The National Electricity Regulatory Entity (ENRE) filed a criminal complaint this Thursday against the Edesur authorities for fraud, abandonment of a person and obstruction of public services. The presentation is a consequence of the repeated power cuts that the residents of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area have been suffering in the middle of the heat wave that has been going on for 15 days.
The decision was anticipated on Wednesday night by sources from the Energy Secretariat, an agency that asked the ENRE to formalize the complaint. What worries the government is not only the cuts but their extension and reiteration, since there are families that have not had service for several days and others whose power has been cut off on a recurring basis without anyone offering a solution to them. your claims.
“I have filed a criminal complaint against the authorities of the Edesur SA company in court for the alleged commission of the crimes that I detail below: -Fraud due to disruption of the agreed rights (Art. 173, sub. 11, of the CP). -Abandonment of people (Art. 106 of the CP). – Obstruction of public services (Art. 194 of the CP). It is in a lottery in order to assign the intervening court and prosecutor, ”Martello confirmed this Thursday afternoon from his Twitter account.
The ENRE controller assured on Wednesday that Edesur had affected more than 70,000 users for 7 consecutive days. After the rain on Wednesday, the temperature again exceeded 30 degrees this Thursday and in the afternoon the cuts again shot up at various times above 70 thousand. “That warrants extraordinary sanctions,” Martello remarked.
During this Thursday afternoon, there were still power cuts in the Buenos Aires districts of Almirante Brown, Avellaneda, Esteban Echeverría, Ezeiza, Quilmes, Lanús and Lomas de Zamora. In the City of Buenos Aires, meanwhile, the affected neighborhoods were Balvanera, Floresta, Mataderos, Flores, La Boca, Monserrat, Villa Crespo and Nueva Pompeya.
The Municipality of Esteban Echeverría also filed a criminal complaint against the authorities of the distributor Edesur due to the massive cuts in the supply of electricity that the district suffered this week and which affected the operation of the Sofía Terrero de Santamarina Municipal Hospital. “For 48 hours, the Edesur company did not provide electricity service to the hospital and did not provide emergency assistance, despite having promised to provide a generator as support in the face of the urgency that the case warranted,” they said through a message. release. That generator, he indicated, “was delivered 24 hours after the interruption of the electricity supply and did not work due to damage to its battery.”
The government of the City of Buenos Aires confirmed this Thursday afternoon that it also filed a criminal complaint against Edesur. “That you lack electricity for so many days is no longer a nuisance, it is a risk to health and life. And those responsible have to take charge. For this reason, we filed a criminal complaint against Edesur,” said the head of government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta on his Twitter account.
In turn, the municipality of Quilmes reported that it fined Edesur 200 million pesos for “interruptions and deficiencies in the service.”
The ENRE began the technical audit at the end of February and this Tuesday confirmed that within the next 90 days it will submit a report with the conclusions to the competent authorities and the National Congress. “The audit in progress considers the operational and management evaluation of the distributor that have resulted in the lack of timely attention and form to the claims of the users and in the replacement of the service, breaches that, beyond the global indicators and quality individuals, denote underlying issues that may affect the continuity of the concession”, he assured through a statement.
The presentation in Congress will be made before the bicameral monitoring of public service concessions in order to advise whether it is appropriate to terminate the concession. “The final report will leave all the parameters for the failures in the quality of the service so that those who have the responsibility to decide, which in this case is not the ENRE, take the measures they deem appropriate. We consider that 60 more years of concession, which is what the company has left, does not deserve that we have this lousy quality of service and lousy life. As it is a decision that will transcend several governments, we believe that it is politics that has to get involved and start making decisions about the continuity or not of the company”, Martello remarked.
If Congress picks up the gauntlet and the bicameral commission meets to analyze the ENRE report, the future of the Edesur concession will end up being discussed in the middle of the electoral campaign prior to the PASO. There, not only the performance of the electricity distributor controlled by the Italian company ENEL will be under discussion, but also the energy policy as a whole, since the company argues that the lack of investment is a consequence of distribution tariffs that were practically frozen in nominal terms during the first three years of government despite the fact that during that period annual inflation shot up from 50 to 100 percent.
Enel already anticipated in November that it is leaving the country and put all its assets up for sale. Last month it sold Central Costanera and Central Dock Sud and this month it commissioned Banco Santander to find a buyer for Edesur. There are several interested groups, mainly national businessmen, but they are all clear that the negotiation will not only be with Enel but also with the government to see what it plans to do with the company. These approaches are not easy because there is not a single official position on the subject. From some sectors the station is fired, while others seek to disembark a national company with which they have a greater affinity.