Lago Agrio: LAPs Abandon Recognition and Enforcement Effort in Brazil
Posted on September 25, 2017
The group representing the Lago Agrio plaintiffs announced last week that they have abandoned their efforts to have the Lago Agrio judgment recognized and enforced in Brazil. The announcement came on the same day the case was to be heard in the Brazilian court. According to the LAPs, Chevron had submitted documents to the court in recent weeks that had not been shared with the LAPs and that the LAPs did not have time to evaluate before the hearing. The LAPs also complained that a judge had resigned and been replaced with a new judge, though they say nothing against the new judge except that he moved too quickly to hear the case.
In general, the LAPs are claiming that they cannot get a fair hearing in Brazil:
We have decided to withdraw the Exequatur action in Brazil, for which we have submitted an application with the Superior Court of Justice. We are not going to fall for Chevron’s game and await a preconceived judgment, a product of transnational imperialism, which we know has used its economic influence to push justice aside.
I am not sure I see how what the LAPs have said about the change in judge and about the documents Chevron submitted justifies their claim, but I don’t know enough about the details of the Brazilian proceeding to say for certain.
I have some prior coverage on the Brazilian case. Back in 2013, I noted that the the Brazilian court had requested an opinion from the Federal Public Attorney on the case and that he had given one. In 2015, I noted that the opinion was against enforcement, and that it relied heavily on Judge Kaplan’s findings. Renata Alvares Gaspar and Luciane Klein Vieira also commented on the opinion (in Spanish) at Cartas Blogatorias.