On 28 February 2000, law 7989 was published in the official gazette, reforming article 156 of the Work Code.
The law was approved on February 24 and published in the Official Newspaper on March 16. It authorises the National Port Company to lease, by public bidding and for a 25-year period, the port facilities of Puerto Cabeza.
Jeffrey Gracer, a specialist in Latin American environmental law, joined the firm on February 22, 2000 as partner in the firm's Latin American Practice Group. Gracer served as special environmental counsel to the Inter-American Investment Corporation. Gracer has lectured widely on Latin American environmental laws and the implications for foreign investors and lenders.
In the middle of February Patricia Sawyer G. joined Parra, Rodriguez & Cavelier Abogados as part of its energy and natural resources practice. Ms Sawyer has more than 12 years experience working for various oil and gas companies in Colombia and Venezuela, including as in-house legal adviser for Lasmo Oil.
Representatives from Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia failed to reach any agreement in their meetings in January and February in Lima, but it is expected that the Andean Community will in any case increase the protection afforded to Industrial Property.
On 31 January SEPI (an entity owned by the Spanish government) took over the operation of Aerolineas Argentinas from American Airlines and is now putting the finishing touches on a radical adjustment plan to deal with the US $800 million debt of the airline.
Brazil's National Monetary Council (CMN) issued Resolution No. 2689, on January 26, 2000, which establishing the rules that will permit foreigners, corporations or individuals to invest directly in Brazil’s financial and capital markets under less rigid structures than formerly in place. As of March 31, 2000, foreign investors will be able to more freely invest in securities and fixed-income funds, and they will be allowed to easily move their funds between both positions.
A partial reform to Nicaragua’s constitution was approved 18 January 2000 and published the following day in the official gazette.
On 16 January, the Brazilian government was preparing to defend legislation aimed at reducing tax evasion after it was challenged in the courts by business associations and political opposition.
Vouga & Olmedo advised Grupo Vélox in its acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Financiera Parapití SAECA, which closed on January 8.