Latin America

Latin America countries have signed over 650 trade agreements. They have been the most targeted by investor-state disputes (ISDS). About 35% of all ICSID arbitration cases have involved a Latin American state.

Argentina itself has faced almost 60 ISDS disputes, about 9% of all cases, making it the most targeted state globally. Venezuela, Mexico and Ecuador have been among the ten most frequent respondents in the world.

Well-known cases such as Chevron vs. Ecuador or Pac Rim vs. El Salvador have originated in significant environmental damages caused by corporations. Philip Morris is currently suing Uruguay over its anti-tobacco law.

Besides, Chile, Mexico and Peru are party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with nine other Pacific Rim states. Its investment chapter has revealed the inclusion of ISDS provisions that would undermine public health, the environment and other public-interest ‘safeguards’.

The most well-known cases include:

• Chevron (US) vs. Ecuador: in 2013, an arbitration court ordered Ecuador to pay Chevron US$106 for breach of contract (Ecuador-United States BIT invoked). Meanwhile in a separate case, Ecuador’s highest court fined the oil giant US$9.5 billion for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest. Both cases are unresolved.

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).

• National Grid PLC (United Kingdom) vs. Argentina: about US$50 million awarded in 2008 to the investor, a multinational electricity and gas utility company (Argentine-United Kingdom BIT invoked).

(October 2015)

La República | 3-Jan-2019
Un fondo de inversión estadounidense poco conocido se prepara para ganar mucho en las demandas
Argentina Mejor Sin TLC | 28-Dec-2018
El Tratado mantiene amplios derechos para los inversores, incluidos algunos de los que usan con más frecuencia para demandar a los Estados: Trato Justo y Equitativo, la Expropiación Indirecta, el Trato Nacional y el Trato de Nación Más Favorecida.
Cinco Días | 27-Dec-2018
El Ciadi, la corte de arbitraje internacional que depende del Banco Mundial, ha resuelto que el Estado argentino debe abonar una indemnización de 225,69 millones de dólares (unos 200 millones de euros) más intereses por la resolución anticipada de los contratos de gestión de aguas en la ciudad de Santa Fe.
South Centre | 21-Dec-2018
Can an intellectual property right or a license authorizing its use be deemed an ‘investment’ under bilateral investment treaties?
Reuters | 21-Dec-2018
Investment funds backing a slew of big-dollar corporate lawsuits has boomed over the past decade, fueled by favorable court rulings and investors seeking juicy returns.
El Tiempo | 20-Dec-2018
Defensa del Estado dijo que pleito se resolverá en tribunal. Empresa dice que fueron ’expropiados’.
Noticias Caracol | 20-Dec-2018
El Estado respondió así a la indemnización de 1.626 millones de pesos que exigió la multinacional española por la intervención de la empresa de servicios públicos.
CIAR Global | 14-Dec-2018
El conflicto está relacionado con la suspensión del proyecto de minería de oro Tambor, en San José del Golfo y San Pedro Ayampuc, y la reclamación estaría cifrada en 300 millones de dólares.
Argus | 14-Dec-2018
Former Canadian mining company Crystallex has resumed efforts to auction shares of Venezuelan-controlled US refiner Citgo and accused Caracas of breaching an earlier settlement to stave off the sale.

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