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)

La Jornada | 27-Sep-2022
El presidente López Obrador ¿qué respuesta dará a la advertencia que recién le ha hecho el “tribunal” del Centro Internacional de Arreglos de Diferencias relativas de Inversiones (Ciadi) del Banco Mundial, de que se abstenga de hacer “ataques públicos” a la minera estadunidense Vulcan Materials, la cual tiene demandado a México por al menos 500 millones de dólares
Institute for Policy Studies | 20-Sep-2022
International organizations appeal to Colombia’s highest court over human rights violations at one of the largest open pit coal mines in the world.
Terra Justa | 19-Sep-2022
Las organizaciones, Terra Justa, el Instituto de Estudios Políticos (IPS) - Programa de Economía Global, War on Want, Global Justice Now y la Red Minera de Londres (LMN), presentaron su escrito a la Corte Constitucional de Colombia, después de que los gigantes mineros, Glencore y Anglo American, iniciaron demandas de arbitraje internacional en contra Colombia, para evitar la implementación de la decisión de la Corte que suspendió la expansión de la mina de carbón del Cerrejón en favor de los derechos de los Wayúu.
CIAR Global | 9-Sep-2022
El empresario venezolano José Alejandro Hernández Contreras ha presentado un nuevo procedimiento de arbitraje de inversiones contra Costa Rica ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones.
CIAR Global | 7-Sep-2022
Un informe publicado por el Transnational Institute (TNI) que analiza las estadísticas de las demandas de inversiones contra países de América Latina y el Caribe hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2021.
América Latina Mejor sin TLC | 5-Sep-2022
Un nuevo informe de TNI recopila, analiza y sistematiza las demandas de inversores extranjeros contra Estados de América Latina y el Caribe hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2021.
CIAR Global | 2-Sep-2022
Perenco confirma que ha registrado el laudo adeudado a Perenco por la República de Ecuador en un tribunal de Singapur y en Reino Unido para hacer valer sus derechos de pago.
América Latina Mejor sin TLC | 31-Aug-2022
Este martes inició en San Pablo el encuentro “Resistiendo a la liberalización comercial en América Latina: estrategias y alternativas”. Organizado por la Internacional de Servicios Públicos y la Fundación Ebert de Brasil, el encuentro incluirá dos jornadas de reflexión y debate luego de las cuales se realizará la Asamblea de la Plataforma América Latina Mejor Sin TLC.
Benzinga | 29-Aug-2022
Cette action permettrait de geler les comptes équatoriens dans ces juridictions et de saisir les paiements et les créances commerciales, afin de satisfaire la la sentence arbitrale impayée.
Asia One | 29-Aug-2022
This action would allow for Ecuadorean accounts in these jurisdictions to be frozen and trading payments and receivables to be seized, in order to satisfy the outstanding award debt.

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