Guatemala: Puerto Barrios Contract Could Be Annulled

The Executive Branch is considering the cancellation of the lease agreement between Ferrovías and Cobigua after the Attorney General's Office filed a complaint alleging anomalies.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Executive is evaluating whether it will declare invalid the lease agreement between Compañía Desarrolladora Ferroviaria (Ferrovías) and Compañía Bananera Guatemalteca Independiente (Cobigua) days after the PGN filed a suit with the Public Prosecutor to start an investigation to determine " ... who were the people responsible for signing the contract, in addition to identifying what legal standards were used by Ferrovías to finalise the aforementioned contract, since that company has no power over the state." See "Corruption denounce in the concessioning and management of Puerto Quetzal" reports that "...The contract entitles Cobigua to use the port of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, until 2048, after the expiry last year of the onerous usufruct contract, awarded in 1990. In the view of the former Attorney General of the Nation, Maria Eugenia Villagran, Ferrovías had no authority to give the port administration over to Cobigua."

More on this topic

Guatemala: Puerto Quetzal Still Without Contract

November 2016

The productive sectors are urging an agreement between the President and Congress of Guatemala to formalize the concession of the container terminal to APM Terminals. reports that "...The awarding of the Quetzal Container Terminal  (TCQ by its initials in Spanish), is in the eye of the storm because there is no agreement on what is the legal method to establish a new contract. The Executive has already sent the proposal for a direct award, but opposition deputies questioned the proposed mechanism, while the private sector is urging both agencies to seek an early solution to the problem. "  

Maersk Group could be the Concessionaire of Puerto Quetzal

April 2016

The acquisition of TCB by APM Terminals means that any dispute concerning the granting of Puerto Quetzal will involve the largest group in the world in the maritime sector, the Maersk shipping company.

Following the Public Ministry's denouncement of the existence of an illicit money laundering network operating in the Container Terminal at Quetzal , the government of Jimmy Morales is torn between declaring void the concession contract with the current operator, TCB, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office on several occasions, or making other arrangements with the company. The Morales government may have to negotiate with the Danish giant Maersk Group, which bought 100% of the shares of the Spanish TCB in October 2015, according to an article on

Guatemala: Port Concession At Risk

September 2015

The Attorney General's Office has recommended the onerous usufruct contract signed with the Spanish Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal be declared void.

If the Executive Branch does not declare it void, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office (PGN), this entity could "take appropriate action".

Guatemala: Port Concession At Risk

August 2015

Actions have been announced by the Comptroller General's Office to declare the contract signed in July 2012 with the Spanish International Container Terminal Quetzal as detrimental.

An article on reports that "... the Comptroller General of Accounts, Carlos Mencos, confirmed to La Hora that no later than next week, a group of lawyers from the company submitted to the Attorney General's Office, the documentation needed to declare the usufruct contract between the Spanish company Container Terminal Quetzal (TCQ) and EPQ, signed in July 2012 as harmful.

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