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Quito — Ecuador’s highest court, in a ruling released on Tuesday, upheld a $9.5bn damages award against oil giant Chevron over decades of pollution that harmed indigenous people. However, the decision by the country’s constitutional court is largely symbolic because Chevron now owns no assets in Ecuador, meaning the country will have to keep pressing its case in foreign courts. In a ruling dated June 27 and released on Tuesday, the court said "there is no violation of the constitutional rights" of Chevron in throwing out its appeal of a lower supreme court ruling against it in 2013. Chevron was sentenced in Ecuador over environmental damage, blamed on Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, in this country’s rainforest during oil operations from 1964 to 1990. Chevron did not deny that pollution had occurred, but blamed it on state-run Petroecuador, with which Texaco worked in a consortium, and has refused to pay the settlement on the grounds that it was the result of fraud and bribe...

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