Two things worry entrepreneurs. Illegal collection by patents and the use of radioelectric space by municipalities. They assure that more than 60 companies would be affected by at least 70 million dollars. The denunciations were exposed by the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito (CCQ), Patricio Alarcón.
According to the business sector, the legal norms of the country are being interpreted fraudulently in order to make undue payments. The origin? According to them, the problems have originated in the municipalities of the province of Esmeraldas, and have spread to other autonomous municipal governments. They assure that in spite of the existence of decisions of the Constitutional Court and of several courts, the municipalities disregard the pronouncements and do not return the money to the companies.
The resources that the municipalities have obtained, denounced, are made through coercive judgments without there being a notification, leaving companies defenseless.
“The collection made by these municipalities are not legal, because they make attachments to companies for a trial that did not follow a regular process,” argued the director of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE), Roberto Aspiazu, who accompanied Alarcón in the ad.
Something they consider even more serious is that the monies that have been obtained from the companies have not been reflected in works, so they ask the Comptroller to intervene. Would it be good to ask the mayors what was done with that money? Alarcón asked.
They ask the Government to intervene to solve this problem, as they do not only happen in the municipalities of Esmeraldas. In addition, a call was made to the Attorney General’s Office, the Comptroller’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate what is happening.
They said that the subject of patents has been around for five years, and that of the use of land or radio space for four years.
Another point that worries them is that they are charged even though the companies do not work in those circumscriptions. This is the case of Duragás, which for six years has not worked in Esmeraldas; however, they have charged him for a patent, damaging the company in a million dollars, said the manager, Carlos Cabezas.
In the subject of the radioelectric space, one of the harmed companies is Directv. This company suffers an embargo of 8.7 million dollars, denounced the CEO of the company, Fernando Ferro.
The concern increases, considering that in March there are sectional elections, where the new mayors must be elected. “They are officials who will inherit these problems,” said Pablo Zambrano, president of the Pichincha Chamber of Industry.
He assured that the affected companies together with the Business Committee will take measures to sanction the municipalities that are making a “fraudulent use of the law”, and will initiate criminal actions against the officials who are acting against the law, because they are not complying with court orders that prohibit these undue charges and order the return of these securities.
Patricio Alarcón said that there are reports from the Comptroller’s Office where the mayors are sanctioned with the dismissal, but that is not true either. The issue will also be taken to the Assembly.
Newspaper EXPRESO tried to communicate with the mayor of Esmeraldas, Lenin Lara, as well as with the president of the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador (AME), Daniel Avecilla, by telephone and by text messages, but until the closing of this edition we never received a response. (I)
List of the main firms that denounce embargoes:
1. CORPETROL S.A.
2. EXXONMOBIL Ecuador
3. Lutexsa Industrial Comercial.
4. Duragás S.A.
5. TERPEL-Comercial Ecuador S.A.
6. VEPAMIL S.A.
7. ENI Ecuador S.A.
8. Petrol and Services PSY C.A.
9. Unilever S.A.
10. The Key S.A.
11. ARCA Continental SAB de CV.
12. La Fabril S.A.
13. Petrolríos S.A.
14. Tecniequipos S.A.
15. DIRECTV Ecuador
16. CONECEL S.A. (Clear)
17. OTECEL S.A. (Movistar)