A decision of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) granting land to Colon Container Terminal S.A., of the Evergreen Group, has been quashed by the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court, with the presentation of Judge Victor Benavides.
The court has annulled the land grant of what is known as Parcel “E,” of a little over 12 hectares for expansion of operations.
The beneficiary of the decision, also signed by magistrates Alejandro Moncada and Winston Spadafora, is the company Colon Oil and Services S.A. (Coassa), a fuel storage facility located between the ports of Evergreen and Manzanillo International Terminal, which was originally owned by Samuel Israel.
However, since January, Coassa belongs to the German company Oiltanking.
Coassa is on the area of the former Colon Port Terminal Company SA (owned by the former mayor of Colon Alcibiades Gonzalez and Dino Cipponeri), which they won in a 1997 award of docks 3 and 4 of Coco Solo. Israel formalized his request for Lot E in 2006 and reiterated it in 2007, but never received an answer from the AMP. The institution, then run by Ruben Arosemena, issued Resolution No. 037-08 of June 19, 2008 granting land to Evergreen.
However, the fate of Parcel “E” and other lands ceded to the Evergreen Group under the annulled decision is yet to be defined, because the content of the annulled AMP resolution became Law 70 of 2008 and is part of the Addendum No. 2 to the contract signed between the Panamanian State and Evergreen.
The ruling of the Third Chamber adds another issue of a 2010 decision of the AMP to give just over one hectare to Manzanillo.
The controversial ruling by the Third Chamber also has a consequence on an environmental level relating to an agreement by the Evergreen Group to return about three hectares creating a buffer zone to protect dwindling mangroves that once abounded on the Colon coast.
This agreement was endorsed by the AMP in 2008 in one of the resolutions now overturned.
Now there are rumors of another port concession that would affect mangroves in the lagoon of Margarita Island.
This post is also available in: Spanish