QUITO - Ecuadorean plaintiffs on Tuesday said an order issued by a court in the Andean country lets them seize some $200 million worth of assets belonging to Chevron in a new legal blow to the number two US oil company.

The plaintiffs from villages in the oil-rich Amazon won an $18.2 billion case against the oil giant over claims that Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, contaminated the area from 1964 to 1992. Damages were increased to $19 billion in July.

Among the assets ordered turned over are $96.3 million that Ecuador's government owes Chevron, money held in Ecuadorean bank accounts by Chevron, and licensing fees generated by the use of the company's trademarks in the country, the plaintiffs said.

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