Tag Archive for: Gas Pipelines

The Comprehensive Gas Infrastructure Program – or the Trunk Gas Pipeline Program – promoted by the government of the Province of Córdoba, came to an end in 2019 with the completion of the works. By 2022, works continue at the municipal level, and the program has already begun its phase of connection to the natural gas network. However, there are still doubts about how citizens will be able to access the service, especially those who are located in vulnerable sectors.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Access to public information and transparency are constituted as a fundamental human right. People have the right to know what will be planned for their communities and based on this, make informed and pertinent decisions about the development processes that will affect their lives.

In the field of public policies, providing and guaranteeing access to public information is the cornerstone of good governance. Transparency is vital to enable individuals and communities to hold their institutions accountable and to foster trust in government and reduce corruption. Ensuring this right results in the generation of opportunities for citizens to learn, grow and make better decisions for themselves and those around them.

Reference to this is relevant when analyzing public policies and programs that aim to contribute to large-scale development. Such is the case of the Comprehensive Gas Infrastructure Program promoted by the Government of the Province of Córdoba. This series of infrastructure works began in 2015 and ended in 2019, with the purpose of “strengthening the natural gas supply to homes, businesses and industries.” According to the Government, 890 million dollars were invested to deploy 2,801 kilometers of pipes that will give the possibility of connecting to the natural gas network to 972,430 Cordovans without service. However, the planning began long before the year of implementation and under sustained skepticism due to the lack of information and transparency regarding its financing, its potential environmental and social impacts, the number of total beneficiaries, among others.

After the end of the project in 2019, there were still doubts about what the connection process would be like for the localities and how citizens would have effective access to the service. Similarly, there were also infrastructure works to be completed at the municipal level. By July 2021, the Government declared that 75 localities already had access to natural gas after the trunk gas pipeline program. Mention was made of the number of inhabitants who will benefit, without regard to information regarding their location and other data that show whether the gaps in inequality in access have begun to close or may be closed as a result of this work. This is of vital importance since the government also spoke about the Bancor credit network for homes and businesses, which would facilitate the connection and obtaining the service. It remained to be seen how those marginalized and vulnerable groups who will find it difficult to access this benefit will be supported, and who therefore will not have access to natural gas -or will be able to do so in the distant future.

Towards 2022 the doubts regarding the scope of this project for the population of Cordoba have not yet dissipated. According to Cordoba news portals, the connection of companies and businesses to the natural gas network is progressing at a much faster pace than the connection of homes. This discrepancy arises more than anything else because connecting to the network is expensive and involves decision-making at the family level. Even when the conditions have been provided to facilitate access – through credits, and the now confirmed support from the provincial government for vulnerable families – not all people are in equal conditions to quickly decide to join the network. In many cases, the connection also requires the structural adaptation of houses and the purchase of household appliances.
Regarding the latter, access to information and transparency play a fundamental role. In the first place, because if the project had been published and socialized correctly with the populations of the affected localities, the families could have decided to plan in advance the connection to the network. Secondly, the role played by government officials when informing and publishing the documentation regarding a project of this caliber is evidenced. This was left in the hands of the municipal level and its mayors, and in many cases their actions to inform the population were deficient -especially considering that works have also been needed at the municipal level to guarantee the connection-.
The practice of publishing information such as the publication of documents does not mean or result in an informed citizenry. Added to the open data and active transparency initiatives are actions aimed at informing the population, such as public consultations. These spaces work -or should work- as opportunities to socialize information about projects and public policies, obtain feedback from citizens and work on a co-creation process. During the beginning of the work of trunk gas pipelines, a good part of the challenges identified had to do with the lack of public consultations -required by law- and the general misinformation of the people about the possible impacts and benefits of the project.

Towards 2022 there is no accurate information on the works carried out in the localities and the public consultations that have been carried out with neighbors. The existence of these instances play a crucial role in citizen decision-making. Especially in these cases when it is a duty to report on the project, warn of the impacts, clarify the benefits and clarify the alternatives that families would have to access the network gas service.

In this sense, even though the work of the Trunk Gas Pipelines represents a great advance for the Province of Córdoba, and the possibility of closing the inequality gaps in access to natural gas, the serious problems regarding access to public information still stand out, transparency and accountability. A project of this magnitude should have had clear and concise information for the population from the beginning, communication channels with citizens, much more transparent work award processes, etc. The process has not yet finished, and there is an opportunity for the provincial government to make an effort to make transparent what remains to be done.


More information


Agustina Palencia


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org


*Photo taken from losprimeros.tv

On the occasion of the completion of the Trunk Pipeline Work in the province of Córdoba, last year we made 5 requests for information to provincial agencies. When we did not get any response, we presented a prompt dispatch to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The difficulties we have encountered in accessing information about this project have been constant since its inception.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Since 2014, we have made various requests for information on this emblematic project to both the Provincial Government and the National Government. On the occasion of the project’s completion, last year between August and October we made a series of requests for information to three departments of the Province of Córdoba directly or indirectly involved in the project, namely: the Córdoba Investment and Financing Agency -ACIF -, the current Ministry of Public Works, former Ministry of Public Works and Financing and the current Ministry of Environment, ex. Ministry of Water, Environment and Public Services.

At the end of 2019, as we had not received a response from any of the provincial agencies for the requests for information made and the response period had ended, we decided to make an early dispatch to the Ministry of the Environment.

It is important to clarify that once the provincial agencies receive a request for information they have 10 days to respond and it can only be extended for an additional 10 days as long as it is reported within the deadline. In the event of an incomplete response or lack of response, as was the case here, a prompt dispatch may be submitted. This resource is the same request for information, but it details the date and details of the request that had been made, together with a warning to initiate legal actions, that is, an injunction for default. Any provincial agency has a term of 10 to respond to the prompt dispatch, with the possibility of extending it for another 10 days, as well as with requests for information. In our case, the prompt dispatch was carried out in mid-December 2019, however the Ministry of the Environment responded to us only in February 2020, that is, the deadline was more than expired.

Thanks to the prompt dispatch made, we received the response to the request for information made in August 2019. The request requested information on the final layout of the project, location and number of inhabitants, businesses and industries benefited by the works and the state of situation. of the project. According to the information provided, all the Regional Systems are completed with provisional and / or definitive reception of the work.

In addition, we inquired about the companies and / or Transitory Business Units (UTEs) that participated in the project as well as what were the details and characteristics of the plan for connecting the home units to the Trunk Systems Regarding this last query, the provincial agency He replied that by means of a protocolized Agreement No. 024/2017 signed by the province of Córdoba, the Banco de Córdoba and the Distribuidora de Gas del Centro SA The “Fund for the Financing of Natural Gas Home Networks” was approved. It established the guidelines and requirements that the adhering municipalities must meet to allow the neighbors the possibility of obtaining financing to face the costs of connecting to natural gas in the home networks. In line with the above, the origin of the financing of the Provincial Plan Connect Gas Industry that enables the connection to the natural gas service to Shops, SMEs, Industries, Industrial Parks, among others, was consulted. This Program has a Banco de Córdoba financing line of $ 200,000,000, an amount that is loanable up to 100% of the value of the work according to the client’s classification. Also, the Program has financing of $ 100,000,000 from the Federal Investment Council.

Most of the information requested had previously been requested in requests for information that we made in previous years but in which we did not receive any response. Information that would have been optimal to have long before.

The lack of response to requests for information, such as non-compliance with the deadlines stipulated by Provincial Law 8803 on Access to Public Information (called the Law on Access to Knowledge of State Acts), hints, again, not only the great difficulty currently existing to access public information in the hands of the government of the Province, but also how outdated this law is, which dates back to 1999. Consequently, last year together with social organizations we requested through a document the update of this Provincial Law in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-American Model Law and the National Law of Access to Public Information.

Access to public information is a human right that strengthens citizen participation, transparency in public administration, and democratic governance. For this reason, it is necessary to update the provincial Law in this matter in order to solve the shortcomings it possesses, incorporating the highest standards and guaranteeing control mechanisms that supervise its compliance.

More information


  • Gonzalo Roza
  • Sofia Brocanelli


On August 21, we made requests for information on the finished work of the trunk pipelines of the province of Córdoba to different units of the province of Córdoba.

On the occasion of the completion, in the course of 2019, of the work of trunk pipelines that began to be planned more than ten years ago, we made requests for information to the Córdoba Investment and Financing Agency (ACIF), the Ministry of Water, Environment and Public Services and the Ministry of Public Works and Financing.

With this work, according to the government of the province, the gas network reached almost 98% of Cordoba, however, there are a number of issues around the project that are not yet fully clarified.

Despite being completed, issues such as the lack of access to information on the control of the progress of the project, such as the lack of precision about the funders of each of the systems has been controversial and confusing. Although it could be observed that the communication on the progress in the work by the provincial government was constant, the same did not happen with access to more specific and sensitive issues related to the project.

From Fundeps we have carried out periodic monitoring and monitoring of the project, even though the official information has been scarce and difficult to access: requests for information we previously made were never answered. With these new requests made we hope that the modalities in the access of provincial information have been modified in a positive way in order to achieve a more transparent and open government to society.

More information


Sofia Brocanelli


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

In January 2019, and after more than 10 years since the project began to be planned, the Government of the Province of Córdoba terminated the works of the trunk gas pipelines. Despite the obvious benefits of the project, it is worth asking about the true balance left by the experience of this project, especially in terms of transparency and accountability in public policies.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

At the beginning of 2019, with the authorization of the last supply branch and the pressure regulating plant in Tala Cañada (Pocho), the Government of the province of Córdoba concluded the controversial project for the construction of the trunk pipeline network. According to the government, the gas network thus reached almost 98% of Cordoba people; Although it is clear that the vast majority of industries and neighbors benefiting from the work do not yet have effective access to the service, since the problem of connecting to home and internal networks remains to be resolved.

With the work completed, the axis then moved to the need to connect the backbone networks with the home networks, so that families and businesses can effectively access the benefit. The company Ecogas and the municipalities are responsible for bringing the gas network to private homes, for which they will receive financial support from the province. While the Bank of Córdoba made available a line of credit -Dale Gas! – at zero interest rate and with a return of 48 months for the home gas installation; The provincial government launched a financing plan so that companies can connect to the network. This plan called «Connect Gas Industry» contains three lines of credit for businesses, SMEs, industrial parks, CNG stations and tourist establishments.

A controversial work

This work, according to data handled by the provincial government, benefits 973,490 Cordoba in 228 locations. Some populations will receive natural gas for the first time and, in other locations, the service will reinforce the existing one. However, despite the obvious benefits of the work, the project of gasification of towns in the interior of the province of Córdoba has been the focus of various controversies and has been under the watchful eye of public opinion since its inception. Thus, for example, as regards the financing of the work, the reasons for the fall in financing of both BNDES at first, and of Chinese banks later, were never officially clarified; and the provincial government’s decision to move forward with the work using public indebtedness generated controversy.

Similarly, the lack of access to information to control the progress of the project has been a constant throughout the entire execution process. Additionally, the project has been investigated for alleged acts of corruption in the bidding of the sections to be built, even being mentioned in the Lava Jato case in Brazil from the participation of the Odebrecht company in the works.

Thus, for example, in February 2018, the legislators of the opposition to the provincial Government, Juan Pablo Quinteros, Aurelio García Elorrio and Liliana Montero, filed a complaint with the Financial Information Unit (FIU) regarding the possible payment of charges for the work of the trunk pipelines. This follows from the kidnapping of the list of coimas paid to different governments of the continent belonging to the Brazilian banker Alberto Youssef, where he names at least four times the work in question. This list served as a tool for Brazilian investigators of the Lava Jato cause to prove the existence of a public works club made up of Odebrecht, Andrade Gutiérrez, OAS, Camargo Correa and other construction companies. According to the complainants, a 36 million dollar premium would have been paid. Also, they argue that the collection was made through the session of a real estate project in Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires) to a company of the Horacio Miró group, former official of the administration of José Manuel de la Sota. This accusation was denied by the businessmen involved.

In mid-2018, the possibility that Argentina will reach an agreement with Brazil so that Argentine judges can access the information present in the Lava Jato investigation generated great expectations in Córdoba. The causes for alleged corruption offenses in public works in our country would have the possibility to move forward through the use of this information. This agreement generated expectation given the denunciation for the alleged payment of coimates for 36 million dollars to the company of the Horacio Miró group. In this regard, the administrations of the former governor of La Sota and the current one, Juan Schiaretti, denied all kinds of accusations. This complaint is currently under the responsibility of Prosecutor 1 of the Anti-Corruption jurisdiction, which is based on data provided by Brazil.

However, the scandal caused by the irruption of the cause of the notebooks in August 2018 hit several of the companies involved in the construction of the trunk pipelines. From the provincial government they clarified that all tenders were carried out transparently. Among the companies involved and that have works in progress in the province of Córdoba is Electroengineering, allied with the Chinese company Petroleum Pipeline Boreau for the construction of 30% of the trunk gas pipelines. In addition, there is the Albanesi Group that through Generación Mediterráneo S.A. It owns the Modesto Maranzana thermoelectric plant located in Río Cuarto. Also, the company Iecsa (now Sacde) in charge of the sections of the gas pipelines in the provincial interior in partnership with the Chinese company Communications Construction Company (CCC). Finally, BTU and Esuco companies have also carried out pipeline works in Córdoba.

Positive or negative balance?

In short, after more than a decade of marches and counter-marches, trunk pipelines are finally a reality. What has been the largest infrastructure work in Córdoba in recent times leaves us, without doubt, a positive balance in relation to the potential benefits of the work. It will allow access to natural gas not only to thousands of citizens and hundreds of localities in Cordoba; but also to numerous industries, SMEs and businesses in the interior of the Province that will be able to boost their activity and productivity from access to the gas network. However, if we analyze the project from the point of view of transparency and accountability that must necessarily surround any work that has public funds for its realization; The balance is undoubtedly negative.

In that sense, we will continue monitoring the progress of the next stages of the work. Also trying to obtain more information about the details of its realization, the real reasons for the fall of the financing of the Chinese banks and the participation of Odebrecht in the project and its link with the Lava Jato cause, for which we are preparing requests for information which will be referred to the provincial administration.

More information


Mariano Camoletto

Gonzalo Roza


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

The year 2017 began with important and promising news for the Gasification Project of Localities of the Interior of the Province of Córdoba, better known by the people of Córdoba as the “main gas pipeline project”. During the first days of January, the Governor of Córdoba Juan Schiaretti and President Mauricio Macri were present at the inauguration of a Pressure Reducing Plant in La Calera, work carried out by the Brazilian company Odebrecht within the framework of the systems awarded to it after the public tender launched in 2015. The reduction plant constituted the first section inaugurated by the Córdoba-Gran Córdoba Ring System, comprised of 52 kilometers of gas pipelines. reinforcement, and that will benefit 300 thousand inhabitants of both Córdoba and La Calera and of Saldán, Villa Allende, Mendiolaza, Malagueño and Malvinas Argentinas, according to official information.

The presence of Macri at the inauguration of the work represented a gesture of political support for the Schiaretti government. Especially taking into account the strong questions and criticisms received by the provincial government for the involvement in this project of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, involved in a corruption scandal in Brazil and other Latin American countries, even in Argentina. Despite these questions, the Schiaretti government always defended the participation of the company by resorting to the debatable argument that the corruption events in which it is involved occurred between 2004 and 2013, while the tender in Córdoba was carried out only in 2015.

However, after a few days the project suffers a major setback: Schiaretti announces that, due to delays in obtaining loans from Chinese banks, 4 stretches of gas pipelines would be re-tendered to avoid postponing the start of the works in said sections, but in this case with the Province’s own financing. Recall that of the 10 trunk systems that were defined in 2015, 4 were awarded to Transitory Business Unions (UTEs) made up of Argentine and Chinese companies and financed by Chinese banks (ICBC and Bank of China); and the remaining 6 were awarded to Odebrecht (at first it was said that the Brazilian company would present its own financing for the start of the work, but finally this was not the case, making the province have to resort to indebtedness to start the works).

Thus, criticisms of the link with Odebrecht in the work will be added to questions about the delays in Chinese financing; the lack of relevant explanations regarding the reasons for the fall in financing; the need to re-tender the work and the decision of the provincial government to go back to the market to borrow to finance the work and even for the substantial increase in the cost of the work, which went from a budget of 8,600 million pesos in 2015 to 12,480 million pesos at the beginning of 2017 (an increase of 45% in almost two years).

After a new call for bids in February, in March the works of the four aforementioned systems were re-awarded to the same UTEs that had won in the first tender. In turn, the government issued a new batch of public securities for 460 million dollars to finance the start of works in the 4 tranches of the project, with the financial agent of Banco de Córdoba (Bancor).

Although in that same month of March advances were announced in the negotiations with the Chinese banks to finish making the committed credits for the work, surprisingly on April 21 the Governor Schiaretti announced the definitive fall of the Chinese financing and the signing of a decree that rendered ineffective the adjudication of the works of the 4 corresponding trunk systems. While Schiaretti himself blamed the Chinese banks for the fall in funding, arguing that they raised conditions “leonine, unacceptable to Cordoba and the national government,” the fact is that the government never made clear the true reasons and reasons that led to the fall of Chinese financing.

In this way, the government of Córdoba decided to launch a new tender for 437 million dollars for the construction of the 4 gas pipeline systems, which now in the new call would become 8 systems (in addition to the 6 remaining systems already awarded to Odebrecht ) and whose financing would come from the same province. In this case, the allocation of the new systems fell to national companies.

In early May, and despite criticism from the opposition, the provincial legislature approves a bill that enables new changes in the pipeline project: the negotiations with Chinese banks to finance 4 of the trunk systems are terminated, and it is approved that it is now the provincial government itself that must obtain the totality of the funds to complete the work (ratifying in this way the authorization granted by law 10,339 that enabled operations to take public credit to carry out the works). Just a few days later, the government made official through a decree published in the Official Gazette, a new debt collection for 450 million dollars to finance the work. By the end of June, Schiaretti himself would announce through his Twitter account that the province had obtained the total financing for the work through the placement of bonds in the international capital market.

In short, this strategic project for Córdoba that was going to have in the beginning with financing provided or managed by international actors (initially through the National Bank of Economic and Social Development of Brazil -BNDES-, then through Chinese banks and own financing provided by the Odebrecht company) to depend exclusively, for its concretion, on the province’s own resources or obtained through debt through the issuance of government securities.

The second half of the year would be marked mainly by the progress of the work (according to the government by the end of the year 14% of the work had been completed and the work was planned to be completed by mid-2019), but also by the constants and recurring questions from sectors of the opposition and civil society in relation to the project. Especially after Córdoba was mentioned in the framework of the Lava Jato case as one of the destinations where the Odebrecht constructure paid bribes in Argentina.

Although the national government of Mauricio Macri began a campaign to review and investigate the possible involvement of Odebrecht in the payment of bribes in numerous public works projects in Argentina (which even led the national government to suspend the company to carry out works at a national level), the gas pipeline project in Córdoba was strangely excluded from said revision and the relevant explanations were never provided to justify such exclusion. Even the company continues to operate in the province despite its suspension at the national level (its main work is precisely that of gas pipelines in Córdoba) and the requirements from the opposition that the same be done at the provincial level. Given the lack of answers at the national level, some opposition legislators traveled to Brazil in October of this year to ask the prosecutors of the Lava Jato case to investigate the link between the Brazilian company in the payment of bribes in the framework of the bidding process in 2008 for the construction of trunk pipelines.

In this way, between marches and counter-marches, the balance of 2017 in relation to the trunk gas pipeline project throws little light and many shadows and suspicions in relation to the transparency and execution of the project. Not only because of the never entirely clear fall of Chinese financing at the beginning of the year but also, and above all, because of the way the provincial government has handled the involvement of the construction company Odebrecht in the work and the numerous causes of corruption that splash throughout Latin America and even in Argentina itself. Although the government of Schiaretti has detached the company from any kind of connection with the possible delivery of bribes and corruption in the bidding of the work (even with the support of the national government of Macri itself that has initiated a kind of “Crusade” against the Brazilian company for its actions in the country during the Kirchner government), the truth is that the year that ends leaves many questions and aspects not clarified about the project.

Undoubtedly, 2017 has left a huge debt outstanding in terms of transparency and accountability in relation to this strategic and emblematic project for Córdoba. From FUNDEPS, we expect this debt to be paid in 2018.

More information

– Working Document: Transparency in the gasification project of localities in the interior of the province of Córdoba by Melanie Mackenzie – December 2017. FUNDEPS.

– Notes and publications of FUNDEPS in relation to trunk gas pipelines.

–  Main gas pipelines in Córdoba: a work that advances in the shadow of corruption by Agustina Palencia – December 2017. El Entramado. FUNDEPS.

Image source

La Voz del Interior


Macarena Lourdes Mustafa / Voluntaria del Área de Gobernabilidad Global

Gonzalo Roza / Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global


Gonzalo Roza / Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global


Within the long list of Chinese investments in Argentina, the case of aqueducts in the province of Entre Ríos has been one of the most controversial. Irregularities in the bidding process, approval and execution of the project have aroused the suspicion and the demands of various sectors of civil society.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic.”


In a changing international context, in which the most important actors have been changing, Argentina has encountered difficulties in accessing traditional sources of financing. Over the last few years, especially since the Kirchner administration, the scenario of foreign investment in Argentina has been marked by the preponderance of the PRC. Several of the major infrastructure projects that are being carried out are behind the backing of Asian companies.

There are two projects that have been working between the Nation and the province of Entre Ríos for some years and had to do with the possibility of building two aqueducts for irrigation in the north of Entre Ríos. For the construction of these, the provincial government and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) signed a commitment letter for the supply of fresh water, incorporating 200,000 hectares of irrigation.

In mid-June 2013 the CSCEC expressed its interest in investing in infrastructure works in the province of Entre Ríos. During a meeting with representatives of the company, developed at the House of Entre Ríos in Buenos Aires, Governor Sergio Urribarri “proposed three basic lines of action: irrigation works, Paraná-Santa Fe metropolitan link and port development.” According to the governor, the development of the works would be linked to a great extent to increase the productive capacity of the province.

The agreement with China for the construction of the two aqueducts was signed on July 18, 2014. Within the framework of strategic agreements for infrastructure works, signed in the Casa Rosada between Xi Jinping and Cristina Fernadez de Kirchner, meeting in which Urribarri participated.

The aqueducts will have a total length of 546 kilometers between main branch and secondary branches. Two works, the first in the Arroyo Mandisoví basin in the Federation department to implement a collective irrigation system, from the Uruguay River, for rice, citrus and fruit-horticultural production. The second in the department of La Paz to build an aqueduct of the North Entre Ríos, with the contribution of water from the Paraná River and provide a marginal area of ​​access to water for irrigation.

The costs of the works total an amount close to USD 98,000,000, according to the data presented by the “Provincial Agricultural Services Program” in its feasibility reports of which the province should contribute 20%. However, the budget of the CSCEC was USD 430,387,552 awarded without competitive bidding. Funding would come from ICBC, with a credit of USD 366 million at 15 years (with a grace period of 5) with a LIBOR rate of 4.5%. Likewise, the credit agreement provides as applicable law the same as that of England.

The project provoked rejections in some sectors, such as the organizations nucleated within the Multisectoral in Defense of the Heritage of the Entrerrianos, which promoted the nullity of the law that, among other points, enabled the direct granting, without public bidding, of the work to A Chinese capital company, as well as a debt exceeding $ 430 million. The M’biguá Foundation and Environmental Justice also warned about the lack of transparency and information about the project.

The case of aqueducts is the first to reach justice. As discussed above, the Multisectoral for the Defense of the Patrimony of the Entrerrianos presented an unconstitutionality action with respect to the law No. 10.352 that authorized the Provincial Executive to become indebted to the financial institution of China. This action is based on the fact that this law has not fulfilled the formal requirements that the provincial constitution urges for its approval, for example: there was no Environmental Impact Assessment, there is no opinion from the commissions of Finance and Economy, or the prosecution Of state, among other irregularities. The total lack of controls in the legislative process, the treatment on tables of the norm, the absence of debate on the subject and, especially, the secrecy with which the government was managed not to make known the project, is another aspect Demand.

Among the main points of the complete demand are:

– Ineffectiveness of Law 10.352 for irregularities in its processing.

– Non-observance of the principle of reasonableness.

Authorization to the Governor to agree and keep secret the contract with the Chinese Bank.

– Authorization to the Governor to contract with the Chinese Bank ICBC a loan in which Entre Ríos accepts to be governed by the English legislation.

– Violation of the constitutional duty to publicize acts of government.

– Deprivation of information as a human right.

– The previous and precautionary implementation of Environmental Impact Studies and its evaluation processes with the due Public Hearings and the dictating of the Administrative Acts prior to the authorization of contracting of the work and the authorization of the conclusion of investment agreements and / Or indebtedness.

– Violation of the Public Accounting Law. (Arrogating thus the P.E. unconstitutionally own powers of the Legislative Power).

– Violation of the Public Works Law.

– The constitutional guarantees contained in Section II – Economic, Labor and Sustainable Development of the Provincial Constitution were ignored.

According to local media: “From a commission of five million dollars that the provincial state must pay for the operation, up to the costs not calculated of interest, expropriation of land for the work and other costs, contemplating also the implementation of increases Tributary to cover the payment of the credit, the economic questions to the norm are numerous. The first of these, in any case, is the amount of the credit: nobody understands very well how the entrerriano government arrived to calculate both works by more than 430 million dollars when Prosap had budgeted, some months before, less than 100 million” .

According to Jorge Daneri, a member of the M’biguá Foundation, a package of potential mega investments in the region is being formed which, in addition to the aqueducts, would include a hydroelectric dam project between the provinces of Corrientes and Santa Fe on the northern border Of Entre Ríos. According to Dr. Daneri, the mechanism is the same in all projects: there is no parliamentary debate on the projects, let alone in the provinces involved, therefore, the silence of federalism of social consultation and citizen consultation.

From FUNDEPS we have been working on the follow-up of the case of trunk gas pipelines in the province of Cordoba, which also have Chinese funding. Part of the process of approval and execution of this project, can be identified with what happened in Entre Ríos. The lack of transparency in certain issues such as the presentation and publication of the environmental impact study, sound an alarm with respect to environmental standards and DD.HH.

In addition, we consider it of special importance to highlight that the recent importance of the People’s Republic of China in terms of investments in infrastructure projects translates into a need for civil society to monitor the design, approval and implementation processes of these projects. The irregularities mentioned above are the result of policies that still lack transparency and are not part of a accountability paradigm.

More information

A Chinese Agreement

Entre Ríos: “with the pretext of building two aqueducts is to consummate a very large swindle”

Law of aqueducts: filed suit against the “scam” of Urribarri

Law of aqueducts: the Multisectorial will collect signatures to repeal the text

Mid Paraná Dam, aqueducts and China, the spring of hope


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org