The plaintiffs say Texaco, and now Chevron, remain responsible for environmental contamination and illnesses resulting from the operations of an oil consortium from 1972 to 1990 in Ecuador's rainforest.
"We're really pleased with the start of the embargo on Chevron's assets in a country outside of Ecuador," said Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs in the case told the Associated Press.
"The fact that an Argentine judge has decided to accept the embargo order shows that the ruling by the Ecuadorean court can be enforced and today Chevron is forced to pay up to the last cent its debt owed to the Amazon."
The plaintiffs will begin a suit in Colombia in the coming days and are also preparing legal actions in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, Fajardo said.
"Environmental crime will not go without punishment and we're going to chase them anywhere in the world," he said.
Chevron argues that a 1998 agreement Texaco signed with Ecuador after a $40 million cleanup absolves it of liability and that Ecuador's state-run oil company is responsible for much of the pollution in the oil patch Texaco quit more than two decades ago.
Chevron is a major player in Argentina, producing about 26,000 barrels of crude and 4 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, the plaintiffs have said.
The company is also key for the South American country's future energy needs, especially after it agreed to work with the state-run YPF energy company to develop shale reserves that could be the third-largest in the world.
Associated Press writers Gonzalo Solano in Quito, Ecuador, and Luis Andres Henao in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.
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