Andrés Soliz Rada
June 19, 2008
June, 10 2008
The decision of the Transredes company (the Shell-Ashmore group that took over from Enron) to hand over the expansion of their Villamontes gas pipeline to the departmental prefecture of Tarija, bypassing central government, demonstrates yet once more how that company has promoted the break-up of Bolivia, an issue of world interest. Faced with that situation President Evo Morales did the very least he could do, namely, decree the compulsory purchase by the State of the hydrocarbons transport company shares.
Thus Enron’s presence seems to come to an end. Both under its own name and under its successor’s it became a byword for corruption in Bolivia. Remember that when Enron declared bankruptcy on December 2nd 2001 it was described as one of the most corrupt businesses ever in the far-from-clean history of the United States. Enron came to Bolivia under the patronage of (then president) Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada so as to accelerate the liquidation of Yacimientos Petrolíferas de Bolivia (tr., the State hydrocarbons company). Within months of taking office in 1994, Sanchez de Lozada, in July of that year, signed a memorandum of understanding with Enron to build a gas pipeline from Bolivia to Brazil.
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