Home South AmericaPeru Hugo Chávez’s right-hand man is still in the race to direct electricity companies

Hugo Chávez’s right-hand man is still in the race to direct electricity companies

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Hugo Chávez's right-hand man is still in the race to direct electricity companies

The Minister of Energy and Mines, Carlos Palacios, had no choice but to withdraw , former general manager of Petroperú investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office, for president of the board of directors of the state group Distriluz. But he has kept Fernando de la Torre, Chávez’s right-hand man, as one of the candidates to join that board.

Distriluz manages the firms Electronoreste SA (ENOSA), Electronorte SA (ENSA), Hidrandina SA and Electrocentro SA In addition, it promotes electrification in rural areas and manages assets of S/2,577 million.

“I emphasize that Mr. Hugo Chávez was withdrawn from the proposal,” Palacios said last Thursday in Congress, during his questioning. The minister, a member of Peru Libre and a faithful follower of Vladimir Cerrón, had submitted to Fonafe on April 27 the names of four people to renew the senior staff of Distriluz: the president and three directors.

There are serious complaints against Chávez Arévalo, from eliminating public documentation (evidence against him) to coordinating from the Government Palace the contracting of Heaven Petroleum Company (HPO) to supply biodiesel to Petroperú at a price of US$74 million.

One of these irregularities implicates Fernando de la Torre with his appointment as Finance Manager of Petroperú. That appointment, in the first place, hindered the signing of the contract of the public company with the prestigious auditor Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC).

On March 8, PwC informed the oil company that it would not be able to submit the results of its audit of the 2021 accounting close in May of this year, precisely because of the removal of the official whom De la Torre replaced.

The auditor explained that it was “essential” to have contact with the staff that prepared the financial statements for the year in question “in order to have first-hand information to corroborate its content.”

LOOK: Hugo Chávez resigned from Petroperú at the request of Pedro Castillo

The other reason was the confidentiality clause that the Chávez administration wanted to vary so that these results are reserved in an “indeterminate” way, when the usual thing was that they remain confidential for two years.

De la Torre was appointed general manager of Petroperú, replacing Hugo Chávez, on March 23, and the first thing he did was announce that he would denounce PwC for not signing the contract that included the aforementioned clause.

Sources from Petroperú told this newspaper that De la Torre’s appointment as Finance Manager was “imposed” by Chávez, knowing what would happen with the audits.

In addition, they indicated that the Comptroller’s Office and the Anti-Corruption Attorney’s Office are investigating the previous administration of the oil company, and this includes the two former general managers Chávez and De la Torre.

Peru21 learned that Fonafe is already evaluating the profiles of the three directors proposed by the cerronista minister. One of the criteria is suitability, both ethical and professional.

At the end of the month, the board will meet to approve the candidates who will manage Distriluz. Will they accept Fernando de la Torre knowing his past?

Petroperu at risk

Senior executives of Petroperú will seek to move heaven and earth to prevent the oil company from falling into default, that is, that it cannot meet financial obligations such as paying creditors, something that he warned Peru21 in March (8-3-22). A heavy and costly inheritance left by the questioned and investigated former manager Hugo Chávez.


Bloomberg reported that the new president of the company, Humberto Campodónico, and other members of the board of directors will talk today with the company’s creditors in Madrid, seeking approval for the delay in the publication of the 2021 financial statement. This, before that the term they have until May 31, contemplated in the bond contract, is fulfilled, because, otherwise, an event of default could take place.

The executives would also travel to New York the following week to meet with bondholders and seek similar approval.

The risk of default looms after the consulting firm PwC withdrew its offer to audit Petroperú’s financial statements less than three months ago due to demands made by the oil company at the level of the work schedule and confidentiality.

Keep in mind

-Petroperú sources indicated to this newspaper that Hugo Chávez’s management reduced the supplier payment term from 120 days to 90, even 30 days. This implied an imbalance between payment and income obligations.

Peru21 He sought to contact Fernando de la Torre to find out who proposed him to be a director at Distriluz. But his cell phone was turned off and he did not answer messages.


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