Humberto Vacaflor writes in El Diario:
A fireproof test
If there is or there is no legal assurances in the country, will surely be known now, with the decision of Justice in favor of La Paz factory SOBOCE by the case of the expropriation of shares of the Chuquisaca Fancesa cement factory.
The mentioned decision of the departmental Court of Chuquisaca, orders to the Office of the Governor of this Department to pay SOBOCE $93.3 million dollars as compensation.
National entrepreneurs look carefully here, knowing that in its outcome may be a proof whether “legal assurances” that foreign investors are concerned, are also valid in Bolivia.
The proof is provided in a difficult circumstance. The Government needs to reassure the investment, but would also be hard with a cement company that is headed by opposition leader Samuel Doria Medina.
The sentence 18/2013 issued April 15 by the Seventh Party Court in Civil matters of the departmental Court of Justice of Chuquisaca, declared proven SOBOCE demand in the process followed against the autonomous Government of Chuquisaca for lack of payment by 33.34% of shares that were nationalized in FANCESA last September 1st, 2010.
The company maintained an intense campaign messages to remind that it was committing an outrage, a violation of laws, an abuse disguised as “nationalism” against domestic entrepreneurs.
Governor Esteban Urquizo, from the political party in government, has reacted with fury to this sentence, but in the departmental Assembly, they have reminded him that he had not complied with his duty to report on the State of the process of SOBOCE.
Urquizu has announced he will appeal this ruling to the national court, by opening the suspicion that it will have to be the Government that will help reverse the criterion of the justice administrators.
Bad for the Governor, and someone in the Government who were thinking about influencing the appeal; is that the case is presented as a timely test to know if in Bolivia exist or not the so claimed “legal assurances”.
All the international organizations, from the IDB to the IMF, from the CAF to the World Bank, are watching.
They are also looking carefully this case, the international banks that should be placing new sovereign bonds worth $500 million dollars. They want to know if placing these bonds in the international market can or does not offer “legal assurances” in Bolivia.
The ball is in the hands of the Government of Bolivia.
The so-called lecturing in economics by this government has to think twice if they force non-compliance to this ruling. As a Bolivia, of course I feel bad that we are “throwing down the drain” those $93.3 million dollars, as there could be lots of places where they are needed the most. However, we must comply with the Law and governments like this one, should think twice instead of been plain demagogues! And there is still Bolivian people who want to re-re-elect this government!!