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)

Kluwer Arbitration Blog | 20-Jan-2020
Despite debates about crisis in investment treaty arbitration, most emerging market economies are concluding BITs that provide for ISDS and emerging market multinational companies appear to welcome ISDS.
Blue Radio | 16-Jan-2020
En Colombia, Uber se atribuyó la facultad de imponer tarifas por encima de la autoridad competente, violando el Código Penal y también leyes del transporte.
IAReporter | 13-Jan-2020
The US-based ridesharing services platform Uber Technologies and its Colombian subsidiary, Uber Colombia, have threatened to initiate arbitration proceedings against Colombia under the Colombia-US Trade Promotion Agreement.
Semana | 9-Jan-2020
El Gobierno recibió una notificación de la compañía en la que le comunica su intención de demandar al Estado tras la suspensión del servicio que la Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio les impuso en el país.
CIAR Global | 9-Jan-2020
Amec Foster Wheeler USA Corporation, Process Consultants, Inc., and Joint Venture Foster Wheeler USA Corporation and Process Consultants, Inc. han presentado un arbitraje de inversiones contra Colombia ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI).
CIAR Global | 7-Jan-2020
La constructora peruana Graña y Montero ha comunicado el desistimiento del arbitraje presentado ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias Relativas a Inversiones, CIADI, tras haber llegado a un acuerdo con el gobierno peruano
Ciar Global | 3-Jan-2020
La constructora Graña y Montero S.A.A. ha presentado una solicitud de arbitraje ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias Relativas a Inversiones, CIADI, tras haber agotado la vía de trato directo, contra Perú.
CIAR Global | 23-Dec-2019
La intención de acudir a arbitraje de inversiones contra Perú ha sido anunciada por la minera canadiense Lupaka.
CIAR Global | 20-Dec-2019
En una nota de prensa difundida por la minera canadiense Lupaka, ésta anuncia que ha presentado Notificación de Intención de Presentar una Reclamación de Arbitraje, de conformidad con el Acuerdo de Libre Comercio de 2009 entre Canadá y Perú el 12 de diciembre, ante el Ministro de Economía y Finanzas peruano.
CIAR Global | 19-Dec-2019
La Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado de Colombia ha publicado en comunicado de prensa datos relacionados a las audiencias que se desarrollaron la semana pasada en Washington en el marco del procedimiento de arbitraje de inversiones CIADI que enfrenta con Naturgy (antigua Gas Natural Fenosa) y relacionado con Electricaribe.

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