press release


On January 31, 2000, Judge Rakoff of the U.S. District Court asked the parties in the Aguinda v. Texaco and Jota v. Texaco litigation for additional information on the matter of whether the courts of Ecuador and Peru are the appropriate venues for the litigation.

In his order, Judge Rakoff wrote,

"While reserving final decision on this motion, the Court is tentatively of the view that, if Ecuador provides an adequate alternative forum, it is the proper place to try these cases, with the Peruvian plaintiffs afforded the alternative of a Peruvian forum if they so prefer. Indeed, the voluminous record before the Court demonstrates that these cases have everything to do with Ecuador and very little to do with the United States. Moreover, the notion that a New York jury (which plaintiffs have demanded) applying Ecuadorian law (which likely governs the claims here made) could meaningfully assess what occurred in the Amazonian rainforests of Ecuador in the late 1960's and early 1970's is problematic on its face...."

Judge Rakoff's view in the January 31 order is consistent with Texaco's long-standing position and the arguments we have made to the court. Simply put, the appropriate forum for this litigation is Ecuador:

  • The plaintiffs are in Ecuador.
  • The operations were in Ecuador.
  • The state oil company - with which Texaco was a minority partner, and which continues to operate the oil fields today - is in Ecuador.
  • The evidence is in Ecuador.
  • The remedies sought by plaintiffs can only be obtained in Ecuador.

We are encouraged by Judge Rakoff's views and look forward to submitting additional arguments in support of our position.

Updated: January 2000