President Sebastián Piñera has among his offshore businesses the sale in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) of the Dominga mining project, an operation that involved the businessman and one of his historical friends Carlos Alberto “Choclo” Délano.
The revelation comes from the so-called “Pandora Papers”, a work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that had LaBot and CIPER in charge of the Chilean chapter.
President Sebastián Piñera and businessman Carlos Alberto Délano are old acquaintances. According to El Mostrador, they met while studying Commercial Engineering at UC and forged a friendship that lasts for 46 years. They have traveled the world with their families. Délano accompanied him when Ricardo Claro pressed play on Kyoto radio and buried his presidential aspiration. Délano rebuked the late lawyer and told him “you are a yawn.” At the house of Délano his friend agreed to get off the senatorial race along the V Coast. Délano was part of the so-called “third floor”. Jokes are made. They love each other. They support each other.
In their relationship, it stands out that they met in their summers in La Serena, about 60 kilometers south of one of the businesses in which, years later, their families invested together: Minera Dominga.
According to the documents revealed, in 2010, when Piñera was already president, his family sold the business to Délano for 14 million dollars, according to an act signed in Chile, and another in the Virgin Islands, for 138 million dollars. This payment had to be made in three installments and, the last one, was linked to the failure to establish an environmental protection area in the mine, as demanded by environmental groups. The Piñera government did not legislate the aforementioned environmental protection zone, so, according to information also published by international media, that third installment was paid.
According to the manager of Piñera’s business group, the president has not managed his business for twelve years and was not informed about this sale.
As for Délano, Piñera’s initial partner in the Dominga project and then its absolute owner, he sent a detailed document drafted by his advisors and consigned by El País. They explain there that it was the managers of the fund that originally owned Dominga (the Latin Minerals Private Investment Fund) who structured their property in the British Virgin Islands because the original idea was to sell it to foreign buyers. “The companies of the Délano family that acquired the Dominga project fulfilled all the obligations of declaration and / or payment of taxes that were applicable to that operation,” they said.
Asked about the payment of the last installment, they stressed that it corresponded only to 6.5% of the total sale price and that the negotiations were made directly with the Investment Fund that Dominga sold. Although they did not mention that the one who signed the contract, on behalf of said fund, was Nicolás Noguera, the man who carries out the management of Piñera’s companies, from where they ruled out any relationship of the president with the operation.