Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Santos faces public outrage, a political storm and criminal charges over Isagen stake sale

Colombia Reports

santos-worried

The highly controversial sale of the government’s majority stake in energy company Isagen means major legal trouble for President Juan Manuel Santos and his finance minister, who are the target of public outrage and major political opposition.

The government sold its 57% stake in the company for $2 billion to Canadian hedge fund Brookfields in spite of a vast majority of Colombians and their representatives in Congress opposing the sale.

- Advertisement -

Both the Comptroller General’s Office and the Inspector General’s Office claiming that the sale of Isagen to finance infrastructure projects would eventually lead to a $700 million loss for the treasury.

The news of the sale infuriated Colombians. While thousands expressed their rage on social media, hundreds gathered before the stock market in the capital Bogota to protest the sale of the company that provides 17% of the country’s energy while, until Wednesday, adding an annual $133 million to the treasury.

Curiously, the country’s Comptroller General was unable to speak out on the Isagen sale, claiming he had been stripped of its faculty to issue alerts about pending projects.

In Congress, Santos is facing a majority opposition to the rushed sale of the government stake in the company.

- Advertisement -

Conservative opposition parties Democratic Center and the Conservative Party, and leftist opposition parties Democratic Pole and the Green Party were joined by the coalition Liberal Party to reject the sale.

Santos’ can only count on the congressional support of the Radical Change party of vice-President German Vargas. Even within his own U Party there is dissent about the course of actions, although the party has remained quiet.

“The sale of Isagen puts the national energetic sovereignty and security at risk,” said Liberal Party Senator Viviane Morales.

Socialist Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo went as far as saying that the government action will result in “the biggest loss in economic patrimony in [Colombia’s] history.”

According to Robledo, Santos conspired with Vargas and Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas to sell the state shares in the company against the will of the public and the majority of Congress.

//

Discurso del senador Robledo en el plantón contra la venta de #Isagen #IsagenEsDeTodos

Posted by Jorge Enrique Robledo Castillo on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

- Advertisement -

The senator expressed suspicion about the fact that five or the original six claimed bidders have retreated, making it possible for Brookfields to acquire the government’s share in Isagen for the minimal bidding price.

This meant a major bargain for Brookfields, which, according to Isagen’s financial records, could have its investment returned within eight years.

The Liberal Party, the Green Party, the Democratic Police and the Democratic Center will reportedly all convene to decide whether they will support a motion of censorship against Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, who announced the sale while Congress was in recess.

House Representative Edward Rodriguez’ of the Democratic Center said he would file a criminal complaint against the president before the House’ Investigations Commitee.

“The Investigations Committee should investigate if in the sale of Isagen could have been the alleged patrimonial loss for the nation and whether there were or not contractual irregularities in the process,” Rodriguez said.

The representative also wants the committee to investigate the reported personal relationship between Santos and Brookfield Asset Management interest holders.

News website Las 2 Orillas reported earlier this week that the law firm representing Brookfield during the Isagen purchase was partly owned by Juan Manuel Prieto, a personal friend of Santos and the president’s first appointed ambassador in Italy.

Santos has insisted that the sale was “a good deal” and crucial for the upgrade of the country’s deficient road system.

The post Santos faces public outrage, a political storm and criminal charges over Isagen stake sale appeared first on .

Colombia Reports

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Related Articles

Bogotá, Medellín and Cali: the cities with the most violations of measures against covid-19

QCOLOMBIA - Since the mandatory isolation began in Colombia, 1,400,387 finess...

What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan,...

MOST READ

What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan, Colombians still have some doubts regarding their immunization process and there is fear...

We do not move even half the passengers we would have on a normal day: Transmilenio manager

QCOLOMBIA - The public transport system in Colombia has been one of the worst-hit sectors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as quarantines...

Colombia Suffered Its Deepest Slump Since 1905 Last Year

(Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s economy suffered its deepest contraction in more than a century last year, leaving it wracked by soaring debt, mass unemployment and...

Colombia receives first batch of vaccines

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia advanced the start of the immunization campaign against the coronavirus to February 17, three days ahead of schedule, after receiving the...

There’s A Good Chance Your Valentine’s Flowers Come From Colombia

QCOLOMBIA - If you send a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, chances are they were grown in Colombia. It remains the No. 1...

Colombia begins 2021 with a reactivation of 55% in flights

QCOLOMBIA - The end of the year travel season arrived with important expectations of recovery for the tourism sector. The improvement in the tourist...

Pope thanks Colombia for efforts to protect migrants

Q REDAQTED (Vatican News) - “I always look with gratitude at the efforts of those who work for migrants,” Pope Francis said on Sunday...

Colombia okays US$38 billion dollar reactivation plan

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia’s economic and social policy council (Conpes) has greenlighted a 135 trillion Colombian peso (US$38 billion) economic reactivation plan, which will be...

Colombian Clever Leaves made first shipment of medical cannabis to the U.S.

QCOLOMBIA - Clever Leaves, a Colombian company authorized to handle pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids, announced that its subsidiary, Herbal Brands, managed to establish a strategic...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Colombia Reports