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).

Photo: Sairen42 / CC BY-SA 3.0

(April 2020)

ISDS América Latina | 24-Nov-2022
En 2018, Colombia fue el país más demandado ante tribunales de arbitraje internacional por parte de inversores extranjeros. Desde el principio del nuevo milenio, los gobiernos de Álvaro Uribe y Juan Manuel Santos apuraron la firma de tratados bilaterales de inversión y de libre comercio sin ningún tipo de debate público ni estudio de impacto medioambiental o social.
América Latina Mejor sin TLC | 21-Nov-2022
El debate surgió frente a litigios internacionales como el que enfrenta el gobierno de México con la multinacional Calica en Quintana Roo.
Soy 502 | 21-Nov-2022
El Gobierno de Guatemala y la empresa Teco Holdings finalizarán el proceso de arbitraje que lleva más de diez años.
El Comercio | 18-Nov-2022
Scotiabank Perú dijo que la solicitud de demanda que presenta su mayor accionista ante el Ciadi se respalda en artículos del tratado de libre comercio (TLC) entre Perú y Canadá.
CIAR Global | 18-Nov-2022
El documento “Costos en el Arbitraje Inversionista-Estado“, publicado por la Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado (ANDJE), analiza el comportamiento de costos de Colombia en un contexto latinoamericano e internacional con datos de 105 laudos públicos emitidos entre junio de 2017 y diciembre de 2021.
Prospera | 10-Nov-2022
In accordance with the Dominican Republic–Central America–United States Free Trade Agreement, Honduras Próspera Inc. and its affiliates submit to the Republic of Honduras this written notice of their intention to submit claims to arbitration.
Le Courrier | 9-Nov-2022
Au terme d’un différend de plus de vingt ans, l’Etat chilien a été condamné à verser des dommages et intérêts à El Clarín de Chile, quotidien emblématique de l’époque d’Allende, démantibulé et exproprié lors du coup d’Etat de 1973.
La Jornada | 9-Nov-2022
México no está violando el Tratado México, Estados Unidos y Canadá (T-MEC) y no tiene porque pagar sanciones por las consultas solicitadas por Washington en materia energética, ya que sólo vigila el sistema eléctrico, aseguró Manuel Bartlett Díaz, director general de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
Proceso Digital | 4-Nov-2022
"En septiembre recibimos notificación de la nota que entregó ZEDE. El tema es que a más tardar el 16 de diciembre tienen que meter solicitud e iniciar el arbitraje", el ministro de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Económico dijo.
The Real News Network | 3-Nov-2022
US senators argue that abolishing special economic zones known as ZEDEs would violate the provisions of CAFTA-DR, including the provision ensuring “fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security.”

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