Urubó Golf, the megaproject denounced by co-owners and even former workers

Urubó Golf, the megaproject denounced by co-owners and even former workers

Malkya Tudela / Santa Cruz

The Urubó Golf urban project, in the municipality of Porongo de Santa Cruz, is loaded with complaints from its co-owners and even from former workers of the complex. Its main partner, Luis Carlos Kinn Franco, is the visible head of this and other real estate agencies in that area characterized by the highest prices for urban land in the Santa Cruz metropolis.

Constructora e Inmobiliaria Aquavista Golf SA (Ciagolf) and Golf & Country SRL are the companies that own and manage, respectively, the Urubó Golf project, which is located in Porongo, just after crossing the Piraí River from Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

The project is sustained in the urban part of co-owners of land and at the same time shareholders of the country club; and on the other hand, in external partners who are only members of the select sports club through one or more actions.

The works are built on 183 hectares.
Photo: Courtesy co-owners

Urubó Golf extends over 183 hectares, with developable lots of 1,000 square meters that are sold between 80,000 and 150 thousand dollars. The external partners add up to 1,500, each with a share that costs between 8,000 and 10,000 dollars, according to the co-owners.

Co-owner complaints

“More than six years ago I bought the land and the share with the aim of building our house there. We considered that it was going to be one of the best countries in Bolivia and even in South America, but we have been waiting for the developer and Ciagolf SA, which is the company that sold us the land and the shares, to comply with us”, says an owner who requested the reserve your name.

Agustín Zambrana Arze, a lawyer who represents a hundred co-owners, explains that in Urubó Golf there are “22 million dollars of unrealized investments in: sewage network, treatment plant, electrical network, street lighting, internal gas network, repair of streets, docks within the urbanization, perimeter fence, unfinished club house, parks, squares and modular gates”.

“I haven’t been able to build my house there because I don’t even have basic services. I don’t know if this is currently the case, but Ciagolf sold electricity to the co-owners. Those who lived there until about six months ago, I’m sure, did not have their own meter. They have a transformer for each module; I know of several cases in which the entire house has burned down because the number of families saturates the transformer”, details the owner.

The legal representative of Ciagolf SA, Fernando Crespo, through a written interview, explains that “all the co-owners who live in Urubó Golf have access to electricity and basic services. In addition, the project is fully paved with 142,322 square meters (…), the equivalent of 15.5 linear kilometers. Perimeter fences were also built that now add up to 2,750 linear meters and work continues. The drinking water network was completed and delivered to Saguapac. We have already started the construction of the underground electrical network and the sewage network (…)”.

The plaintiff co-owners allege that more than 90% of the urbanizable lots were sold. “The project (Urubó Golf) has been a total success. We assume that they have taken the money to other projects, but they have not complied with anything that was promised”, claims the co-owner.

According to Zambrana, “the owners have made the decision to initiate legal action before the Public Ministry”, although he reserves the right to mention crimes and people who will be charged. For his part, Fernando Crespo clarifies that “there is no criminal claim, this route does not proceed legally for civil and commercial claims.”

In 2013, the architect Jorge Baldivieso Velasco signed an “investment guarantee contract” with Luis Carlos Kinn Franco to promote this business. Seven years later, Kinn’s breach led to an arbitration process before the Cainco Conciliation and Arbitration Center. Crespo explained that this controversy “came to an end through a resolution.”

In that sense, after listing the infrastructure built for the users of the sports club, he stated that “the investment made to date exceeds 93 million dollars.”

“More than 100 families have met, for more than a year and a half, with Ciagolf, waiting for him to sign an agreement with delivery dates for different things. He never signed it. He kept us buying time… Thousands of times he has committed himself, with letters, with milestones, with years, with months, for different works, such as the pool, the club house, everything that the condominium and the club should have” said the co-owner.

Asked about Kinn Franco, Crespo limited himself to saying: “It is not for me to refer to issues that are not our responsibility.”

Urubó Golf, the megaproject denounced by co-owners and even former workers
The real estate project has recreation areas.
Photo: Co-owners

work commitments

The co-owners are not the only ones who publicly denounce Ciagolf SA. There are periodic protests by former workers at the doors of the administration building, demanding the payment of unpaid salaries and unpaid social benefits.

Crespo explained that “the project has generated more than 800 sources of direct and indirect jobs in the last seven years,” but the company “had to restructure its operations” due to the pandemic.

Matías Andrés Llanes worked for Golf & Country as director of the golf school and in services for that practice. Last week he made his complaint public through his Facebook profile and announced that in the next few days he will raise the level of his complaints.

“On May 1, 2021, they told us that they were going to give us a severance pay, that is, they were going to fire us, they owed me nine months of salary. They told me to sign a contract with the new management company, fulfilling the same functions, but with less salary to guarantee payment,” says Llanes. Six months passed with the new company, but salaries were also delayed despite the reduction.

Llanes says that he is out of the country, but that he is preparing his return to continue with a legal process through labor and criminal channels, and to join the group that carries out sporadic protests.

Fernando Crespo does not answer about the number of layoffs, but explains that, “as a consequence of said restructuring (due to the pandemic), a certain smaller number of employees had to be reduced.”

“To date, the company makes all the necessary efforts to comply with all of the obligations it maintains, including, among these, the agreements reached with its now former employees, who will be paid absolutely all their benefits,” Crespo said.

William Molina was an accounting assistant for seven years and nine months at Golf & Country. “They removed me because I asked and demanded that they pay us our salaries… When I asked for my five-year term, they did not take me into account, they let it go, and we ended up with four to five pending salaries,” he explains, and says that Added to this is the lack of payments to the AFPs.

The accountant reached an agreement to leave the company and signed a document acknowledging the debt plus social benefits to be paid in a large amount and seven monthly minors. “The contract indicated that, if they failed to comply with the second payment, on the date of the third payment they would have to pay me everything without claim. To date, they have not complied,” explains Molina.

In his case, there were the three summonses before the Ministry of Labor and then the conciliation meeting to which Ciagolf SA sent a person who had no decision-making power.

“The ministry issued a report and gave me the green light so that I would initiate a labor lawsuit, I am initiating them (…). For them it has been better that I don’t even show up there, I can’t go, I already have another job. They only give money to those who make noise for them, “said Molina, in contact with this medium.

Real estate yes, but also hydrocarbons

Luis Carlos Kinn Franco appears relatively frequently in the press to comment on oil activity in the country and at events of his real estate agencies. He is president of Gas To Liquid International (GTLI), a company that achieved a joint stock company with YPFB in 2008 with the intention of exploring and exploiting reserves of the state-owned hydrocarbon company. At that time, his brother José Kinn Franco was Deputy Minister of Transportation.

José Kinn is also a minority shareholder in Ciagolf SA which, according to newstime.bo reported in 2021, has been renamed Urubó Golf Country Club (UGCC) after receiving an injection of 63 million dollars.

The oil businesses of Luis Carlos Kinn Franco are protected under the name UruboCorp, at least that is what bnamericas.com reports, which points to GTLI as “a subsidiary within a larger investment group known as UruboCorp that includes mining (gold) , real estate and energy, and with interests in both the hydrocarbon and renewable sectors”.

Despite having achieved in 2011, through laws, the power to operate in the Itacaray, Río Beni, Cupecito and Almendro fields, that prerogative was later repealed by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly.

In YPFB’s 2019 accountability, GTLI appears in charge of one of the six seismic prospecting projects underway in El Palmar, where its participation in a completed seismic exploration project is also mentioned, and in two wells in progress. previous activities in Irenda and Miraflores (Macharetí).

Jorge Campanini, a Cedib researcher, explains that GTLI “is an oil company with Bolivian capital that currently exploits the El Palmar field in Santa Cruz. It is known for having been a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Power, a Hindu firm that was in charge of the industrialization of iron in the Mutún deposit”. This last deal ended in 2012.

I haven’t been able to build my house there because I don’t even have basic services…

a project owner

183
HECTARES
has the Urubó Golf with lots
urbanizable of 1,000 meters
squares for sale
up to $150 thousand.

All co-owners living in Urubó Golf have access to electricity and basic services

Fernando Crespo, Ciagolf

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