MANHATTAN (CN) - A group of Ecuadorians have taken the offensive against a Hague arbitration panel that they claim will meet in secret, without transparency or accountability, this weekend to determine the fate of an $18.2 billion environmental judgment they won against Chevron.

After failing to block the judgment in the United States and Ecuador, Chevron hopes The Hague will prove more sympathetic. The oil giant claims the award violates the terms of a $40 million settlement it reached with the government of Ecuador in 1995.

Calling themselves "Los Afectados" (The Affected Ones), the Ecuadorians have called the 1995 cleanup a "sham" that did little to repair the environmental and health fallout from the Amazon's so-called Chernobyl.

Courts in the United States and Ecuador have also rejected Chevron's argument, finding that the 1995 agreement did not extend to the nation's citizens.

Exactly one year ago, however, the Hague tribunal passed an Interim Measures Order that told Ecuador to block its courts from enforcing the judgment.

Ecuador complained that the order flies in the face of its constitution, which enshrines a separation of powers.

Chevron expects the panel to chastise Ecuador for noncompliance this weekend in Washington, D.C.

"The tribunal has scheduled a hearing in Washington this weekend to address Ecuador's failure and refusal to comply with the tribunal's Interim Measures Order directing Ecuador to take all measures at its disposal to prevent enforcement of the Lago Agrio judgment, which the tribunal recently converted into an even more powerful interim award," Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson said in an email. Read More

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