The bench of Broad Front will appear before the Contentious-Administrative Court (TCA) to file a appeal for annulment of the extension of the concession of Terminal Cuenca del Plata (TCP), agreed between the government and Katoen Natie, main owner of the terminal.
This was announced this Monday by the deputy of the Broad Front, Charles Carrera, at a press conference. The appeal will have the signature of all the deputies of the caucus. The deputies maintain that the government “violated the principle of political participation” since they understand that the extension should have been done through a law.
“Everything was done outside the law, violating the Constitution and violating our right to political participation,” Carrera said, noting that the entire process was carried out outside Parliament and everything indicated by the port legal system. The Broad Front will present that appeal before March 15. If the TCA does not agree, the Broad Front indicated its willingness to resort to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to resolve the situation.
If that instance arrives, the FA already has accusations: it will target President Luis Lacalle and a series of hierarchs who were directly involved in the process. Among them, the Deputy Secretary of the Presidency, Rodrigo Ferrés, the then Minister of Transport, Luis Alberto Heber, his Undersecretary, José Luis Olaizola, and the President of the National Ports Administration (ANP), Juan Curbelo.
Except for the president, all are included in the judicial complaint that the Broad Front presented last year and that asks to inquire about possible criminal responsibilities.
The decision was made after the National Political Table received a report from its representative on that entity’s board, Alejandra Koch, who pointed out “new irregularities” arising from the process. According to Carrera, the director affirmed that Katoen Natie is failing to comply with the commitment to make investments of US$460 million, as it emerged from the agreement that allowed the extension of the contract.
According to the FA, the multinational also presented the plan, but the ANP approved it tacitly, without analyzing it and without having any legal or accounting report.
Conflict in Montecon
The president of the Broad Front, Fernando Pereira, will receive this Tuesday a delegation from the Port Union (Supra). The workers are in conflict over the announcements of layoffs and salary reductions raised by Montecon, the company that works moving containers in the public areas of the port of Montevideo.
Pereira publicly supported the union’s actions and announced the Broad Front’s decision to carry out a public campaign since the population “has to know what is happening inside the gates of the Port.” In this regard, he declared himself sure that, once the public knows the reality, he “will take sides.” There Pereira mentioned a recent poll by the consultancy Cifra, which at the end of April indicated that 46% of Uruguayans said they were against the agreement signed with Katoen Natie, while 23% supported it. “Uruguayans know that what was done is not right,” he said.
The Broad Front will also promote the presence of several members of the government so that they can explain to Parliament the latest advances on the subject. Carrera cited the ministers José Luis Falero (Transport) and Pablo Mieres (Labor).
On the table will be the announcement of the dismissal of 150 and the employment situation in Montecon. Among other issues, it will also be on the table whether or not the addendum that had been negotiated by the State and Katoen Natie was applied, which enables Uruguay to have “the last word” when endorsing a possible future sale of the shares. that the Belgian firm maintains in Terminal Cuenca del Planta and authorize any change of ownership in that sense. The aggregate was included at the request of Cabildo Abierto.
The Broad Front also wants to know what is the execution of the investment plan announced by Katoen Natie, for US$ 460 million.
“We have seen more information on the subject in the press and by Senator Carrera than the reports that may have reached the minister,” said the nationalist Sergio Botana ironically, when last Thursday the subject was considered by the Senate Transportation Committee. “We became aware of the issue through a public statement from the shareholders of Montecon,” the senator from the Broad Front responded.
Carrera recalled that this firm decided to initiate an arbitration based on two international investment protection treaties that Uruguay signed with Chile and Canada, the countries from which its two main shareholders come. Thus, he indicated, the government must inform if it had official knowledge and if the procedure has already been initiated.