Caso Chevron

Alberto Guerra, Witness to Corruption: The Full Story

The Amazon Post 29/10/2015

Former judge Alberto Guerra, in testimony before the Tribunal hearing Chevron’s arbitration claim against the Republic of Ecuador, discussed his personal knowledge of judicial corruption perpetrated by U.S. lawyer Steven Donziger and his associates in the Lago Agrio trial. Guerra, the first judge in that case, was himself involved in the illegalities, including attempts to coordinate with Nicolas Zambrano, the last judge in the Lago Agrio trial, the solicitation of bribes related to the final judgment.

Guerra and Zambrano had an arrangement whereby Guerra ghostwrote rulings in Zambrano’s civil cases in exchange for a monthly payment of approximately $1,000. Guerra ghostwrote about a hundred orders for Zambrano, drafts of which were found on Guerra’s computer. In return, Zambrano paid Guerra various sums of money, mainly in cash and, on occasion, by making a direct deposit into Mr. Guerra’s bank account. Bank statements, deposit slips, and Guerra’s day planner corroborate his testimony. Guerra testified that he usually would give copies of draft orders to Zambrano in person at the Quito airport, or alternatively, he would ship documents and flash drives containing draft orders to Zambrano or a third-party intermediary (per Zambrano’s request) via the state airline TAME. The TAME shipping records corroborate numerous shipments from Guerra to Zambrano and third-party intermediaries.

With respect to the Chevron case in particular, Guerra testified that he reached a separate agreement with the Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ representatives, by which they agreed to pay him $1,000 a month in exchange for favorable rulings that would help move the case along. Guerra ghostwrote at least nine orders during Zambrano’s first tenure on the Chevron case, drafts of which were found on Guerra’s computer. Guerra testified in detail about several of these nine drafts, demonstrating his intimate knowledge of the orders. The plaintiffs’ representatives usually paid Guerra in person, in cash, but at times made direct deposits into Guerra’s bank account. Bank statements and deposit slips corroborate Guerra’s testimony.

Regarding the Lago Agrio judgment, Guerra testified that Zambrano asked him to solicit a bribe from the Lago Agrio plaintiffs in exchange for allowing the Plaintiffs to draft the Judgment. Guerra met with Donziger, his Ecuadorian co-counsel Pablo Fajardo and plaintiffs’ representative Luis Yanza at the Honey & Honey restaurant in Quito and made this proposal, which the trio rejected. By the time that Guerra reported the meeting to Zambrano, Zambrano informed him that he had reached a separate deal with the Plaintiffs, pursuant to which the Plaintiffs would write the Judgment in exchange for a $500,000 bribe to be paid out of enforcement proceeds.

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