Colombia Sells Off Public Electricity Company To Canadian Firm

A demonstrator protesting the sale of Isagen holds up a sign that reads “Selling pubic assets is treason against the homeland,” Bogota, Colombia, Jan. 13, 2016. | Photo: EFE

A demonstrator protesting the sale of Isagen holds up a sign that reads “Selling pubic assets is treason against the homeland,” Bogota, Colombia, Jan. 13, 2016. | Photo: EFE

The Colombian government privatized one of the country’s key electricity companies Wednesday through the sale of nearly 60 percent of shares to the Canadian firm Brookfield.

The sale of the company, known as Isagen, was met with widespread condemnation and protest by Colombians as it is among the most profitable and the largest energy company in the country.

Brookfield, which was ultimately the only bidder, is expected to buy the rest of the shares from minority shareholders.

President Juan Manuel Santos said the income received from the sale of Isagen would go toward road infrastructure developments in Colombia.

However, Jose Roberto Acosta of the Tax Justice Network told teleSUR that was not the case.

“The money from Isagen is not going to be used for roads but to give loans to the private concessionaires that will build them. It’s a subtle but huge difference: one thing is that the state builds and thus own the roads and another is to lend the money to those who are going to build and profit from the roads during the next years,” said Acosta.

The Liberal Party allegedly threatened to leave the government coalition over the decision to sell the strategic asset but eventually relented.

Reaction to the sale also came from the peace delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Havana where they are in the final stage of negotiations with the government.

FARC Commander Joaquin Gomez said the sale was “an attack on the assets of Colombians,” adding that the move went against the spirit of what is being agreed at the negotiation table.

The FARC maintains that peace can only be achieved if it is accompanied by social justice, and that as such, assets such as Isagen should be kept in the hands of the state.

This content was originally published by teleSUR.

The post Colombia Sells Off Public Electricity Company To Canadian Firm appeared first on MintPress News.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from MintPress News, and written by teleSUR. Read the original article here.