Sample Essay on Effects of Corruption in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Chevron Saga in Ecuador

Corruption in the developing countries is quite rampant and it has brought adverse effects to the region[1]. In some instances, political instability is the greatest cause of venality and exploitation of public resources[2]. In order to get a clear understanding, this paper highlights the case of Chevron Company corruption saga in Ecuador and its effects. Chevron is an oil exploring company formerly referred to as Texaco Company that has been extracting oil in a place called LagoAgrio, in the province of Sucumbios, Ecuador[3]. The exploration has caused massive damages to the ecological problems to the surrounding area. As a result, local residents launched a legal ruling to force the company clean up the place and protect the environment. The case started two decades ago and it has been marred with several corruption incidences that involved the government and other Non-Government Organizations. It comprised of 30,000 members who are local residents of the LagoArio, but it was dismissed in 2001 due to improper venue.

Ecuador is a developing country found in southern America that has suffered issues of corruption for several years. The Transparency International Corruption index 2012 ranked Ecuador at number 118 out of 176 countries globally[4]. It also ranked 159 according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. The case of Chevron Company commenced in 1993 when lawyers representing the local residents, environmental consultants such as Stratus Consulting Inc. and Ann Maest, and the Amazon Defense Front sort to seek court interventions in to forcing Chevron company to conserve the environment. Due to the loose judicial systems in the country, Chevron has managed to delay the case for two decades by undermining the rule of law[5]. There have been claims that the company has been seeking political influence to drop the case in spite of the suffering victims. In 1998 when the court tried blocking the case claiming that the residents could not sue Chevron for monetary damages[6]. Three years before, an incidence occurred where the company (by then it was called Texaco)agreed to clean a number of waste pits and the government relieved it any further liability. The complainant argued that the government was involved in money laundering because it is alleged that Chevron local lawyers were visiting the attorney general in order to bend the law and abandon the case[7]. Similarly, the company was irked by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa public statements that were in support of the plaintiffs[8].

According to Sharman, developing countries have misplaced their priorities when it comes to corruption. Political pressure is very risky especially when politicians manipulate people in the public sector. For the Chevron case, the plaintiffs had to move the case to the United States to avoid manipulation from the executive and legislature[9].  Actually, in 2003 one of the complainant said that Chevron officials had a little banter with the judge and they ended up losing the case. Political influence allows perforation of regional laws and there are very dire consequences that resurface[10]. For example, LagoAgrio has indicated a rise in cancer cases that are attributed to the polluted water and environment at large. Additionally, the entire place is in fertile and it cannot benefit the residents of that area. Just because the government benefits with taxes and revenue collection from oil product it cannot curb the heinous activities carried out by the oil exploring company[11].However, the country is improving since it was ranked 140 most corrupt countries in 2003, but it has risen to 116 in 2013.Therefore, political influence has barred justice for victims of the Chevron saga for over two decades.

Bibliography

Brown, Steven E. F.. “Ecuador cancer suit against Chevron dismissed”San Francisco Business Times.(2007-11-19)

Charles A. S. Hall; Carlos A. Ramírez-Pascualli (December 5, 2012). The First Half of the Age of Oil: An Exploration of the Work of Colin Campbell and Jean Laherr√®re. Springer. pp. 34

Chevron’s efforts to undermine the rule of law.ChevronToxico.http://chevrontoxico.com/about/historic-trial/chevrons-efforts-to-undermine-the-rule-of-law

Elliott, E. Donald. “Chevron Matters: How the Chevron Doctrine Redefined the Roles of Congress, Courts and Agencies in Environmental Law.” Vill. Envtl. LJ16 (2005): 1.

Lyons, Maxi. “Case Study in Multinational Corporate Accountability: Ecuador’s Indigenous Peoples Struggle for Redress, A.” Denv. J. Int’l L. &Pol’y 32 (2003): 701.

Olken, Benjamin A., and RohiniPande. Corruption in developing countries.No. w17398.National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011.

Pierce Jr, Richard J. “Chevron and Its Aftermath: Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Statutory Provisions.” Vand. L. Rev. 41 (1988): 301.

 

Richards, Mark J., Joseph L. Smith, and Herbert M. Kritzer. “Does Chevron Matter?.” Law & Policy 28, no. 4 (2006): 444-469.

Rochlin, James. “Development, the Environment and Ecuador’s Oil Patch: The Context and Nuances of the Case against Texaco.” Journal of Third World Studies 28, no. 2 (2011): 11.

Sharman.The effects of corruption in developing countries. Putting a Luxury Good to Work’, pp.27-29(2010).

 

Spector, Bertram Irwin, ed. Fighting corruption in developing countries: strategies and analysis. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 2005.

White, Howard J.; Scopec, Robert A.; Ramirez, Felix A.; Rodas, Jose A.; Bonilla, Guido (1995). “Reservoir Characterization of the Hollin and Napo Formations, Western Oriente Basin, Ecuador” (PDF). M62: Petroleum Basins of South AmericaAmerican Association of Petroleum Geologists. pp. 573–596

 

 

 

 

[1]Spector, Bertram Irwin, ed. Fighting corruption in developing countries: strategies and analysis. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 2005

[2]Olken, Benjamin A., and RohiniPande. Corruption in developing countries.No. w17398.National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011.

 

[3]Charles A. S. Hall; Carlos A. Ramírez-Pascualli (December 5, 2012). The First Half of the Age of Oil: An Exploration of the Work of Colin Campbell and Jean Laherr√®re. Springer. pp. 34

 

[4] Ibid

[5]Lyons, Maxi. “Case Study in Multinational Corporate Accountability: Ecuador’s Indigenous Peoples Struggle for Redress, A.” Denv. J. Int’l L. &Pol’y 32 (2003): 701

[6]Spector, Bertram Irwin, ed. Fighting corruption in developing countries: strategies and analysis. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 2005.

 

[7] Ibid

[8]Chevron’s efforts to undermine the rule of law.ChevronToxico.http://chevrontoxico.com/about/historic-trial/chevrons-efforts-to-undermine-the-rule-of-law

 

[9]Pierce Jr, Richard J. “Chevron and Its Aftermath: Judicial Review of Agency Interpretations of Statutory Provisions.” Vand. L. Rev. 41 (1988): 301.

 

[10]Sharman (2010).The effects of corruption in developing countries. Putting a Luxury Good to Work’, pp.27-29

 

[11] Ibid