We followed up on this Panamerica.com article on 5/21. I’m all over this shit. “JB”
During the government of Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), Dulcidio De La Guardia was appointed president of the Board of Directors of Tocumen International Airport, SA (Aitsa). At the same time, De La Guardia served as Minister of Economy and Finance. One of his closest collaborators in the ministry, until January 2018, was his chief of staff, Ricardo Zubieta Arias.’IT IS CLEAR IN THESE ATTACKS TO MY PERSON THAT THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION USED CONTINUE UNDER THE EDITORIAL CONTROL OF INTERESTS LISTED IN OFAC’,
RICARDO ZUBIETA ARIAS
PRESIDENT OF AEROJATO DE PANAMA
While both worked in the ministry, the board of directors of the airport awarded, at the ordinary meeting of November 8, 2017, a concession for the operation of the fixed base operator (FBO) business, for private air transportation and aviation aircraft in general, to the company Aerojato de Panamá, SA, whose president is Ricardo Zubieta Arias. A fact that consists in the certification N ° 097-JD-17 of November 20, 2017.
Aerojato de Panamá, SA is a company dedicated to private aviation registered in February 1995, according to La Estrella de Panamá.
Contract No. 006 / DC / 19 was signed one year and two months (January 31, 2019) after the concession was awarded by the current manager of the air terminal, Oscar Ramírez, five months before the conclusion of the contract. the current government management.
The document includes two stages: the design, construction, adaptation and equipment of an FBO terminal with an investment budget of $ 350 thousand. The second is the commercial exploitation of the FBO operator business.
The construction includes the main and related facilities of the FBO terminal necessary for the operation of aircraft, provision of ground support services, clearance and pre-flight and post-flight information, assistance and welcome services for crew and passengers, handling of luggage , migration and customs, established in its fourth clause called ‘object of the concession’.
The commercial exploitation of the FBO business would allow providing the services of cabin, catering, ramp, fuel loading, aircraft maintenance, airport operations, passenger treatment, cargo service and operational safety.
As established in the contract, the concessionaire will pay $ 2,980.10 monthly ($ 1 for each square meter of the surface granted in concession) and a percentage not less than 15% of the monthly income.
This document has the stamp and endorsement of the Comptroller General of the Republic and its validity is until June 2027, from the day the Acceptance of Construction Act is signed.
The voice of Dulcidio
De La Guardia acknowledged that Zubieta Arias is one of the shareholders of a fixed-base operator company, which has provided services at Tocumen and Albrook airports.
The president of Aitsa emphasized that the company was created ‘many years ago’ to offer aviation services in general.
According to him, the airport’s administrative policies are aimed at offering opportunities to companies that provide services to aviation in airports; that is, they have greater possibilities to reach contracts.
De La Guardia argued that Zubieta Arias ‘like any other FBO service operator, approached the airport management to request the space in the air terminal’.
For the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tocumen, there was no irregularity in the granting of the concession to the corporation due to the fact that the agreement was made applying the criterion of equal rates, which is granted to other FBO operators.
“There is no conflict of interest because the position of the airport is to accommodate the companies that provide services to aviation,” he says. For the former minister, it would be a conflict of interest ‘if the operator had benefited with rates different from those of the others’.
But, beyond the tariff cost, the questionable ‘is in the fact of granting a concession to a high official of a ministry, one of the closest collaborators of the then minister and president of the state airport company that gave the contract, “he said. a source that knows the management of concessions in the main air terminal of the country.
The answer of Zubieta
In a public communication, Zubieta reacted to these facts. He claimed to be a victim of ‘media harassment’ and ‘anonymous’ in social networks, driven by economic groups affected by the sanctions of the Office of Control of Assets Abroad (OFAC) of the US Department of State.A dumbbell to do business
The former official decried the publications of La Estrella de Panamá, arguing that they are based on speculation, fabricated links and assumptions that “only seek to damage their reputation, professional and economic activity.”
He asserted that this newspaper did not ‘give him the opportunity to present his version’. However, since they started these publications, they tried to contact, on several occasions, in
The offices of Soho City Center. He also insisted on speaking with him in his new office of the Tesa Group: he left a message and telephone number with the receptionist and he even dialed his mobile, without any response.
About his role in Aerojato de Panamá, he recognizes that he has been a director and partner of the company for a decade. And he adds that since 2014 some judicial and administrative claims were initiated considering the violation of the operations of his company with the intention of favoring a competitor.
He added that finally Tocumen, SA attended the claims to compete on equal opportunities, at the beginning of January 2019.
Finally, Zubieta Arias closes his statement saying that ‘it is clear in these attacks to my person that the means of communication used continue under the editorial control of interests listed in OFAC, probably in violation of the agreement that allowed the creation of the trust to achieve its functioning’.