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 | 6-Apr-2020
La italiana Salini Impregilo ha presentado un arbitraje de inversiones contra Panamá en el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI)
Reuters | 1-Apr-2020
Mining company South32 has filed a request for arbitration at the World Bank over a dispute with Colombia concerning royalty payments from its majority-owned Cerro Matoso ferronickel mine:
CIAR Global | 30-Mar-2020
La compañía minera británica South32 SA Investments Limited ha solicitado un arbitraje de inversiones conta Colombia ante el CIADI. | 27-Mar-2020
The hard work of protecting water and land from the long-term harms associated with gold and silver mining takes place daily on the frontlines of tenacious struggles throughout Latin America and around the world.
Diario Uchile | 20-Mar-2020
Un estudio hecho por el Transnational Institute (TNI) dio a conocer que, entre 1996 y 2019, las empresas transnacionales han demandado en 282 ocasiones a Estados de la región, lo cual representa un 28,7% de las demandas inversor-Estado conocidas a nivel mundial.
CIAR Global | 20-Mar-2020
Una mediación internacional entre el Gobierno de República Dominicana y el consorcio de empresas Odebrecht-Technimont-Estrella, encargado de la construcción de la Central Termoeléctrica Punta Catalina, ha evitado el arbitraje en relación con la reclamación por sobrecostes del proyecto.
ISDS América Latina | 17-Mar-2020
Este informe contiene una sistematización de estadísticas en base a un análisis de los casos inversor-Estado conocidos contra Estados de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) hasta Noviembre de 2019 y sus consecuencias para los países.
CIAR Global | 13-Mar-2020
En octubre de 2019 la tecnológica estadounidense Neustar anunció su intención de presentar un arbitraje contra Colombia ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI).
Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, France | 13-Mar-2020
Le CIRDI estime que le traité de protection des investissements Espagne-Pérou n’a pas été violé et demande à Lidercón d’indemniser l’État péruvien à hauteur de 4 MUSD.
La República | 13-Mar-2020
Empresa española deberá pagar a favor del estado peruano 4 millones de dólares.

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