for oil production by Petroecuador and by Brazil, to name some of the organizations that have been active.
That economist Richard Cabrera has financial ties to Petroecuador explains how he could write an economic report that skips over almost 20 years of oil operations by Petroecuador, non-American oil firms and Brazil, and somehow point the finger at Chevron. Again, Ecuador believes America's companies are rich.
Ecuador has spent the better part of the Correa regime trying to scheme or outright take the means of oil production away from American companies. The greatest example of this being the ouster of Occidental Petroleum, and Ecuadorian workers getting into fist-fights over the left over luxury cars.
What would Richard Cabrera's ouster from the Chevron case mean? That the $27 billion damage claim was invalid. This news brought out Ecuador's lawyer Pablo Fajardo, who, according to the "It's getting hot in here" blog, said the following:
Cabrera disclosed to the court that he owned a clean-up company beforehis appointment as Special Master. This fact was properly cited by the court as one of the reasons he was qualified to do the damages assessment.
Chevron thought so highly of Cabrera’s qualifications that it accepted him as a court-appointed expert in an earlier part of the case and paid his fees as required by court rules.
The fact Cabrera’s company is qualified to bid on clean-up contracts offered by Ecuador’s state-owned oil company is irrelevant. That company, Petroecuador, is not a party to the case against Chevron and would have no role in any eventual cleanup.
Cabrera by virtue of his role in the case would be barred from having a role in a future clean-up.
Here, Pablo Fajardo is not telling the right tale and he's got paid bloggers helping him advance a mistruth. Ecuador is party to the case by its attorney general's own admission, and since Petroecuador is owned by Ecuador and is an oil company that too makes it a party to the case. That was settled long ago and by this blogger in this space. The best move for Cabrera is to step out of the matter.
If the organizations and bloggers attacking American oil companies really care about the poor of Ecuador, why don't they sue Ecuador? Hello? Answer?
Still don't have one.