Sura, Axa, SBS, Mapfre Payments Net EPM US$1.1 Billion in Hidroituango Insurance Claims
Medellin-based electric power giant EPM announced last night (December 23) that in addition to the US$983.4 million (COP$3.84 trillion) that project insurer Mapfre is paying for Hidroituango hydroelectric-project damages, Medellin-based insurance giant Sura just paid an additional US$100.6 million for “civil director” claims also arising from a 2018 diversion-tunnel collapse at Hidroituango.
In addition, lesser insurers Axa and SBS likewise just contributed US$5.3 million and US$500,000 toward the “civil director” insurance claims, according to EPM — bringing the grand total of all insurance payoffs for Hidroituango to US$1.1 billion (COP$4.3 trillion).
As a result of these final payoffs, from now on EPM will self-insure against possible future damages at Hidroituango, according to the company.
EPM Forfeits Favorable US$450 Million IDB Loan
Meanwhile, on another front, EPM announced December 23 that it has now paid-off and forfeited a favorable US$450 million loan from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) for Hidroituango financing – as demanded by IDB as a result of an earlier Colombian Controller-General claim against 28 contractors, politicians, officials and insurers accused of “gross negligence” that supposedly contributed to a diversion-tunnel collapse at Hidroituango.
Colombia’s undemocratic system of Controller-General prosecutions and persecutions against companies and individuals utterly lacks the normal due-process guarantees given to all citizens and companies in democratic nations such as in North America and Europe.
Without constitutional guarantees of the right to bring a proper legal defense against prosecution — along with an independent judiciary that ought to adjudicate such Controller-General claims – more companies will think twice about investing in Colombia, as the three major Hidroituango contractors have publicly warned here.
Such lack of reasonable, constitutional legal guarantees for all defendants could cost Colombia tens of billions of dollars in investments in urgently needed infrastructure projects, while simultaneously hobbling jobs growth, tax revenues and economic/social progress — as many private companies, labor unions, trade associations, independent news organizations and civic-minded politicians have publicly warned here.