Director wary of Chevron claims in Ecuador

Aug. 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM   |   Comments

SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Allegations raised by U.S. energy company Chevron that a video shows Ecuadorian agents plotting against it are taken out of context, a filmmaker said.

Chevron is defending a $27 billion lawsuit filed in Ecuador over claims its affiliate Texaco failed to take appropriate action to mitigate environmental damage from oil production from 1968 to 1992. Chevron said state-run Petroecuador is responsible for the damage.

Chevron announced it was filing a petition to have the case dismissed. The company said footage from the documentary film "Crude" showed officials working for the plaintiff meeting with an expert to plan a damages report used falsely as an independent review.

"Chevron's petition argues that the case must be dismissed as a sanction for the abusive misconduct by plaintiffs and their attorneys and because the fraudulent 'Global Expert' report submitted under Cabrera's name is the only 'evidence' supporting plaintiffs' case," the company said in a statement.

Joe Berlinger, who directed and produced the movie, said he was "dismayed" by the claims raised by Chevron.

"The footage citations are being taken out of context and not being presented to the court in its entirety, creating numerous false impressions, precisely what we feared when we were first issued the original subpoena," he said in an e-mail statement to Fortune magazine.

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