Update: More on Chevron’s Dirty Tricks in Ecuador
Recent revelations cast even more doubt on Chevron’s veracity in the ongoing saga of the company’s attempts to evade responsibility for its polluting operations in Ecuador. Late last month, reports surfaced showing that one of the two men who taped what Chevron claimed was a bribery scheme involving the judge in the Ecuadoran lawsuit against the company is a convicted felon who was jailed for drug trafficking and has been involved in several legal disputes for his erratic and sometimes violent behavior.
The Ecuador meetings were taped by Diego Borja, a former Chevron contractor, and James Hansen, who was described by Chevron as an “American businessman” and self-identified as a “remediation expert.” The oil company explained Hansen’s involvement as motivated by his sense of civic duty.
In fact, Hansen is a criminal and life-long con artist. An in-depth investigation reveals that at various times Hansen claimed to be President of a seafood importing firm, a CIA gun runner, a helicopter pilot and a deep sea fishing aficionado. Acquaintances of Hansen describe him as “liar,” a “con man,” a “crook,” and a “hustler.” An ex-wife calls him “emotionally abusive.” The investigation also notes that Hansen called the U.S. office of the Amazon Defense Coalition, a lead group in the case against Chevron, in an apparent attempt to entrap staff there into providing information linking them to improper conduct in the case.
In an October 29 report on Hansen, Chevron told the New York Times, “We’ve had no association with this guy” and stated that Hansen’s background had no bearing on the content of the tapes. But the content of the tapes is unclear; Chevron admits it edited the tapes the company posted on YouTube, but has refused to provide unedited tapes for forensic analysis to Ecuadoran authorities.