Most people with "dos dedos de frente" knew already in 2006, before the referendum, that the plans for the expansion of the Panama Canal with a third set of locks were deeply flawed to say the least. Under-budgeted, unrealistic financing scheme, high risk of corruption because Aleman Zubieta also owns construction company CUSA (to which he recently referred as "my company").
Then came the WikiLeaks, and the diplomatic cables not only confirmed all that quoting members of the government itself; they added that there is a high seismic risk that forced the design for the locks to be done again, and which will cause a substantial cost overrun. Meanwhile, we heard stories about machinery rusting away and other such mishap. Many think the Canal is being managed very well, but if you ask us, there is something seriously wrong with an organization that needs about 10,000 employees to maneuver 35 ships through a ditch every day.
So, we are just waiting for the proverbial shit to hit the fan. One day, sooner or later, this white elephant will collapse and the large financial holes dumped on the Panamanian people.
And guess what? Even Don "scam pimp" Winner has seen the light! Of course he's about five years behind the curve; in 2006 he was still drooling about the scheme, with lines like, "It seems to me that the process has been very transparent", and spinning stupid trickle-down nonsense like, "The one other element that I haven't seen much, and I'm surprised that I haven't seen it, is the simple concept that the $5.25 billion dollars or whatever it ends up actually costing is all going to be spent here. That the vast majority of that money is going to be spent on the construction, in the country, and that money will trickle out through the economy". Then he saw "progress" in the battle against corruption, 100-story buildings being constructed, a mega-port (whatever happened to THAT scheme?) and so on. For Donnie the Wanker, the sky was the limit with this Canal expansion.
So now he just made a 180 degree turn, because, for the first time in his life, he has a source! And this source tells him that:
They tell me the company that won the largest part of the contract to build the expansion project - the consortium "Grupo Unidos Por El Canal (GUPC) - seriously underbid the project in order to win the contract. The largest Panamanian partner in that consortium - CUSA - has long standing and direct ties to Alberto Alemán Zubieta, the CEO of the Panama Canal Authority. Considering Alemán's ties to CUSA it was really no surprise when GUPC - comprised of the Spanish company Sacyr Vallehermoso, the Italian company Impregilo, the Belgian company Jan De Nul, and the Panamanian company Urban Construction, Inc. (CUSA) - won the contract. However now there are reports of very serious delays in construction, cost overruns, and idle equipment.
Yes, Don, this is old news, you know?
So, who is his mysterious deep throat inside the ACP with whom he meets in underground parkings? Winner himself has this to say:
I have to be very careful in how I present these numbers, because my sources are concerned that someone might be able to figure out where I got them. Suffice it to say I was provided with some very specific numbers and data regarding construction schedules and projects, and the amount of work that was supposed to have been done by now, compared to what has actually been done and the speed of the advance of the work that has actually occurred. In order to mask the specifics I'm going to melt it down as a percentage - only 28% of the work was completed in recent months, compared to what was scheduled and projected.
So it's only one source. Someone with very detailed info of all the scheduling and budgeting. How hard can that be? Tips in the comments!
Meanwhile, we congratulate the scam pimp with his newly acquired insights into his own senseless promotion of the ACP expansion scam. Chapeau!
The canal was doomed from the start. The idiots at the ACP thought that they could cut corners and manage part of the process themselves. If everyone thinks that this new Italian Scandal with the radar contracts is something special, that was standard operating procedure during the canal bidding process. Ask how much Raul Romero received as his compensation for the winning bid…. promises made and not kept are a dangerous thing Raul….. There were good companies in the bidding process but there was a political agenda that ruined the project. Everyone knew that the bid was too low and that it was not feasible but they also knew the consequences if the bidding for the project failed.
Much lower than 28%
The following article shows the contempt,the complete and utter malfeasance with these corrupted practices which will endanger the Panamanian peoples and their drinking water supply.
Why a Damaging Panama Canal Expansion is Being Advanced
Why a Damaging Panama Canal Expansion is Being Advanced
Uncensored. As written in English by the author. Includes updates not in the Spanish edition.
Bert G. Shelton, Research Scientist and Professional Engineer, 5 January 2011
Without a doubt the feat of completing the Panama Canal nearly a century ago created the eight wonder of the world. The service the canal offers world markets has grown to such an extent that – despite tolls having been raised more than 1000% in just over ten years – more cargo transits it today than ever before. Clearly, it’s worth expanding.
Precisely because its service is in such high demand, it is paramount to ensure that it is expanded as effectively as possible, taking into account all costs, which should fully include impacts to third parties and to the environment. A mediocre expansion, or worse yet what is being built today, is not acceptable.
Read the rest here: http://www.chiriquichatter.net/blog/2011/02/05/why-a-damaging-panama-canal-expansion-is-being-advanced/
I think it’s quite an accomplishment that the Panamanians have in little over a decade managed to completely botch running the Canal. It’ll be interesting to see what the US will do to get it out of the hands of this bunch of crooks.