Latin America

Latin American and Caribbean countries have signed almost 700 investment agreements. They have been targeted in almost 300 investor-state disputes.

Argentina has faced almost 62 ISDS cases, about 6% of all cases, making it the world’s most targeted state. Venezuela and Mexico have been among the ten most frequent respondents in the world, with 51 and 33 cases, respectively.

Many key cases such as Renco vs. Peru, Chevron vs. Ecuador or Pac Rim vs. El Salvador have originated in significant environmental damages caused by corporations. Philip Morris took an ISDS case against Uruguay over its anti-tobacco law.

Chile, Mexico and Peru are also party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with eight other Pacific Rim states. The TPP includes an investor-state dispute mechanism that undermines public-interest ‘safeguards’.

The most well-known cases ISDS cases in the region include:

Chevron (US) vs. Ecuador: For 26 years, Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, performed oil operations in Ecuador. Ecuadorian courts found that during that period the company dumped billions of gallons of toxic water and dug hundreds of open-air oil sludge pits in Ecuador’s Amazon, poisoning the communities of some 30,000 Amazon residents. After a legal battle spanning two decades, in November 2013, Ecuador’s highest court ordered the corporation to pay $9.5 billion to provide desperately needed clean-up and health care to afflicted indigenous communities. Chevron challenged the decisions produced by Ecuador’s domestic legal system before an ISDS tribunal. In 2018, the arbitration tribunal held that the $9.5 billion judgment was fraudulent, violated international public policy and should not be recognised or enforced by the courts of other States. The amount of the award has not been established yet. (Ecuador-United States BIT invoked)

Occidental Petroleum Corporation “Oxy” (US) vs. Ecuador: in 2012 Ecuador was ordered to pay US$1.77 billion to the investor, an oil exploration and production company, for breach of contract. Sentence was reduced to US$1 billion in November 2015 (Ecuador-United States BIT invoked).

Investors vs. Argentina: When Argentina froze its utility rates in response to its 2001-2002 financial crisis, it was hit by over 40 lawsuits from investors, including Suez & Vivendi (France), Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona S.A (Spain) and Anglian Water (UK). The ISDS tribunal concluded that Argentina had breached the investors’ right to fair and equitable treatment. By 2014, the country had been ordered to pay a total of US$980 million (various BITs invoked).

(April 2020)

CIAR Global | 24-Nov-2020
La patronal de las compañías aseguradoras estadounidenses ha advertido a Chile del posible recurso a mecanismos incluidos en el Tratado de Libre Comercio Estados Unidos-Chile ante el cambio de la normativa que influye a las compañías de seguros que trabajan en el mercado chileno.
CIAR Global | 24-Nov-2020
La Corporación Nacional del Cobre chilena (Codelco) ha notificado a Ecuador su intención de acudir a arbitraje si no se cumplen los acuerdos por parte de la Empresa Nacional Minera de Ecuador, Enami EP, relacionados con el proyecto minero Llurimagua
JDsupra | 16-Nov-2020
Vento’s claims ultimately failed on the merits because Vento could not show irregularities in the Mexican tax authority’s treatment of its investment.
El Ciudadano | 13-Nov-2020
Los tratados de libre comercio nos condenan a producir y exportar en forma permanente cobre, frutas, maderas y otros pocos recursos naturales con escaso grado de manufacturación, y adquirir en los países socios los bienes manufacturados de más alta tecnología y productividad, lo cual inhibe su producción local.
La República | 12-Nov-2020
La empresa inició conversaciones con el Estado peruano para tratar de resolver las sanciones que fueron impuestas a la compañía. De no llegar a un acuerdo, el caso sería revisado por la CIADI.
Prensa Libre | 9-Nov-2020
Empresa de capital colombiano ganó en el 2009 la licitación del Plan de Expansión del Sistema de Transporte de Energía Eléctrica para construir y operar 866 kilómetros de red de transmisión.
CIAR Global | 6-Nov-2020
El Ministerio de Finanzas Públicas del Gobierno de Guatemala comunicó el embargo de 15,75 millones de US dólares en el marco del arbitraje con Teco Energy, por el que se condenó al país centroamericano al pago de 35,4 millones de dólares.
Televisa | 1-Nov-2020
México tiene 13 demandas derivadas del anterior Tratado de Libre Comercio con Estados Unidos y Canadá (TLCAN) reveló la secretaría de Economía, Graciela Márquez, que además aseguró es un número inusual.
CIAR Global | 1-Nov-2020
The dispute stems from the Community of Parán’s actions, which invaded Lupaka’s project held through Invicta Mining Corp.
Globe Newswire | 29-Oct-2020
The dispute stems from the Community of Parán’s actions, which invaded Lupaka’s project held through Invicta Mining Corp.

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