Permanent Peoples Court - The Trial against Unión Fenosa

Permanent Peoples Court - The Trial against Unión Fenosa

By Gustavo Castro Soto

The Permanent Peoples Court confirmed the most incredible violations that the transnational company has made of the contract and the effects on the increasing impoverishment of the population. Human rights have taken second place, privileging the illicit enrichment of Unión Fenosa.

On October 12 and 13, 2007, the Permanent People's Court (TPP) met in three hearings in Managua, Nicaragua, on the case of the effects generated by the privatization of electric power, in this case by the Spanish transnational Unión Fenosa. The final resolution of the TPP is part of this article. This resolution is unprecedented as it is the first trial against a multinational power company in Mesoamerica.

The presence of the TPP in Nicaragua was covered by the media, such as television and the written press, which did not wait for the immediate response of the transnational, trying to deny the most obvious. The TPP confirmed the most incredible violations that the transnational has made of the contract and the effects on the increasing impoverishment of the population. Human rights have taken second place, privileging the illicit enrichment of Unión Fenosa in the face of the general indignation and the feelings of hatred of the Nicaraguan population against the company. But the same is happening in Guatemala as in Colombia. This is what awaits us in countries like Mexico, which is promoting the privatization of electricity.

Expelled from the Dominican Republic and facing strong lawsuits and campaigns against it, the Unión Fenosa company nails its teeth to extract as much wealth as possible. High subsidies, lack of investments, excessive and undue charges, blackouts, altered bills, phantom services but charged, among other mechanisms that it operates; It is also protected under the shelter of the World Bank with insurance to its investments in order to receive juicy compensation if the country runs them for thieves and swindlers, at the cost of more foreign debt of the country and people that already enrich them. As if that weren't enough, blackouts and the lack of electricity violate other human rights.

Boys and girls do not go to school due to lack of light; universities close their activities; Shops go bankrupt (carpentry shops, businesses with refrigerators, etc.), clinics do not have medicines because they cannot cool vaccines, devices explode due to changes in voltages, lack of water because there are no pumping possibilities, workers are not paid his salary or working hours when there is no electricity, he has also fired approximately 500 workers since he arrived in Nicaragua, among many other consequences. No wonder there are multiple campaigns against Unión Fenosa in Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, etc. Even the Latin American Network against Dams and for the Rivers, their Communities and Water (REDLAR) is calling for a Campaign against European energy companies that continue to wreak havoc in Latin America, intensifying the external, social and ecological debt.

Impunity is such that the same representative of the Energy Regulatory Entity in Nicaragua, Ricardo Guerrero, stated during the hearing that lawsuits and fines of thousands of dollars have been filed against Unión Fenosa for various concepts. Among them for not buying the energy committed to the generators, for improper charges and even for the death of two people, including a seven-year-old boy, who died due to the poor condition and lack of maintenance of the wiring. It should be said that the testimonies stated that at least 20 people have died from these causes, including burned by short circuits. However, the Regulatory Body projects anger and discouragement in the population by stating that Unión Fenosa immediately files appeals for protection before the judicial authorities, which number more than one hundred, which have been granted to the transnational, maintaining their actions in total impunity. And it is barely 7 years out of the 30 that the concession was granted. For their part, Guatemalans see it worse since the concession was for 50 years and they have been for ten. Will the population endure this situation for so long?

Although Unión Fenosa tries to show the face of social responsibility and to support development, although in Spain they can believe it, in Nicaragua they don't buy it. The transnational company invented that it would support with 300 thousand dollars to create schools but at the cost of the salaries of its workers. However, on the other hand, he receives three times that amount in subsidy from the state each month. Thus, Unión Fenosa knows that if he is expelled from the country, in addition to having stolen from the population, the government and receiving high subsidies, he will receive another million dollars for insurance on his investment and as a reward for having done things well: stealing . And having done wrong what it was supposed to do: offer electricity at low prices, of good quality, for the entire population, generating jobs and development.

Anyway, the resolution below says it all and has no waste. But before,

What is the Permanent Peoples Tribunal?

The Russell Tribunal was created in 1966 to try crimes against humanity committed by the United States during the Vietnam War and Southeast Asia. The Tribunal is named after Sir Bertrand Russell, an English philosopher and mathematician and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Its Executive President was the philosopher Jean-Paul Sastre and its prominent members have included Simona de Beauvoir, Lelio Basso, Lázaro Cárdenas, Isaac Deutscher, Deter Weiss, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, among others. Between 1974 and 1976 he met for the second time to prosecute military dictatorships in Latin America. In the end, several mechanisms were established for the defense of the human rights of the peoples, thus creating in 1979 the TPP, which currently consists of about 130 members appointed by the Council of the International Foundation Lelio Basso for the Law and Liberation of the Peoples, who are people of high moral reputation, men and women of science or personalities from the artistic, religious, political world, lawyers, writers; experts in international law, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law.

So far the TPP has met 31 times in order to judge situations of human rights violations in countries that have been subjected to genocide by other states. The TPP is autonomous and self-convened from social movements and organizations. It does not respond to political parties, church or governments, therefore all social sectors participate in it. The judgments of the TPP are based on international instruments on Human Rights with a high moral and ethical character. According to its general principles, it does not establish fixed and rigid rules for the presentation of cases; the "record" of the procedure is totally autonomous and independent in its decisions, be it with regard to the selection of cases, content and approaches.

Given the effects of neoliberalism, it has been accepted that the TPP can analyze, investigate, and judge economic and social crimes. Therefore, the States and the international organizations that govern them (WTO, EU, Bilateral Investment Treaties, ICSID) must be part of the analysis-accusation since they favor, allow and / or regulate the actions of transnational corporations in the framework of ensuring , enforce, promote and monitor the fulfillment of human rights. In fact, verdicts have already been carried out on the IMF and the World Bank (1988, 1994); on the case of Bhopal (1992-1994), the Clean Clothes Campaign (1998) and Elf-Aquitaine in Paris (1999), etc. Companies such as Telefónica, Suez, Aguas De Barcelona, ​​Gtz, Union Fenosa, Repsol, Bennetton, Unilever, Calvo, Bayer, BBVA, etc. have also been judged.

During the Summit of the European-Latin American Presidents that will take place in Lima, Peru, in March 2008, the final judgment session of the European companies denounced will be installed, with the appropriate recommendations for measures that governments, parliaments and the peoples must take, to protect themselves from neocolonial plunder.

"Permanent People's Tribunal on European Transnational Companies in Latin America - Unión Fenosa

Hearing - Managua October 12 and 13, 2007

1. Introduction

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal established in 1979 as successor to the Russell Tribunals on Vietnam (1966-1967) and on the dictatorships of Latin America (1974-1976), has as its vocation and Statute to give visibility and qualify in terms of law all those situations in which the massive violation of the fundamental rights of humanity does not find recognition or institutional responses, be it at the national or international level. Throughout the more than 25 years of its history and through its 33 sessions, the Permanent Peoples Tribunal has accompanied, anticipated and supported the struggles of the peoples against the spectrum of violations of their fundamental rights, including the denial of self-determination, foreign invasions, new dictatorships and slavery of the economy and the destruction of the environment.

The Tribunal begins a somewhat atypical session within its trajectory, since it is a session made up of several hearings, to be held at different times, in order to be able to carefully examine the type of intervention of transnational companies in their various fields of performance. A privileged occasion is offered for the Court that will allow it to observe directly economic practices that profoundly affect the validity of civil and political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of the inhabitants of the different countries where they operate.

According to the agreement defined with the International Lelio Basso Foundation and the General Secretary of the TPP, this hearing has had the collaboration of the Nicaraguan Social Movement "Another world is possible."

Numerous organizations from Nicaragua joined and participated:

Quilalí Consumers Association
Association for the Defense of the Consumer of Nicaragua
Granada Consumers Association
León Consumers Association
Masaya Consumers Association
Association for Community Development July 19
Association for Human Rights for Trans, Gays and Lesbians
Soy Association of Nicaragua.
Association of People Affected by Nemagón
Center for International Studies
Global Action Committee
Zapatista Solidarity Committee
Base Ecclesial Communities
Popol Na Foundry
El Arenal Solidarity Group
Nicaraguan Consumer Defense League
Indigenous Movement of Subtiaba
Nicaraguan Community Movement
Matagalpa Community Movement
Matagalpa Environmental Movement
Estela Alternative Social Movement
Nueva Segovia Social Movement
Matagalpa Social Movement
Movement for the Rescue of Sandinismo
National Consumer Defense Network
Youth Network for the Defense of Human Rights

The following adhered and participated from the international level:

Continental Social Alliance
Union Penosa International Campaign
Entrepueblos Association
South Jubilee
Bi-regional Network of Latin America and the European Union

The Jury appointed by the Permanent Peoples' Court has included as Judges:

* Nunez de Escorcia, who was Vice President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Nicaragua between 1979 and 1988; National Commissioner for Human Rights until 1990 and later Founding President of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, CENIDH. She is also Vice President since 1998, of the International Federation for Human Rights.

As Conjurers:

* Juan Hernández Zubizarreta from the Basque Country, tenured professor of Labor Law and Social Security at the University of the Basque Country. Member of the Economic and Social Council of the Basque Country. Former Dean of the University School of the University of Labor Relations of the Basque Country. Member of the research team of the Hegoa University Institute.

* Ivonne Yanez from Ecuador, an environmental activist for more than 20 years. Founding member of the renowned Ecological Action group of Ecuador and the International Oilwatch Network. Graduated in Biology, with a master's degree in International Relations at FLACSO.

* Gustavo Castro Soto placeholder image from Mexico, founder of the “Water and Energy” campaign in Chiapas. Member of the South Jubilee Network, Campaign for the Demilitarization of the Americas (CADA) and of the Mexican Network of Action Against Free Trade (RMALC), member of the Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) and the Latin American Network against Dams and for their Rivers, Communities and Water (REDLAR). Founder of Otros Mundos, A.C.

And on behalf of the Secretary General of the TPP Gianni Tognoni, Dolores Jarquín.

The works were developed through three public sessions preceded by an opening session according to the detailed program offered in the annex, which were attended by a large number of members of different social organizations. Witnesses and experts orally presented the central claim, the documented cases and conceptual analyzes of an economic and human rights nature, and also answered the questions posed by the members of the Jury.

The Jury wishes to underline the high quality of the reports and testimonies presented, as well as the richness of the documentation that in printed or electronic form was made available to the Court, to support with copies of original documents all the details of the cases and of the situations referred to in the Hearing, where a series of human rights violations are found.

It is evident that the violation of these rights benefits from loopholes in international law, which has allowed many levels of fundamental decisions for the survival of the peoples and of enormous social layers within them, to remain in the hands of rentier voracity. of the big capitals.

However, it is appropriate to point out categorically that the existing regulations at the international level as a result of legal development provide a framework that must be respected by adapting the behavior of the Transnational Companies and the requirements and demands of the Governments to such Companies so that they respect the Human rights that as a State are obliged to guarantee its inhabitants.

The lack of this behavior on the part of the actors involved FENOSA Union, Government of Nicaragua, Government of the Spanish Kingdom and International Financial Organizations - has demonstrated the serious damage they are causing to a large number of people (men, women, boys and girls) In Nicaragua.

The effects of the behavior of the Transnational Union FENOSA Company in Nicaragua, as a result of the privatizations imposed by the International Monetary Fund and obediently applied by the Nicaraguan government, have created situations in open contradiction with respect for Human Rights in general of the and the Nicaraguan ones especially of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, recognized in the international instruments. As well as the Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in relation to Labor Rights.

2. Facts

General considerations

We consider that the transnational Unión FENOSA has violated the institutional and constitutional legal framework and international regulations, assisting with the national co-actors, who are also responsible in this lawsuit. This results in the violation of the human rights of the majority of Nicaraguans.

Unión Fenosa is a company of Spanish origin that is also operating in 12 other countries. It is currently present in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Egypt, Slovakia, United States, Philippines, Guatemala, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. It serves 8.7 million gas and electricity customers.

It should be noted that the Jury is aware of the countless conflicts and violations of laws in Central American countries, in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, from which she was expelled) and Colombia.

In Nicaragua, Unión Fenosa began to operate in the year 2000, when the executive branch granted the concession and the National Assembly approved the distribution and commercialization of electricity for a period of thirty years, granting DISNORTE the dominant monopoly character (Distribution of Electricidad del Norte SA) and DISSUR (Distribución de Electricidad del Sur SA with 79.54% of the shares).

Since that date, Nicaraguans have suffered constant violations since, under the argument of having losses (at the audit level carried out), Unión Fenosa decides to commit irregularities by not paying generators, which in turn stop supplying electricity and joint they prefer to leave the population without electricity supply. This as a measure of blackmail to governments, including the current one, ignoring the impacts on the population and the economy of the country that they cause.

It is found that permanent rations are generated the following damages: psychological affectation of the population by changing their working hours depending on when there is energy to work; public health problems due to the lack of refrigerators for fresh food, both in shops and in homes; the anxiety attacks of the elderly when they find themselves without energy in their homes; the serious problems of citizen insecurity at night; health care problems (delay in daily care, diagnoses or surgical interventions); lack of water supply in many towns due to lack of electricity; suspension of classes in colleges, institutes and universities and delay in study plans; high increase in costs in all companies, shops and markets due to the reduction in working hours and having to supplement the lack of energy with generators; associated with them, hearing problems due to noise and respiratory problems due to contamination from generators; affectation of local media that only broadcast when there is supply; countless losses caused to citizens by damage to electrical equipment due to large power surges linked to rationing.

The existence of discrimination in rationing beyond the strategic reasons adduced. According to the company, rationing is discriminated by zones so as not to affect hospitals, military zones, business zones, government buildings, etc. But in practice and according to multiple testimonies, in low-income rural areas and in settlements in Managua and other major cities, rationing hours are much longer than reported and when the Unión Fenosa customer service phone is called the The operators' argument is that there are many people in the neighborhood who do not pay.

The lack of investment in the maintenance of the electrical distribution network, causing loss of human life, and continuous breakdowns that leave users without electricity (in rural areas, a little rain or wind are sufficient factors to leave the population without electricity).

The lack of investment in the maintenance of public lighting that is charged on the invoice. Multiple cases have been detected of when a transformer breaks down, if a paying user asks for it to be fixed, they tell him to make the neighbors who are "stuck" pay and that if not, they will not fix it, leaving the population without supply electricity for weeks, trying to force the population to act as a collector for their own neighbors.

It is verified the absence of attention to the inhabitants of settlements that have been requesting legalization for years, despite the company complaining of energy theft by them. In turn, these complaints do not coincide with the information provided by the vice president of Unión Fenosa in Nicaragua, who asserted that thefts by the settlements represent only 6% of total technical losses, which are at 30%.

It is verified the reduction of their presence in the national territory, especially in rural areas, as part of its cost saving policy, in which it has reduced its staff by 70%, even though the number of users has increased by 35%. This generates, for example, that in San Juan de Limay or Quilalí, rural areas 2.5-3 hours by bus from the cities with a Unión FENOSA office, it becomes impossible for a large part of the population to travel to file claims, after losing a day of work .

The budget deviation by many municipalities thus dedicating part of its small resources to provide officials who attend to their citizens for problems that are actually caused by Unión FENOSA, absent in the locality. On the other hand, municipal governments such as that of San Juan de Limay have had to divert part of their budgets to invest in settlements that Unión Fenosa refuses to cover, as stipulated by the law that obliges the energy supply to populations located even more than 150 meters from the town center.

The abuses of electricity service users are innumerable. According to the Executive President of the National Energy Institute (INE regulatory entity), 3,000 monthly user claims, that is, 36,000 claims per year. Over 600,000 users, it means that 6% of users complain in the second instance after contacting the company. The vice-presidency of Unión Fenosa informed us that they account for some 4,500 claims per month in the first instance (54,000 per year). 9% of all users make a complaint.

Unión Fenosa claims to exercise active policies in matters of Corporate Social Responsibility, having received various international recognitions. For 2008, Unión Fenosa has declared a Solidarity Day with Nicaragua, providing $ 300,000 for promotion, access and permanence projects in school classrooms. These supposedly responsible practices are nothing more than humanitarian marketing that aims to hide the serious social impacts caused by the company in its daily activities in Nicaragua as well as in other latitudes.

Unión Fenosa's main abuses of electricity service users are:

- Unjustified increase in bills above that regulated by the INE: a) charges for improper concepts (municipal tax or public lighting even when it does not exist); b) charges for unjustified delays c) charges for reconnection due to erroneous cuts d) charges for errors in meter reading (closely linked to job insecurity and contracts explained below) e) change of double counters consumption.

- Users receive disproportionate bills after making payment arrangements; there is no transparency (workers are not authorized to report rates); break-ins and meter changes occur without user authorization; the telephone service is lying when explaining the causes of the blackouts outside the rationing hours; the 15 days of notification prior to the suspension of the service are not respected; there is indexation of the rate to the US dollar, which is illegal; there is a late response in the repair of breakdowns (various examples of weeks gone by without addressing breakdowns in different areas of the country); obligation to stay home to the complaining user to avoid cuts since Unión Fenosa does not have communication with the mobile contractors that implement the disconnection; Union Fenosa's lack of agile response to reports of serious damage that endangers people's lives, such as the case of a girl in the Eastern Market of Managua who was fatally electrocuted in May 2007; charging new users for up to 3 months of consumption, when the law only allows 32 days; obligation imposed on new users of a property to assume the debts of previous inhabitants; The use of late accusations by Unión Fenosa, even considering the accused user as a new client, forcing a new deposit.

Unión Fenosa's labor policy.

Unión Fenosa's cost reduction policy affects its workers and contractors. The policy of labor flexibility generated more than 400 layoffs as of November 2000, by acquiring most of the distribution. This flexibility also causes the permanent precariousness of its workers.

Likewise, the company has institutionalized contracts to extend related services to the electricity distribution company, including meter reading, charges, service interruptions, service installation, call centers, etc. These systematically violate the rights of their workers and Unión Fenosa is responsible for this situation, which includes: the application of a polygraph for hiring, not offering the worker a copy of their contract, non-payment of social security, establishment of salaries that do not cover the cost of the basic food basket, non-compliance with labor safety regulations, hiring of untrained personnel to carry out the assigned tasks, high staff turnover, non-payment of per diem, and others. All this practice also causes the increase in operating costs together with the deterioration of the services provided to users.

Union Fenosa harasses unions, denouncing them to the police and mounting lawsuits against union leaders and workers and refuses to negotiate a Labor agreement. There is sufficient evidence to establish that the contractors are companies "related that end up causing "increases in real losses", higher levels of inefficiency and poor service reported repeatedly and in increasing numbers.

Co-authors responsible for the energy crisis.

The problem of the electricity sector in Nicaragua is a complex problem, where, in addition to the main responsibilities that correspond to Unión Fenosa, there are other responsible parties.

The above governments They contributed to the energy problem by not taking care to seek a change in the energy matrix (in generation), which would lead to less dependence on oil with a matrix made up of renewable energies. Nicaragua has great potential in renewables.

The State has not exercised the required role in defense of its population: the regulatory body (Nicaraguan Institute of Energy INE) in practice, it is inoperative as it allows Unión Fenosa and the generators to breach the legislation in a systematic way.

The current Government of Nicaragua.

The media disclosed the government's signature of a "Memorandum of Intent" in Spain at the end of June 2007. All the Spanish company does here is commit to doing what it is already committed to doing in its contract. In this way, the company avoids compensation and restitution to the Nicaraguan people for non-compliance with their obligations, leaving the country in a serious energy crisis.

In return, the Nicaraguan government promised to promote in the National Assembly the adoption of Law 554 on Energy Stability and the Law for the Protection and Promotion of Responsible Use of Public Services. These laws are intended to freeze the electricity tariff of consumers, and pay the difference between the tariff charged and the real cost of energy at the expense of the public purse.

For its part, Unión Fenosa suspends the process opened against the government at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA, World Bank insurer). There it claims 53 million dollars from the Nicaraguan government for misappropriation of its investments when the INE began the arbitration process. The government's commitment lies in annulling said arbitration process and not opening any other that could cloud relations.

In turn, the government itself resorts to the Central American regional market to acquire energy to alleviate the generation deficit of the national market.

International Financial Institutions.

These have played a key role, supporting a model that justified privatizations as a way of freeing up resources to pay the debt, seeking legal guarantees for private capital to invest, planning only to obtain benefits in the short term. The ideological weapon of all this has been, as always, the link to the so-called relief and refinancing of the foreign debt to the cross-conditions with the privatization process and the signing of PPAs.

Generating companies linked to the Nicaraguan elite and the political class.

Companies are responsible since, when seeking to maximize profit in the short term, without taking into account any other criteria, they do not make the necessary investments in their plants, which would prevent technical problems due to lack of maintenance such as those that have occurred lately. If these behaviors have taken place it is because the different governments linked to the privatizations have allowed it.

Esto ha derivado en la situación actual en las que las generadoras están jugando un papel importante en los cortes de suministro eléctrico a Fenosa, sea por fallos técnicos o por la misma falta de inversión, por la inexistencia de un mecanismo eficaz para que Unión FENOSA les pague la energía entregada o bien como medio de presión al gobierno para seguir cobrando, en condiciones extremadamente ventajosas.

El Gobierno del Estado español

Este da su apoyo político y económico a la empresa Unión FENOSA, demostrado por las múltiples declaraciones en los medios de comunicación por parte de los miembros de los distintos Gobiernos españoles, por secundar los Planes de Ajuste Estructural y todas las condicionalidades impuestas por las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales (de las que forma parte el gobierno) y por el cambio en las políticas de concesión de la ayuda oficial al desarrollo bilateral a través de los Fondos de Ayuda al Desarrollo. Estos fondos, que se convierten en deuda externa bilateral de Nicaragua a favor del Estado español han cambiado significativamente su naturaleza, pasando en parte de proyectos de salud y educación a proyectos de apoyo al sector eléctrico privatizado.

El Tribunal ha podido conocer que Unión Fenosa ha actuado de manera similar en Guatemala, ya que los abusos y deficiencias utilizadas por la empresa a fin de incrementar sus ganancias en detrimento de las condiciones de vida de la población guatemalteca presentan los mismos elementos.

En el contexto de esta sesión, el Tribunal pudo escuchar exposiciones de representantes de El Salvador y Honduras con problemas similares. En Honduras la transnacional ACEA de Italia a través de la empresa Aguas de San Pedro. En el Salvador la transnacional pesquera española Calvo y la eléctrica estadounidense AES Corporation.

3. Consideraciones

3.1. La globalización neoliberal significa privatización y profundización de la apertura comercial y la desregulación radical de los regímenes financieros y de inversión. Este escenario fue creado para que las principales beneficiarias sean las corporaciones multinacionales cuyas sedes se encuentran principalmente en los países del Norte industrializado.

El avance del poder transnacional sobre todos los ámbitos de la economía y la sociedad se da a costa del detrimento y desmantelamiento de los Estados nacionales en el Sur que mantienen un rol exclusivamente funcional al capital transnacional. La realidad a la que se enfrentan los pueblos es que los derechos corporativos se sobreponen a los derechos humanos, fundamentales y colectivos.

Las corporaciones vinculadas a la energía que incluyen empresas petroleras y de electricidad, se han apropiado de los recursos energéticos y han convertido en fuentes de lucro lo que son derechos, como es el acceso al agua o a la energía que constituyen elementos indispensables para el cumplimiento del derecho a una vida digna.

3.2. El Derecho Comercial global que regula los derechos de las empresas transnacionales se coloca jerárquicamente muy por encima de los derechos de las mayorías sociales.La fortaleza jurídica que representan las normas multilaterales de comercio e inversiones, los tratados regionales y bilaterales, los contratos de explotación y los tribunales arbitrales son el telón de fondo sobre el que actúan con total impunidad las transnacionales.El Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos queda sometido a las relaciones de poder, a la privatización de los mismos y a la bilateralidad asimétrica. Son normas que no son capaces de neutralizar el poder político económico y jurídico de las transnacionales. La pirámide normativa debe ser invertida, situando los Derechos Humanos en el vértice de la misma.

3.3. En el caso de Nicaragua esto ha sido patente. A partir de las presiones internacionales, se produjo la privatización de una parte importante de las plantas generadoras, que pasaron a manos de la oligarquía nicaragüense y de capital estadounidense y la venta a Unión Fenosa de las dos empresas encargadas de la distribución de energía en el país. A partir de ese momento se truncó la posibilidad de avanzar hacia la consecución de una sociedad sustentable y soberana en materia energética.

3.4. Los procesos de privatización de un servicio público de primera necesidad en un país con más de la mitad de su población viviendo con menos de un dólar al día, no pueden sino fracasar, ya que el capital privado busca beneficios desproporcionados por encima del estricto cumplimiento de los derechos humanos de los y las pobladoras, aprovechándose de gobiernos atrapados en un círculo de dependencia económica y política que hace muy difícil garantizar los derechos universales como el acceso al suministro eléctrico a la totalidad de sus ciudadanos.De acuerdo con los testimonios y los informes de los expertos queda demostrado que las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales imponen condicionalidades a los Gobiernos, favoreciendo los intereses de las empresas transnacionales, no teniendo en cuenta los impactos que provocan sobre la población nicaragüense.

3.5. El Gobierno español apoya política y económicamente a Unión Fenosa por medio de distintas fórmulas. Por un lado la presencia de responsables políticos o institucionales españoles defendiendo los intereses de Unión Fenosa en Nicaragua. Por otro, el aval a las políticas de condicionalidades de las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales de las que forman parte. Y por último, el cambio en los ejes de ayuda oficial al desarrollo a través de los créditos FAD, que pasan en una parte importante a dedicarse a proyectos vinculados con el sector eléctrico coincidiendo con la llegada de Unión Fenosa a Nicaragua.

3.6. Los distintos Gobiernos nicaragüenses son responsables de los fraudes cometidos en los procesos de privatización de la distribución y la generación, así como de los cambios en la estructura jurídica que los sustentaron. Los partidos políticos son también responsables porque apoyaron dichos cambios .desde la Asamblea Nacional.

3.7. Los Gobiernos no han respetado el mandato constitucional de promover, facilitar y regular la prestación de los servicios públicos. Queda suficientemente demostrado por las pruebas aportadas, que el poder judicial no ha tutelado los derechos de la ciudadanía nicaragüense, favoreciendo por acción u omisión a la empresa Unión Fenosa.

3.8. El INE hasta el 2006 no cumplió con su tarea, como ente fiscalizador regulador de la concesionaria, según el artículo 18 de la Ley 272, al no iniciar ningún expediente sancionador.

3.9. Las actuales negociaciones entre el Gobierno nicaragüense y Unión Fenosa transcurren con una falta absoluta de transparencia y secretibidad.

3.10. Queda demostrado que las empresas generadoras privadas son también responsables de la actual crisis energética, al estar operando intencionadamente por debajo de su capacidad real.

3.11. Las actividades de Unión Fenosa en Nicaragua violan flagrantemente los Derechos Humanos: la vulneración del contrato de concesión, la falta de inversión en la red eléctrica y alumbrado público, los cortes en el suministro eléctrico, las discriminaciones en los racionamientos, los abusos a los usuarios y en los Derechos Laborales y Sindicales de sus empleados y de las contratas. Con estas prácticas se vulneran Derechos Humanos como el derecho a la vida, la salud, la educación, la información, la seguridad, el desarrollo normal de actividades económicas, y a los sectores más vulnerables como los niños y las niñas, los y las ancianas, en definitiva la dignidad de las personas. Las crisis que provoca Unión Fenosa, recae con especial crudeza sobre las mujeres. Mostrando las conductas de Irresponsabilidad Social Corporativa de Unión Fenosa, entrando en contradicción con el discurso sobre Responsabilidad Social que tiene en sus memorias e informes públicos.

4. Decisión

El carácter de primera Audiencia especializada, cuya su conclusión se prevé en una sesión deliberante, donde será necesaria una profundización de muchos de los hechos y de los aspectos de Derecho objetos de ésta audiencia.

No obstante, los datos y los hechos presentados en esta audiencia tienen la suficiente fuerza, coherencia y convicción para sustentar de conformidad con la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos, la Declaración Americana de Derechos y Deberes del Hombre, el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos y su Protocolo Facultativo de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas y la Convención Americana o Pacto de San José, cuyos derechos allí consignados son de irrestricto respeto por parte del Estado de Nicaragua, según lo establece el Arto. 46 de la Constitución Política de Nicaragua.

Y también de conformidad con los principios generales del Derecho Internacional consagrados en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas y el Derecho al Desarrollo considerado como una obligación para los Estados establecido en el Derecho Internacional contemporáneo, entre otros.

Por todo lo anterior el Jurado resuelve acusar a:

1.- La EMPRESA TRANSNACIONAL UNIÓN FENOSA, tanto en su sede central como en sus filiales en Nicaragua y Guatemalapor:

– Violaciones graves y masivas de los derechos laborales de sus trabajadores, con la implementación sistemática de una política de flexibilidad laboral.

– Acciones u omisiones que contribuyen al deterioro de las condiciones de vida y salud física y mental de una parte creciente de la población nicaragüense y guatemalteca, específicamente del derecho humano a un nivel de vida adecuado, contribuyendo además a mantener los niveles de pobreza que alejan a la población del disfrute del Derecho Humano al Desarrollo.

– Fraude y engaño a sus usuarios al asumir compromisos de responsabilidad social que incumplen flagrantemente en los países mencionados.

– Son igualmente responsables los accionistas de Unión Fenosa, así como el resto de accionistas de Disnorte y Dissur.


– Por incumplimiento del deber que le impone la Constitución Política y las Leyes Nacionales, las Normas Internacionales de Derechos Humanos de garantizar a todos los habitantes del país los Derechos Humanos reconocidos en tales instrumentos, así como los Convenios laborales celebrados en el marco de la OIT y de los cuales Nicaragua es parte.
– Por incumplimiento de sus obligaciones para garantizar el funcionamiento adecuado del ente regulador Instituto Nicaragüense de Energía (INE) para que de manera eficaz y oportuna haga cumplir a Unión FENOSA los compromisos derivados del Convenio y las normativas de la institución Reguladora.
– Por no garantizar el Derecho de la Tutela Judicial efectivo y el Acceso a la Justicia de las personas afectadas por el comportamiento irregular de la Trasnacional Unión FENOSA, debido a la ausencia de un Poder Judicial independiente, sujeto a intereses partidarios.
– Por omisión en su deber de garantizar la información oportuna a la población sobre la suscripción de Convenios y Acuerdos con Organismos Financieros Internacionales y Empresas Trasnacionales que afecta la vida cotidiana de la población, violando sus derechos humanos.

3.- Al GOBIERNO DEL REINO DE ESPAÑA cuya nacionalidad tiene la Empresa Trasnacional Unión FENOSA por:

– Permitir que dicha entidad jurídica incumpla en su actividad económica en otros países los estándares internacionales de derechos humanos que en su país de origen estaría obligada a respetar.

4.- A los ORGANISMOS FINANCIEROS INTERNACIONALES, en especial al Fondo Monetario Internacional por las condicionalidades que impone como las privatizaciones y el trato de favor a las transnacionales. Al Banco Mundial, el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo y el Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, que proporcionan los recursos financieros para la implementación de las imposiciones del FMI, y subsidian y protegen las inversiones del capital transnacional.

5. Recomendaciones

5.1. Implementar los mecanismos para lograr el resarcimiento, la indemnización, pero también del pago de la deuda social, económica y ecológica generada por la trasnacional Unión Fenosa al pueblo nicaragüense.

5.2. Establecer responsabilidades administrativas y penales por los daños, perjuicios, violaciones de contratos, leyes y normativas nacionales causados por la trasnacional, tanto a las autoridades de gobierno como a la misma empresa.

5.3. Anular el contrato con Unión Fenosa y el “Memorando de Intención” de junio de 2007 firmada por el gobierno nicaragüense. No debemos no pagamos.

5.4. Expulsión de la trasnacional Unión Fenosa de Nicaragua y de los países de la región por su irresponsabilidad y violaciones a los derechos humanos.

5.5. Articular todos los países de Latinoamérica donde se han sucedido conflicto con Unión Fenosa para presentarlas en el TPP de Lima 2008, especialmente se debe mantener una observación y seguimiento de manera permanente del actuar de esta transnacional en Guatemala.

5.6. Ante el cambio climático es urgente la imperiosa necesidad de buscar nuevas fuentes de energía alternativas a la dependencia de hidrocarburos, urge implementar nuevos esquemas de energía y modificaciones de la matriz energética que no repitan los mecanismos de implementados hasta el momento que generan pobreza, monopolio, deuda, exclusión, desplazamiento forzado de población, sistemas centralizados, etc. En tanto, generar la participación social para la elaboración de una nueva matriz energética.

5.7. Promover, vigilar y velar por el cumplimiento irrestricto de los derechos humanos sin que estén subordinados a la lógica comercial, por la vía de los instrumentos legales, administrativos y otras acciones, específicamente en lo concerniente al acceso a la energía que hace posible componente del disfrute al derecho humano a un nivel de vida adecuado. Así mismo eliminar toda ley que criminalice la protesta y la inconformidad social.

5.8. Generar políticas públicas que garanticen el acceso a la energía eléctrica en cantidad y calidad suficiente, y elevarlo a rango constitucional autónomo en la medida en que la energía eléctrica garantiza el disfrute de muchos derechos humanos asociados.

5.9. Petición a la Secretaría del Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos de hacer un Tribunal especial de URGENCIA que investigue las graves violaciones a los Derechos Humanos, específicamente la vida y la salud, como es el caso emblemático de los trabajadores bananeros afectados por el Nemagón en Nicaragua, así como miles de personas afectadas en este país y en toda Latinoamérica por el uso indiscriminado de los agrotóxicos en otros tipos de cultivos.

En Managua, a 13 de octubre de 2007

Vilma Núñez de Escorcia; Juan Hernández Zubizarreta; Ivonne Yánez; Gustavo Castro Soto"

* Otros Mundos, A.C.
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México; 23 de Octubre de 2007

Video: Missing Trailer (June 2021).