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)

Prensa Libre | 24-May-2018
Guatemala se expone a un nuevo arbitraje internacional con posibilidad de una demanda millonaria debido a la suspensión de operaciones del proyecto minero El Tambor, propiedad de Exmingua.
La Tercera | 24-May-2018
Ciadi desestimó la anulación de la sentencia que había solicitado Bolivia, por lo que tendrá que pagar la indemnización a Quiborax, firma ligada a la familia Fosk.
BN Americas | 24-May-2018
After a 14-year dispute between Quiborax and the Bolivian government, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rejected Bolivia’s application to annul a US$48.6mn award in favor of the Chilean mining company.
BN Americas | 24-May-2018
Exmingua is planning to launch arbitration proceedings against Guatemala following the suspension of its Tambor gold project.
Reuters | 16-May-2018
US oil company ConocoPhillips has brought new court actions to seize two cargoes of crude and fuel near a terminal operated by PDVSA subsidiary Citgo Petroleum in Aruba.
CIAR Global | 16-May-2018
Un tribunal de Curazao autorizó a que la estaodounidense ConocoPhillips incaute activos procedentes de refinerías en la isla propiedad de la estatal venezolana Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) valorados en 636 millones de dólares.
El Tiempo Latino | 16-May-2018
Este viernes, la empresa Conoco Phillips tomó control de los activos petroleros, específicamente muelles y almacenes, que posee Venezuela en Bonaire y San Eustaquio
Reuters | 14-May-2018
The legal action was the latest in the Caribbean to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) over the nationalization.
Mining Technology | 11-May-2018
Rusoro Mining has filed lawsuits in the US and Canada to seek compensation via the monetisation of Venezuela’s assets amounting to approximately $1.34bn in connection with the nationalisation of its gold mining assets in Venezuela.
América Económica | 7-May-2018
ConocoPhillips avanzó en sus esfuerzos por tomar los activos en El Caribe de la petrolera estatal venezolana PDVSA para hacer cumplir un laudo arbitral de una década que le otorgó US$2.000 millones por la nacionalización de sus tenencias en el país sudamericano, según dos fuentes con conocimiento de sus acciones.

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