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Chevron, Oil Pollution, and the Case of the Tainted Witness

Did a corrupt Ecuadorean judge "recant" his testimony in a long-running battle over contamination in the Amazon? No.
Protesters, some in traditional dress and with black hands representing oil, demonstrate in front of a U.S. courthouse against Chevron on Oct. 15, 2013, in New York City.
Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The marathon legal war over oil pollution in the jungle in Ecuador—now 22 years old—can outrage, but also exhaust, diligent observers. But here's a new twist.

Lately certain self-styled environmental advocates have claimed that a key witness in the case "recanted" his testimony on behalf of Chevron. That could hinder Chevron's efforts to fend off enforcement of a multibillion-dollar judgment against it from 2011.