Thursday, July 30, 2009
I dont know why I am surprised again and again. After Ecuador's oil sector was nationalized by current "Socialist" and "Anti-Imperialist" government, the new oil company Petroproducción received free hand to sign contracts by "contratación directa", that is, outside of the legal procedures of State procurement. They can buy anything at any price from any one. There was, as expected, an explosion of contracts, which sum 731,9 million dollars in the first year of operation. They are fast. Estimating a minimum of 15% "payola" to the people directly involved in these contracts, we have that 110 million US dollars have been "privatized". I would say half goes to the Presidente. Some people are getting very rich in Ecuador.
Someone asked why most of the new contracts were made outside of the legal bidding process? The answer: "Under the legal system we could not buy anything. This way we do as we want." True enough.