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)

Business Monkey | 24-Mar-2017
La multinationale Fenosa naturel gaz exigera du gouvernement colombien pour la liquidation de sa filiale Electricaribe devant le CIRDI.
El Economista | 23-Mar-2017
La multinacional Gas Natural Fenosa solicitó hoy el inicio del procedimiento arbitral ante el Tribunal de la Comisión de las Naciones Unidas para el Derecho Mercantil Internacional (Uncitral) para reclamar a Colombia más de 1.000 millones de dólares por la liquidación de Electricaribe.
IISD | 22-Mar-2017
A tribunal under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) dismissed all claims by Canadian businessman Peter A. Allard against Barbados.
Natural Gas World | 22-Mar-2017
Spanish utility Gas Natural (GN) said it has launched arbitration proceedings against Colombia.
TeleSUR | 21-Mar-2017
Exxon Mobil y Conoco Phillips rechazan el marco legal que rige a Venezuela, en las que PDVSA tiene el 60 por ciento de las acciones y el resto es dispuesto para la participación de transnacionales.
Daily Business Review | 17-Mar-2017
Lawyers for Exxon Mobil have asked a federal judge to order Venezuela to pay the company more than $188.3 million—the amount Exxon Mobil says it is still owed as repayment for the 2007 expropriation of its oil assets.
Rebelión | 16-Mar-2017
Al llevar a cabo su actividad, Chevron/Texaco realizó una serie de operaciones, vinculadas a una reducción de costes en la explotación, que provocó derrames de crudo de enormes magnitudes, que causaron la destrucción de más de 450.000 hectáreas de bosque tropical amazónico y dejó 30.000 víctimas.
El Universal | 15-Mar-2017
Ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (Ciadi), Gas Natural Fenosa presentará en las próximas horas una demanda contra Colombia en la que exigirá 1.000 millones de euros en compensación por la liquidación de su filial Electricaribe.
Romandie | 13-Mar-2017
La condamnation du Venezuela à verser 1,4 milliard de dollars à ExxonMobil pour la nationalisation d’un champ pétrolier sous le mandat d’Hugo Chavez a été annulée par une juridiction d’arbitrage internationale.
International Economic Law and Policy Blog | 13-Mar-2017
An ICSID Annulment Committee’s decision to reduce the damages to be paid to Exxon by $1.4 billion seems like a cause for celebration-a victory of economic sovereignty over Big Oil. But as gifts to economic justice go, this one is a Trojan horse indeed.

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