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The Metalclad Toxic waste Site and NAFTA Chapter 11 Investments Provisions. Fernando Bejarano G rapam@prodigy.net.mx (52)595-95-47744. Summary. Metalclad case was the first lawsuit by a foreign company vs Mexico Govt under NAFTA Chap 11

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the metalclad toxic waste site and nafta chapter 11 investments provisions

The Metalclad Toxic waste Site and NAFTA Chapter 11 Investments Provisions

Fernando Bejarano G

rapam@prodigy.net.mx

(52)595-95-47744

summary
Summary
  • Metalclad case was the first lawsuit by a foreign company vs Mexico Govt under NAFTA Chap 11
  • Metalclad challenge the denial of a municipal construction permit to reopen a toxic dump, and the creation of a State Protected Natural Area as a unfear treatment and a measure that expropriate indirectly his investment
  • NAFTA tribunal ruled in favor of Metalclad, Mexico asked for a revision by SC Canada.
  • Metalclad obtained $16 million US from Mexico
  • Negative consequences because Chapter 11 is a model for protection foreign investment in the Free Trade of Americas Initiative
coterin
Coterin
  • San Luis Potosí Mexican enterprise, involved in business of mercury recycling, and toxic landfill.
  • After public pressure a Coterin´s toxic landfill was closed in Mexquitic with 70,000 hz waste, at end 1989
  • Short later acquired “La Pedrera” in Guadalcazar municipality, SLP in 1990 and lied to the community
community opposition to coterin
Community opposition to Coterin
  • Opposition from communities and municipal authorities that demand state and federal intervention of authorities but no real answer.
  • Direct action from local people, blockading the landfill and keeping trucks with toxic drums, until environmental authorities closed the dump, in October 1991 after a inspection
  • National Human Rights Commission Recomndtn
  • The 20,000 toxic waste remain on site buried.
  • Nevertheless, Coterin obtain federal/ state permits to operate the toxic landfill, only need municipal permit
metalclad coterin
Metalclad-Coterin
  • Oct 1993, Metalclad acquired Coterin, despite warnings from SLP state authorities of the inadequate of the site
  • Metalclad planned to expand the toxic dump to storage 30 thousand tons of haz wast in the next 25 years
  • Offered profits of 12.5 million US dls in the first year
  • Good location of the site near a future expanded road connected to North and Center of Mexico and with two of three legal requirements to open a toxic landfill, knowing that only would need the municipal construction permit
  • Former Enviro State official, received a commission for La Pedrera sale, acelerated the obtention of federal permits. Later became director of Metalclad consulting company and his wife a stakeholder of Metalclad holding company.
metalclad pressure
Metalclad pressure
  • Attempt to bribe local opposition leaders
  • Try to influence municipal politics
  • Organize PR media campaigns
  • Attempt to bribe Governor SLP
  • Pressure from stakeholders, Senators to Mexico Ambassador and President.
  • Pressure from USA Ambassador in Mexico to Trade Dept. SLP Governor and Fed Aut..
the opposition to the toxic dump
The opposition to the toxic dump

Local communities and Ejidos from the municipality

Independence of political parties

Local opposition linked with Pro San Luis Ecologico that called Greenpeace Mexico intervention, that brings national/intnal attention.

slide11

Masive mobilization obtains Enviro Audit Info

  • Citizen Technical Comittee conclude that Environmental Audit was preliminar, contradictory and will need more on site studies.
the federal agreement and dispute with metalclad
The Federal Agreement and dispute with Metalclad
  • Agreement Metalclad-Profepa-INE to reopen toxic landfill
  • Public opposition from Governor SLP
  • Legal disputes from municipality
  • Lawsuits from ENGOs to federal authorities
  • Metalclad initiate NAFTA dispute process under chapter 11
  • Creation of a State Natural Protection Area in Guadalcazar
slide13

Creation of a State Natural Protection Area in Guadalcazar

  • Guadalcazar is located in the most important center of concentration of cacti species in the Grand Chihuahua Desert Region
  • Registered 18 endemic endangered cacti species
  • Is a habitat in transition, also includes black bear, puma, venado cola blanca
metalclad chapter 11 lawsuit
Metalclad Chapter 11 lawsuit
  • The denial of the municipal construction and later, the creation of the State Natural Reserve Area was argue as
  • Violation art 1105 unfear and discriminatory treatmentEach party shall accord to investments of investors of another Party treatment in accordance with international law, including fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security.
  • Violation art.110: tantaoumont to expropriation invest.

“No Party may directly or indirectly nationalize or expropriate an investment of an investor of another Party in its territory or take measure tantamount to nationalizationn or expropriation of such and investment...

arbitration appelation and final negotiation
Arbitration,Appelation and final negotiation
  • ICSID-NAFTA Tribunal accept Metalclad complaints and order Mexico to pay more 16 million dls and acumulative interests to Metalclad
  • Mexico appealed the tribunal decission to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, (SCBC)
  • The SCBC, threw out two of the three complaints,but mantain that state natural reserve areas was Nafta violation
  • Mexico Govermt negotiated with Metalclad, and paid $16 million dls and liberate him for any liability for the remediation of the toxic dump. In 2003 still the place has 20,000 hz tons buried on site and a dispute with SLP state about who has to paid the clean up.
problems with the arbitration process under nafta chapter 11
Problems with the arbitration process under NAFTA Chapter 11
  • Corporations are treated as international actor and the process is consider like a private commercial dispute
  • No Public Hearings during the arbitration process.
  • Municipal and State can not participate directly but trough Federal Govt
  • No transparent and democratic process
  • No environmental or health issues are sufficient considered in the arbitration process
  • The perversion of the Polluter-Pay Priciple: polutter did not pay, but was paid.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • The Chapter 11 is used as a political pressure to intimidate municipal and state governments

Recommendation:

  • Chapter 11 has to be reviewed to preserve democracy and sovereignity of municipal and state governments.
  • NAFTA chapter 11 is not a good model for future foeign protection investments for other free trade agreements in the Americas.