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Lawyers, other representatives, expert(s), tribunal’s secretary


A. Introduction


The Claimant, Técnicas Medioambientales, TECMED S.A., is a commercial company organized under Spanish law, domiciled in Madrid, Spain. It is represented in this arbitration proceeding by:

Mr. Juan Carlos Calvo Corbella
Técnicas Medioambientales TECMED S.A.
Albasanz 16 – 1a planta
28037 Madrid, Spain

Ms. Mercedes Fernández
Mr. Juan Ignacio Tena García
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue abogados
Velázquez 51 – 4a planta
28001 Madrid, Spain


The Respondent is the Government of the United Mexican States, represented in this arbitration proceeding by:

Mr. Hugo Perezcano Díaz
Consultor Jurídico
Dirección General de Consultoría Jurídica de Negociaciones Comerciales
Subsecretaría de Negociaciones Comerciales Internacionales
Secretaría de Economía
Alfonso Reyes No. 30, piso 17
Colonia Condesa
Mexico, D.F., C.P. 06179, Mexico

This Award decides on the merits of the dispute between the parties in accordance with Article 53 of the Arbitration Additional Facility Rules (Arbitration Rules) of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

B. Procedural History

On August 28, 2000, the Acting Secretary-General of ICSID, pursuant to Article 4 of the Rules, notified the Claimant that access to the Additional Facility Rules had been approved with respect to this case and that the notice of institution of arbitration proceedings had been registered; he then sent the certificate of registration to the parties and forwarded copies of the notice of institution of arbitration proceedings to the Respondent.
On October 2, 2000, the Claimant notified the Centre of the appointment of Professor José Carlos Fernández Rosas as arbitrator and of its consent for the Parties to appoint as arbitrator a person of the same nationality of the Party making the proposal.
On November 7, 2000, the Respondent notified the Centre of the appointment of Mr. Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez as arbitrator and nominated Mr. Albert Jan van den Berg as President of the Arbitral Tribunal.
On November 29, 2000, the Claimant objected to the nomination of Mr. van den Berg and proposed instead that the Parties request their designated arbitrators to appoint the President of the Arbitral Tribunal, which was accepted by the Respondent.
On January 30, 2001, the ICSID Secretariat informed that Mr. Fernández Rosas and Mr. Aguilar Alvarez had appointed Dr. Horacio A. Grigera Naón as President of the Arbitral Tribunal. On February 2, 2001, the Claimant confirmed its agreement to this appointment and, in its communication dated February 22, 2001, the Respondent notified the Centre of its agreement to the President’s appointment.
On March 13, 2001, the Centre’s Acting Secretary-General informed the parties that, as from that date, the Arbitral Tribunal was deemed to have been constituted and the proceedings to have begun.
The first session of the Arbitral Tribunal with the parties was held in Paris, France on May 7, 2001. During the course of the session, procedural rules applicable to these proceedings were established and the schedule for the submission of memorials by the Parties was fixed, among other things.
On September 4, 2001, the Claimant filed its memorial.
On November 16, 2001, the Respondent made certain observations regarding opinions alleged to have been given by Mr. Aguilar Alvarez in another arbitration proceeding which, in the Respondent’s view, also involved legal matters to be debated in this arbitration proceeding.
On November 16, 2001, Lie. Aguilar Alvarez submitted his resignation as arbitrator in these proceedings, upon which, in a letter of the same date, the ICSID Secretariat served notice of the suspension of the proceedings until the vacancy created by Mr. Aguilar Alvarez’s resignation was filled.
On November 20, 2001, the Arbitral Tribunal accepted the resignation of Mr. Aguilar Alvarez.
On December 14, 2001, the Respondent served notice of the appointment of Mr. Carlos Bernal Verea in replacement of Mr. Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez.
On December 17, 2001, the ICSID Secretariat informed that Mr. Carlos Bernal Verea had accepted his appointment by the Respondent to serve as arbitrator in these proceedings and as from such date deemed the Arbitral Tribunal to have been reconstituted and the arbitration proceedings to have resumed.
On January 22, 2002, the Arbitral Tribunal issued a procedural order deciding certain procedural matters raised by the Parties and extended the deadline for the submission of the Respondent’s counter-memorial until February 4, 2002.
Following a new request by the Respondent in its written communication of January 31, 2002, on February 1, 2002, the Arbitral Tribunal extended the deadline for the submission of the Respondent’s counter-memorial until February 11, 2002.
The Respondent’s counter-memorial was received on February 11, 2002. On February 19, 2002, the Respondent enclosed a list of the facts alleged in the memorial that were recognized by the Respondent in its counter-memorial and those that were not.
On March 7, 2002, the Arbitral Tribunal issued Procedural Order No. 1, fixing the week of May 20, 2002 for the Evidentiary Hearing to be held in Washington, D.C., USA, dispensing with the submission of a reply and rejoinder by the Parties, establishing guidelines for holding the hearing and setting June 28, 2002 as the deadline for the Parties to submit their closing statements after the hearing.
Following new requests and exchanges between the Parties in the notes of the Respondent and Claimant dated March 13 and 21, 2002, respectively, the Arbitral Tribunal issued its Procedural Order No. 2, which —in addition to specifying certain additional matters in relation to the hearing scheduled for the week of May 20 - provided that, at the end of the hearing on May 24, 2003, the Parties could address the Arbitral Tribunal orally, and extended the deadline for the submission of closing statements until July 15, 2002.
On April 29, 2002, the Secretariat of ICSID notified the Parties of the agenda issued by the Arbitral Tribunal for the conduct of the hearing.
The hearing was held in Washington, D.C., at the seat of ICSID. It began in the morning of May 20, 2002, and ended on May 24, 2002, after the Parties addressed the Arbitral Tribunal orally.

A stenographic transcript of the hearing was made, which lists the following persons as having been present at the hearing:

Members of the Arbitral Tribunal

1. Dr. Horacio A. Grigera Naón, President
2. Prof. José Carlos Fernández Rozas
3. Mr. Carlos Bernal Verea

Secretary of the Arbitral Tribunal

4. Ms. Gabriela Alvarez Avila

Técnicas Medioambientales TECMED S.A.

5. Mr. Juan Carlos Calvo Corbella
6. Ms. Mercedes Fernández
7. Mr. José Daniel Fernández

The United Mexican States

8. Mr. Hugo Perezcano Diaz
9. Mr. Luis Alberto González García
10. Ms. Alejandra Treviño Solis
11. Mr. Sergio Ampudia
12. Mr. Carlos Garcia
13. Mr. Rolando Garcia
14. Cameron Mowatt, Esq.
15. Stephen Becker, Esq.
16. Sanjay Mullick, Esq.
17. Ms. Jacqueline Paniagua
18. Lars Christianson, Engineer
19. Ms. Ruth Benkley
20. Francisco Maytorena Fontes, Engineer
21. Christopher Thomas, Esq.

The hearing was held in accordance with the agenda fixed by the Arbitral Tribunal and within the time limit set for the Parties in Procedural Order No. 2 for the examination of witnesses and experts.

The following witnesses and experts were heard at the hearing after the opening statements made by the Claimant and the Respondent, respectively.

Offered by the Claimant

José Luis Calderón Bartheneuf
Javier Polanco Gómez Lavin
Enrique Diez Cañedo Ruiz
José María Zapatero Vaquero
Jesús M. Pérez de Vega
Luis R. Vera Morales
José Visoso Lomelín

Offered by the Respondent

Alfonso Camacho Gómez
Cristina Cortinas de Nava
Jorge Sánchez Gómez
Lars Christianson

During the course of the hearing, the Arbitral Tribunal decided to agree to the inclusion of documents introduced by either the Respondent or the Claimant during the hearing. It further decided —after dismissing the Respondent’s objections in this regard— to agree to the inclusion of certain documents submitted in support of the statement made by Mr. Jesús M. Pérez de Vega as an expert proposed by the Claimant; nevertheless, it gave the Respondent an opportunity to examine such documents and exercise its right to question the expert once the inclusion of such documents had been decided. However, the Respondent declined to exercise such right.
At the end of the hearing, the Arbitral Tribunal heard the oral presentations made by the Parties, each of which was allowed 90 minutes.
On August 1, 2002, the Claimant and the Respondent submitted their respective closing statements.
In a note dated July 31, 2002, the Respondent had explained the reasons why it was annexing to its closing statement a "Declaration of Lars Christianson, Engineer", accompanied by exhibits.
In a note dated August 2, 2002, the Claimant objected to the inclusion of such declaration and exhibits.
In its procedural order of August 12, 2002, the Arbitral Tribunal decided to agree to the inclusion of such statement and exhibits, not as part of the evidence offered and produced, but as part of the Respondent’s closing statement.
By note dated April 9, 2003, the Secretariat of ICSID notified the Parties that the Arbitral Tribunal had declared the proceedings closed in accordance with Article 45 of the Rules.

C. Summary of Facts and Allegations presented by the Parties

D. Preliminary Matters

The Arbitral Tribunal will first examine the issues which, due to their nature or connection with its jurisdiction to decide this case or due to their close connection with other matters relating to the decisions that the Tribunal must make on the merits of the disputes between the Parties, need to be decided previously. Such matters are (i) the Respondent’s challenges to the Arbitral Tribunal’s jurisdiction; (ii) the Respondent’s challenges to the timely submission by the Claimant of some of its claims; and (iii) the price and scope of the acquisition by Cytrar and Tecmed of assets relating to the Las Viboras landfill.

I. Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal

The Claimant argues,1 based on Article 2(2) of the Agreement, that the Agreement applies retroactively to the Respondent’s conduct prior to the effective date of the Agreement. Such provision stipulates that the Agreement "...shall also apply to investments made prior to its entry into force by the investors of a Contracting Party". According to the Claimant, under this provision, the Agreement covers all conduct or events relating to the investment giving rise to the disputes of this arbitration which took place before December 18, 1996, the entry into force of the Agreement pursuant to Article 12 thereof. Article 12 provides that the Agreement will enter into force on the date of mutual notification between the Contracting Parties of compliance with constitutional requirements for the entry into force of international agreements. Title X of the Appendix to the Agreement shows that this took place on December 18, 1996. The Claimant also alleges, based on Article 18 of the United Nations Vienna Convention of 1969 on the Law of Treaties (hereinafter referred to as the "Vienna Convention"),2 that the Respondent was bound, even before entry into force of the Agreement, to.refrain from acts which would defeat the object matter and purpose..." of the Agreement.3
The Respondent, in turn,4 contends that this Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction ratione temporis to consider the application of the Agreement to the Respondent’s conduct prior to December 18, 1996. The Respondent alleges that any other interpretation would be inconsistent with the principle of non-retroactive application of treaties embodied in Article 28 of the Vienna Convention and with a basic rule of international law. In other words, the Respondent does not recognize the Arbitral Tribunal’s jurisdiction to decide in connection with matters or conduct taking place prior to such date.5

The Arbitral Tribunal does not deem it appropriate to establish the meaning, in abstract or general terms, of "retroactive application" of a legal provision, an expression that does not appear to meet generally accepted criteria.6 Therefore, in this regard, in addition to following the claims of the Parties as indicated below, the Tribunal will follow the text of the Agreement itself and the rules governing the interpretation of treaties.7

Based on the standards that have just been defined, consideration of whether the Agreement is to be applied retroactively must first be determined in light of the claims of the Parties. The mandate of an arbitration tribunal is subject to limitations, among them those arising out of disputed issues specifically referred to it by the Parties in their claims. An arbitral tribunal cannot decide more or less than is necessary to settle the disputes referred to it. There is no doubt that the Parties have opposing views as to whether the Agreement applies retroactively or not, and they have extensively argued this point8 —all the more reason to examine this matter in light of the express requests and arguments of the Parties.
The Respondent’s conduct prior to December 18, 1996, complained about by the Claimant, essentially consisted of (a) failure to transfer to Cytrar the permit already existing for the operation of the landfill or failure to grant to Cytrar a permit equal or equivalent to such permit, particularly as regards its indefinite duration;9 and (b) INE’s alleged ambiguous conduct, in that it first included Cytrar in an INE register in terms that could be deemed to be a transfer to Cytrar of the existing unlimited permit, subsequently revoking it by replacing it with another one, limited in its initial duration (a year) and the subsequent renewal of which was subject to approval by INE.10.

In its memorial, the Claimant states as follows with regard to the conduct of INE with respect to the exchange or replacement of operating permits for the landfill:

However, this fact, although serious when we know what happened subsequently, did not cause immediate prejudice to the claimant which, after all, was still entitled to operate the Landfill acquired.11

Nevertheless, the Claimant highlights the following in this regard:

...the unwarranted change in the conditions of operation and as a result of a new and different permit being issued, unrelated to the plans and guarantees existing as of the time of the investment, is truly a discriminatory measure without any legal foundation, expressly prohibited by Article III of the ARPPI (Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments).12

And a little later:

It should not be understood that the conversion of an authorization for an unlimited period of time into a temporary one legitimized or enabled the subsequent resolution contrary to renewal. That resolution of INE, challenged in this arbitration, is illegal and unlawful just like a revocation of the license on the same grounds. It is, however, beyond doubt that the precariousness (due to the short duration) and provisional nature of an authorization for such a limited time are greater than in the case of an authorization for an unlimited period of time.13

In connection with the same point, the Claimant explains the following:

However, CYTRAR, S.A. de C.V. and TECMED had an authorization covering the operation of the landfill and were not in a position to make complaints that could "displease" the competent officials. Still, in spite of undeniable differences between an authorization for an unlimited duration and a temporary one, the one granted in 1996 was a legitimate and sufficient title, operation of the landfill continued uninterruptedly and relations between the personnel of the companies and the representatives of the Administration were cordial and fluid. Everyone’s intent was that the landfill should operate and be managed appropriately and that it should last. At the time, at least for the Claimant, it was unthinkable that it would be unlawfully deprived of its lawfully obtained authorization only two years later.14

Referring to INE’s refusal to renew the authorization granted on November 19, 1997, the Claimant states that:

This is precisely the violation challenged in this arbitration —an Official Letter of the National Ecology Institute which deprived Cytrar, S.A. de C.V. of the asset that was the basis of its exclusive activity. A definitive and fundamental act accompanied by a number of proximate, previous and subsequent acts which completed the multiple violation of the ARPPI and which are claimed against in this arbitration.15

The Claimant further states:

However, the necessary accuracy with which the facts have been dealt in this memorial shows how the respondent’s breach did not materialize in a single act, but was gradually prepared, implemented and strengthened until it was finally consummated in the act of refusing renewal.

It was certainly the refusal that caused damage and definitively prevented this company from obtaining a legitimate return on its investment. The preceding acts, particularly the ones leading to adverse modifications of the terms of the authorization, are in the nature of acts prior to that decisive breach which caused the damage for which compensation is requested. But the truth is that, although there is a difference between the operation of a landfill under a temporary authorization and under a license for an unlimited duration, in both cases there exists a title to undertake and lawfully continue operations, and the day-to-day activities are not curtailed by such time limitations.16

In connection with the refusal to renew the authorization of November 19, 1997, the Claimant further points out the following:

Therein lies the respondent’s essential breach, which has caused the damage for which compensation is requested in this arbitration.17

Referring to the fair and equitable treatment under international law guaranteed by Article 4(1) of the Agreement, the Claimant claims that it encompasses the duty to act transparently and respecting the legitimate trust generated in the investor. In this regard, the Claimant states the following:

In sum, the legitimate trust generated in TECMED inducing it to make the investment was violated and seriously trampled upon. First, as a result of the change in the landfill’s operating conditions and, subsequently and definitively, through the measure that led to its immediate standstill.

If Mexican law were to protect and pennit the conversion of unlimited permits into annual ones, which we deny, the least that could be said is that such legislation is completely lacking in transparency, since none of its provisions specifies that licenses are limited in duration.18

The Claimant also argues that the replacement of the existing unlimited duration license, which in the past was given to state investors (municipal investors or investors from the State of Sonora) by a limited duration license when it was granted to Cytrar constituted a violation of the fair and equitable treatment guarantee set forth in Article 4(5) of the Agreement.19

Finally, the Claimant summarizes its claims as follows:

A declaration is sought from the Arbitral Tribunal regarding the breach committed by the United Mexican States as a result of the actions and decisions stated in this memorial, both as regards the breach itself and in connection with acts in preparation of such breach...20

After listing the main breaches of the Agreement alleged by the Claimant against the Respondent, which include "the substantial change in the conditions governing the operation of the landfill..." as a result of the replacement of the authorization existing at the time of making the investment and "...particularly due to the conversion of an unlimited duration permit into an annual or annually renewable one",21 the Claimant summarizes its claims as follows:

Such acts prepare and constitute an express, serious and blatant breach of the duty to protect foreign investments, declared in Article II of the ARPPI and of the duty to offer fair and equitable treatment to foreign investors, pursuant to Article IV of the Agreement; non-renewal is a measure having equivalent effects to the type of expropriation provided for in Article V of the ARPPI, carried out for political reasons and interests contrary to the public interest and without appropriate compensation.22


In its closing statement, the Claimant gives additional details of its requests and claims. Regarding the replacement of the unlimited duration license to operate the Landfill by a one-year license, and in view of the Respondent’s statement that the Claimant’s claims also seek to hold the Respondent liable for such replacement, the Claimant states as follows:

This is absolutely false. Suffice it to look at the request for relief in the claim, which contains the Claimant’s claims, to understand that the only declaration of breach sought from the Arbitral Tribunal relates to the refusal to renew the license for the operation of the CYTRAR Landfill.

Certainly, the Claimant has provided an account, and informed the Tribunal, of other facts occurring prior to November 25, 1998, because they are relevant and clearly illustrate the attitude and conduct of the Mexican authorities, but the Claimant has not requested a declaration of breach or liability in respect of only one of them.23

The Claimant then adds:

In sum, we hold that the act in connection with which an award is requested in this arbitration is the refusal to renew the permit with respect to the Landfill of Cytrar, aside from the fact that the Tribunal needs to know and assess the meaning of previous acts and measures of the Mexican authorities.

This claim is fully and expressly supported by the provisions on retroactivity contained in the ARPPI between Spain and Mexico, and does not need to rely on any other conventions.24

The Claimant further states that:

We stress that the only violation of the ARPPI requested to be penalized by the Tribunal is the decision not to renew the license, which caused the damage sustained by TECMED [...] However, this does not prevent, but rather determines, that the Arbitral Tribunal should examine and assess the preceding and even subsequent acts of the Mexican authorities.25

The Arbitral Tribunal sees a certain fluctuation in the Claimant’s position as to whether the Respondent’s conduct prior to December 18, 1996, can be taken into account in order to determine whether the Respondent has violated the Agreement. In any case, the Arbitral Tribunal concludes that the Claimant does not include in its claims submitted to this Tribunal acts or omissions of the Respondent prior to such date which, considered in isolation, could be deemed to be in violation of the Agreement prior to such date.
A more difficult issue is whether such acts or omissions, combined with acts or conduct of the Respondent after December 18, 1996, constitute a violation of the Agreement after that date.
In view of the above precedents and of the Claimant’s specific requests, the Arbitral Tribunal will not consider any possible violations of the Agreement prior to its entry into force on December 18, 1996, as a result of isolated acts or omissions that took place previously or of conduct by the Respondent considered in whole as an isolated unit and that went by before such date. In order to reach such conclusion, a relevant fact is that Cytrar, Tecmed and the Claimant did not choose to make any claim in connection with conduct occurring prior to December 18, 1996, not even through a note addressed to the relevant Mexican authorities stating their objections to the measures or resolutions adopted,36 although they were not under any violence or pressure at the time preventing them from doing so.

II. Timely submission by the Claimant of its Claims against the Respondent

III. The Scope of the Purchase Transaction

The Claimant alleges, mainly on the basis of documents signed with Promotora in the process of award and transfer of the assets under which it operated the landfill of hazardous waste physically located in Las Víboras, Municipality of Hermosillo, State of Sonora, that what the Claimant acquired through that process was actually a pool of personal and real property and intangibles, the latter consisting of permits issued by municipal and federal authorities of the Respondent which enabled and empowered the Claimant to operate the Las Víboras site as a hazardous waste landfill. According to the Claimant, out of the total price of $34,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos) paid to Promotora for the acquisition of the assets relating to the landfill, the most substantial part, $24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos), was paid by the Claimant in kind —by closing down an existing landfill for urban waste and constructing and advising in respect of the operation of a new landfill for the same purpose— in exchange for the permits and authorizations to operate the Las Víboras site as a landfill for hazardous waste.45 Both the landfill that was closed down as well as the new one currently in operation are located in land owned by the Municipality of Hermosillo, under the jurisdiction of that Municipality and this location is other than the site for landfill of hazardous waste at Las Víboras, acquired by the Claimant as a result of the public bidding.46

The Respondent, on the other hand, argues that Promotora only tendered and sold to the Claimant a pool of personal and real property "relating to the Industrial Park" of the city of Hermosillo, which did not include permits or licenses to operate the landfill.47 According to the Respondent, the public bidding and award of assets relating to the landfill at the Las Víboras site to Tecmed and Cytrar also included acquisition by another company of the Tecmed group of a concession for a landfill —a municipal dump also situated in the Municipality of Hermosillo—, for which Cytrar allegedly paid the above-mentioned amount of $ 24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos). The Respondent specifically argues the following:

Tecmed (Mexico) acquired two things in the tender of February 1996. A pool of personal and real property relating to the landfill of hazardous waste, which consisted of a piece of land, existing constructions and machinery and equipment clearly described in the supporting documents of the transaction. It paid 10 million pesos in cash for them, as reflected in the financial statements submitted in these proceedings.

Secondly, it acquired the concession of a landfill, the municipal dump, for which it offered 24 million pesos, a concession which it still holds and continues to operate. What Dr. Calvo Corbella said a moment ago is true, not in respect of Cytrar but in respect of the company [sic], as confirmed by engineer Polanco, who attended the Tecmed (Mexico) tender. This was also confirmed by engineer Diez-Canedo, in reply to a question I expressly made when I asked him if, in addition to the amount of ten million pesos, he had offered a nonmonetary contribution consisting of the construction and comprising the general facilities and the first phase of operations. Engineer Díaz Cañedo answered that that was true.48

In sum, the Respondent not only holds that that amount, or contribution in kind valued at such amount, was not paid or made in exchange for intangible assets (the permits, authorizations or licenses to which Claimant refers), but also that it was not even a part of the price paid for assets relating to the landfill in Las Víboras. According to the Respondent, such amount or contribution was paid or made in exchange for the concession to operate the urban waste landfill of Hermosillo.

Based on the allegations of the Parties and of the facts presented before this Arbitral Tribunal, it is to be concluded that the award, the public bidding and sales transaction of assets relating to the Las Víboras landfill and the rights and obligations for each of the parties to such transaction and resulting therefrom were embodied in different instruments requiring joint consideration in order to determine the scope of the operation and its effects.

The award by Promotora of assets relating to the Las Víboras landfill to Tecmed as a result of the tender of such assets by Promotora was followed by the signing of a "promise to sell" contract dated February 20, 1996, entered into between Promotora and Tecmed, the fourth clause of which provides that at the time of executing the notarial deed of conveyance, the assets conveyed would include copies of permits, licenses and authorizations relating to the assets specified in the agreement.49 In item or representation No. IIII of such instrument, it is stated that the Board of Directors of Promotora unanimously approved the following proposal:

Price offer for the purchase of Cytrar, alternative number two, consisting of 10 million pesos plus a nonmonetary contribution to the Municipality of Hermosillo in the form of a project for the construction of and advice in connection with the operation of the new landfill in accordance with the attached project which comprises the general facilities and their first phase of operation, including the closedown of the current landfill, services valued at $ 24,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos). Total offer: $34,155,185 (Mexican Pesos).

The second clause of the document stipulates that part of the price - $ 10,000,000 (Mexican Pesos)- would be paid in cash, part upon signing the promise to sell and part upon signing the notarized deed of conveyance of the tendered real property, with the balance, amounting to $24,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos), to be paid in kind, by providing the service of closing down the existing landfill and constructing and providing advice in connection with the operation of a new one as mentioned above and referred to in item or representation number III of the "promise to sell" contract. As regards payment in kind of that part of the price, the second clause of the promise to sell expressly states as follows:

The difference relates to the cost of constructing a new landfill and closing down the existing one, in accordance with the approved proposal, which would be at the time of completing the construction of the new landfill to the satisfaction of Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo based on the construction project submitted by the buyer, upon which time the reservation of ownership would end; in the case of sale of the personal property located in the "landfill", it will be billed by seller to buyer upon formalization of the final transaction, such formalities being the responsibility of Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo.

In turn, the fifth clause of the "promise to sell" contract provides the following:

The parties specify that as from now the use to be given to the hazardous waste landfill shall be precisely that, failing which the property will revert back to the seller, in which case the buyer shall automatically forfeit any advances or payments made, unless the buyer "Tecmed, Técnicas Medioambientales de México S.A. de C.V." fails to obtain the government permits and licenses required for lawful operation, in which case it may change the mode of operation by using the existing original license for operation of the landfill by "Tecmed, Técnicas Medioambientales de México S.A. de C.V.".

In addition to the above, on the same date, Promotora, Tecmed and Cytrar entered into an agreement "to determine the method and terms of payment of the consideration arising out of the ‘promise to sell’ contract with reservation of ownership, dated February 20, 1996".50 Under such agreement, the total price to be paid by Cytrar amounted to $ 24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos), broken down as follows: $6,277,409.50 (Mexican Pesos) for land and constructions; $237,034.00 (Mexican Pesos) for machinery and equipment; $24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos) for intangibles. The agreement sets forth that Promotora shall issue an invoice covering the intangibles and that Cytrar shall issue invoices for the part of the price payable through the construction of the new landfill and closedown of the Hermosillo municipal dump, such invoices to be issued upon completion of the works. Clauses three and four of the agreement specifically provide the following:

Third: Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo OPD further undertakes to issue an invoice for the intangibles upon full compliance by Cytrar S.A. de C.V. of the obligation set forth in clause two of the above-mentioned agreement of February 20, 1996. The invoice value will be $24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos) plus $ 3,607,198.24 (Mexican Pesos) VAT, totaling $ 27,655,186.50 (Mexican Pesos).

Fourth: Cytrar S.A. de C.V. agrees to the terms of the preceding clauses and in turn undertakes to issue invoices for the part it will pay with the construction and delivery of the new landfill of the Municipality of Hermosillo and the closedown of the current municipal dump. Such invoices will be issued upon formal delivery of the works.


Finally, pursuant to the award conditions, through a notarial deed of March 27, 1996,51 Cytrar acquired from Promotora the real property, constructions and personal property relating to the landfill. Item or representation number 1 of the deed specifies that the seller (Promotora). "..tendered various assets held by it, in particular the ‘hazardous waste landfill situated at the Las Víboras’ site in the Hermosillo Industrial Park." In item or representation II of such deed, reference is made to the meeting of the Board of Directors of Promotora, which unanimously approved the proposal submitted by Tecmed on the following terms:

"Price Offer for Acquisition of Cytrar", alternative number two, consisting of $10,000,000 (ten million pesos), plus a non-monetary contribution to the Municipality of Hermosillo, approval recorded in minutes, stating that it was unanimous, and including the closedown of the current landfill, the project and the construction of the first phase of the new landfill, pursuant to the resolutions approving performance, issued by the Board of Directors..."

The requirements for approval by the Board of Directors of Promotora include, as point c) of item or representation II the following:

Identifying the responsibility of each party and the timing for obtaining operating licenses.

The second clause of the deed states a cash amount of $ 10,000,000 (Mexican Pesos) as the price, which is broken down into different amounts paid for the constructions already existing, personal property and land. Such clause also provides that:

regardless of the price fixed, the PURCHASER undertakes to perform non-monetary obligations consisting of the project and construction of the first phase of the new landfill and closedown of the existing one, to the satisfaction of "Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo", in accordance with the approved proposal.

The fourth clause of the deed provides that the reservation of ownership subject to which the sale is made will be lifted

… upon completion of the construction works for the new landfill and the closing down of the existing one, to the entire satisfaction of "Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo", in accordance with the approved proposal.

Clause 5a) of the deed provides that the transferee (Cytrar) must undertake to perform its obligations under the public bidding in full, including the following obligations:

Specification that the acquired assets will be used solely as a landfill for hazardous waste, failing which they shall revert back to Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo, and any payments made will be forfeited, if the buyer "Cytrar" S.A. de C.V. should fail to obtain the government permits and licenses required for lawful operation; in such case, the mode of operation may be changed by using the existing original license for operation of the landfill by "Cytrar" S.A. de C.V.

Clause 5d) also provides that:

The steps required to be taken in order to obtain the government permits and licenses necessary for operation of the hazardous waste landfill shall be the sole responsibility of the transferee, Promotora Inmobiliaria of the Municipality of Hermosillo hereby being released from any liability with regard to the official authorizations required to be requested from the Municipality of Hermosillo. Promotora Inmobiliaria will lend its support to secure approval.

In a rectifying notarial deed of December 16, 1996,52 Promotora and Cytrar corrected the amount of the part of the price relating to the acquisition of the real property as described in the original deed of conveyance of March 27, 1996, which was thus rectified and fixed at $ 6,132,530 (Mexican Pesos), but the prices for the other items were not rectified. The deed also specified that real property and intangibles would be invoiced separately as follows:

As specified in the agreement signed between the parties on March 20, 1996, which fixes the terms and conditions under which the transaction will be settled, an involuntary error led to a mistaken and insufficient breakdown of values and calculation of Value Added Tax, AS THE TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION53 of such assets WAS NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, i.e. the necessary topographic survey and description of constructions and intangibles, since it was agreed that personal property and intangibles would be invoiced separately.

In a service contract of March 28, 1996,54 between Promotora and Cytrar, in consideration of Cytrar’s provision of "environmental advice services to the Municipality of Hermosillo" (clause 6), Promotora undertook, among other things (clause 2 d), to:

Keep in force any federal, state and municipal licenses and other permits required for operation of the landfill.

After the contribution in kind provided for as part of the purchase price of the assets relating to the landfill having been made, and apparently pursuant to the procedure set forth in the second clause of the "promise to buy" contract of February 20, 1996, the third and fourth clauses of the agreement regarding the method and terms of payment on the same date and the rectifying notarially-recorded deed of December 16, 1996, Promotora issued on July 24, 1997, Invoice No. 304 to Cytrar55 for the amount of $24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos) plus the applicable value added tax (VAT). The invoice comprises:

An authorization granted by the National Ecology Institute for the operation of a controlled landfill, through the collection, transport, treatment, temporary storage, and disposal of hazardous waste; the authorization also includes an authorization for soil use on the part of the Municipality of Hermosillo.

The different provisions laid down above and included in several documents signed by Promotora and Tecmed or Cytrar to record their mutual rights and obligations in connection with the sale and operation of the Las Víboras landfill show that performance of the works and services that were the responsibility of Cytrar relating to the landfill of urban waste, valued at $ 24,047,988.26 (Mexican Pesos), was a payment in kind that was part of the consideration to be furnished by Cytrar for the award and sale to it of different assets for Cytrar to operate the hazardous waste landfill at Las Víboras; in other words, it was part of the price for which the assets of the Las Víboras landfill were awarded and sold to Tecmed and ultimately to Cytrar. So much so that the reservation of ownership to which such sale was subject would only terminate when such consideration had been furnished in full.56 The audited financial statements of Cytrar as of December 31, 1997 enclosed with the expert witness report of American Appraisal57 offered by the Claimant, particularly note 6, leads to the same conclusion; no evidence to the contrary has been provided based on the accounting books of Promotora or on statements of its management that took part in the sale of assets relating to the hazardous waste landfill of Las Víboras, nor evidence of any judicial challenges, for fiscal or any other reasons, with respect to the part of the sales price paid in kind, or the value or amount thereof, or the public tender offer proposed by Tecmed on the basis of such price, or its division into a cash component and a component in kind, nor denying that such payment in kind is all part of the price payable for assets relating to the Las Víboras landfill. The expert witness proposed by the Respondent does not state otherwise in his reports, when he says that "The urban waste landfill was an operation arising out of the payment in kind to be made by Tecmed for the acquisition of Cytrar".58
It is the view of the Arbitral Tribunal that the minutes of the board meeting of Promotora of March 15, 1996,59 which reflect Promotora’s decision to approve the offer made by Tecmed, clearly establish, in accordance with alternative 2 of the Tecmed acquisition offer,60 that the contribution in kind, valued at $ 24,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos), which was to take place through the performance of different works and services relating to the municipal dump of Hermosillo for urban waste, was part of the price paid for the assets of the Las Viboras landfill, concerned with hazardous waste, as can be read on the second page of the minutes:

In item two, RODOLFO SALAZAR PLATT (an engineer) reads out the resolution adopted at the preceding meeting which reads (verbatim): After these reviews, the Board declares the following proposal to be unanimously approved: "Price offer for the acquisition of CYTRAR, alternative 2 (two), consisting of $10,000,000.00 (TEN MILLION MEXICAN PESOS) and a non-monetary contribution to the Municipality of Hermosillo in the form of a construction project and provision of advice to the operation of the new landfill in accordance with the enclosed project, which comprises the general installations and the first phase of operation. It includes the closing of the current landfill, work valued at $24,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos) [....] Total value of offer is $34,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos) [....], the opinion of the full Board being that it is the most convenient offer from the economic and technical point of view and that it is beneficial for all the community of Hermosillo.

There is no doubt that payment of the sales price was to be made by the purchaser of the tendered assets,61 regardless of the individual or corporation holding or being the beneficiary of the concession for the operation of the Hermosillo urban waste landfill, and that such obligation was vested in Cytrar.62 The approval of the tender by Promotora’s management board already contemplated the acquisition by Cytrar of the Las Viboras landfill assets awarded to Tecmed, and further that Cytrar should become "..a joint and several obligee with respect to the rights and obligations acquired by the successful awardee...",63 without excluding from such obligations the ones relating to the furnishing of the consideration in kind, referred to above. The declaration of Mr. Javier Polanco Gomez Lavin —which has not been challenged or refuted in this regard by any other evidence produced in this arbitration— confirms the above.64
Having been concluded that the consideration in kind to be furnished by the purchaser of the assets relating to the hazardous waste landfill of Las Viboras in connection with the urban waste landfill of the Municipality of Hermosillo is part of the purchase price of such assets, it remains to be determined to what extent all or part of such consideration is allocable to the acquisition of the intangible assets referred to by the Claimant.

A rational and logical interpretation of the documentation presented by the Parties shows that what Promotora, on the one hand, and Tecmed and Cytrar, on the other, had in mind when entering into the agreement (from the standpoint of the latter, also when contemplating an investment in Mexico and in the Las Viboras landfill), was not simply the transfer of certain personal and real property but also to create the means for Cytrar to be able to operate the Las Viboras site as a hazardous waste landfill —i.e. to accomplish a public use purpose fully consistent with the activity that this landfill had been serving since its beginning in 1988— and to continue the same activity. Such were necessarily the legitimate expectations of Cytrar and of the Claimant, not only because the site and facilities being acquired as well as the commitments in terms of use and operation undertaken upon doing so, were to serve the normal purpose of operations of Tecmed and Cytrar, but also because the documentation of the tender whereby Tecmed was awarded the landfill assets, and the subsequent documentation signed with Promotora, highlighted that this was the only possible use for the assets being acquired, to such an extent that they would revert to Promotora if Cytrar failed to use them for the exclusive public use purpose for which such assets had been earmarked long before. This was, certainly, the expectation of Promotora and of the Municipality of Hermosillo, which controlled it, as they were both certainly interested in ensuring that the assets of the Las Viboras landfill continued being allocated to the hazardous waste landfill in view of their having been set aside for the protection of the environment and public health, as evidenced by the conditions of the tender of the assets of the landfill65 and the terms and conditions of the documents whereby the sale was executed.66 For example, paragraph eleven of the tender specifications required (and this requirement was fulfilled) that the notarial deed of conveyance include a clause whereby the purchaser agreed to include as an advisor, appointed by the Municipality of Hermosillo, with a voice but no vote, on an "indefinite and irrevocable" basis, in addition to ensuring that the landfill would be operated in accordance with the highest national and international standards. The Respondent points out67 that this clause evidences

the interest and powers of the Municipality, as a government agency formed by representatives elected by the people, by and for the purpose of supervising the proper operation of the landfill in accordance with the highest applicable national and international standards.

The appointment of the advisor was thus directly linked to the Municipality’s interest in ensuring that the assets purchased should be treated as a unit for landfill of hazardous waste pursuant to the legal provisions, which was obviously not possible without the permits authorizing the operation.


Promotora could not, in good faith, impose such a drastic requirement or such a harsh sanction on Cytrar as the reversion to Promotora of the assets relating to the Las Viboras landfill if Cytrar was not authorized to use them in accordance with the agreed use, without assuming that access to the permits and licenses for the operation of the Las Viboras landfill in a manner consistent with their historical use was a fundamental part of the operation and of the expectations of Cytrar, Tecmed and, ultimately, the Claimant, and without assuming certain commitments to vest Cytrar with minimum rights that would prevent an outcome as adverse to such expectations and interests as the reversion of assets and at the same time the loss of amounts paid in cash or consideration furnished until then as payment of the price. Neither could INE ignore that the real property and tangible personal property relating to the Las Víboras landfill —and the investment relating to the Las Víboras landfill— would be devoid of economic value if Cytrar did not obtain the permits, licenses or authorizations required for operation. The note of the Municipality of Hermosillo addressed to INE on March 28, 1996,68 whereby the Municipality "most respectfully" requests the Institute

to provide to TECMED Técnicas Medioambientales de México, S.A. de C.V., or to the company organized by it to operate the landfill, all necessary assistance to comply with the formalities for changing the name appearing in the operating license, which is currently Confinamiento Controlado Parque Industrial de Hermosillo69

not only confirms the above, but also evidences that no doubts were being cast as to the fact that the change of the license holder’s name was considered to be the lawful, normal and logical procedure in order to ensure that Cytrar could operate the Las Víboras site in accordance with the purpose mandated to it under the tender, sale and transfer documents.

However, Promotora did not guarantee to Cytrar or to Tecmed that Cytrar would obtain from INE the outcome certainly desired by Cytrar and apparently -at least at that time- by Promotora and by the Municipality of Hermosillo, i.e. that Cytrar would secure an authorization to operate a hazardous waste landfill at Las Víboras, or, if granted, that such authorization would conform to certain expected requirements such as its duration. Promotora did not guarantee to Cytrar either that the transfer to the latter’s name of the license given to Confinamiento Controlado Parque Industrial de Hermosillo O.P.D. would definitely take place. This does not, however, mean that Promotora was not willing to maintain the existing permits and licenses and their potential use by Cytrar in the event that that authorization or transfer did not materialize, as evidenced in clause 5 (a) of the contract of sale of March 27, 1996, between Promotora and Cytrar, mentioned above. Nor does it mean that Cytrar, through the transaction entered into with Promotora, only acquired real property and tangible personal property considered as such in isolation, i.e. unrelated to their historical and structural use and to the functional and economic dimension intimately associated to such use. As stated by Tecmed in its offer when it made it conditional to obtaining the authorizations for the use of such assets as a hazardous waste landfill,70 neither Tecmed nor Cytrar would have acquired the assets without access to the authorizations and permits that would enable them to use them for a hazardous waste landfill. Accordingly, pursuant to clause five of the promise to sell contract signed with Tecmed on February 20, 1996, and clause 5 a) of the notarially recorded deed executed by Promotora, Tecmed and Cytrar on March 27, 1996 (transcribed above), Promotora consented to the potential use, in the case of the first document, by Tecmed, and in the second case, by Cytrar, of the existing licenses, authorizations or permits (mainly the authorization granted by INE on May 4, 1994, to Confinamiento Controlado Parque Industrial de Hermosillo O.P.D.) in the event of the failure of - as applicable - Cytrar or Tecmed to obtain the permits, licenses or authorizations required for the operation of the landfill. Under clause 2 d) of the service contract of March 28, 1996, Promotora also undertook to keep current the existing licenses and authorizations, including the federal ones, for the operation of the Las Víboras landfill until Cytrar could do so on its own. These provisions show beyond any doubt that access by Cytrar to the licenses, authorizations or permits enabling it to operate the landfill was a central part of the tender and acquisition of assets relating to the Las Víboras landfill and of the expectations of Tecmed and Cytrar when the decision was made to invest in the landfill.
The documentation produced evidences that such licenses, authorizations and permits, and the right to use them for the operation of the Las Víboras landfill were vested in Promotora as a result of the winding-up of Confinamiento Controlado.71 Accordingly, and also in view of the precedent of such landfill having already been operated by an entity other than that authorized,72 it is also inferred that Promotora could allow the operation of the Las Víboras landfill by third parties under such authorizations, licenses or permits (to the extent such third parties adapted their operation to the framework allowed thereunder), as well as the transfer to third parties of the real property and tangible personal property of the Las Víboras landfill. This is a logical conclusion not only from a functional point of view, because the personal and real property of such landfill cannot be put to use for the benefit of the public or to the advantage of the community in accordance with or pursuant to the function on the basis and in furtherance of which they are technically structured and organized as an autonomous unit, without the required authorizations, licenses or permits, but also from an economic or business point of view, as the value of the real property and tangible personal property of the landfill —which, in practical terms, have been invalidated for any use other than the landfill of hazardous waste— depends on the existence or subsistence of such authorizations, licenses and permits. Consequently, from the perspective of Promotora, the price of those assets is, at the time of sale, enhanced by the possibility of use under such authorizations or permits. It should therefore be concluded that the consideration in kind valued at $ 24,155,185.00 (Mexican Pesos) was paid as a lump sum in consideration of, on the one hand, Promotora’s undertakings relating to the maintenance of the licenses, permits and authorizations and of their being made available to Cytrar for the operation, as a hazardous waste landfill, of the Las Víboras site and other assets allocated to it in the event of Cytrar not obtaining new authorizations or licenses,73 or the transfer to Cytrar of existing ones; and on the other hand, in recognition of the higher value of the real property and tangible personal property acquired in anticipation of the expectation to use them under such authorizations, permits and licenses and, consequently, as part of the purchase price of such personal and real property, as such value was not just their inherent value but also the value resulting from the possibility of being functionally applied to the storage and management of hazardous waste within the framework of a legally authorized landfill operation. From this perspective, payment of a higher price is justified by the expectation of Tecmed and Cytrar —highlighted by the expert witness appointed by the Respondent— at the time of the tender and sale of the assets relating to the Las Víboras landfill and of their acquisition by such companies, to use it "with an "unlimited duration" license"74 It has also been established that the part in kind of the purchase price for the landfill was fully paid by its purchaser, Cytrar.
Upon replacement of the first official letter of INE dated September 24, 1996, by a subsequent new letter of the same date, but accompanied by an INE authorization, different not only in terms of its duration and in other respects, but which also revoked the existing authorization that had been issued to Confinamiento Controlado Parque Industrial de Hermosillo OPD under which the landfill had operated since May 4, 1994, an important change in the existing situation took place, because Promotora could no longer make such authorization available to Cytrar, nor would Cytrar probably be able to hold Promotora responsible because presumably, under both the "promise-to-buy" contract of February 20, 1996 and the notarial deed of March 27, 1996, Cytrar could only demand the performance of Promotora’s obligation to make the 1994 license available if Cytrar had failed to obtain a license "required for the lawful operation of the landfill". Although of limited duration, the license of November 11, 1996, obtained by Cytrar from INE enabled the legal operation of the landfill and therefore did not give Cytrar rights against Promotora under the deed. In any event, this Arbitral Tribunal is not called to decide on these issues.

E. The Merits of the Dispute

The Claimant alleges that the Respondent’s conduct violates the following provisions of the Agreement:

1) Article 2(1) on the promotion and admission of investments;

2) Article 3 on protection of investments;

3) Article 4(1) on fair and equitable treatment;

4) Article 4(2) on the most favorable treatment;

5) Article 4(5) on national treatment; and

6) Article 5 on nationalization and expropriation.

The Arbitral Tribunal deems it appropriate to consider and resolve upon the issues referred to above in the following order:

1) The obligation to refrain from expropriating or nationalizing in violation of the Agreement;

2) The obligation to assure fair and equitable treatment in accordance with international law; and

3) The obligation to grant full security and protection to investments under international law, and the other violations to the Agreement alleged by the Claimant.

I. Expropriation

The Claimant alleges that, when the INE did not renew the permit to operate the Las Viboras Landfill (the «Landfill») through its resolution dated November 25, 1998 (hereinafter the «Resolution»), it expropriated the Claimant’s investment and that such expropriation has caused damage to the Claimant. The Claimant relates the expropriation —which according to the Claimant is the exclusive cause of the damage— to the prior actions of a number of organizations and entities at the federal, state and municipal levels, and also states that those actions are attributable to the Respondent and that they are adverse to the Claimant’s rights under the Agreement and to the protection awarded to its investment thereunder. The Claimant further alleges that those actions objectively facilitated or prepared the subsequent expropriatory action carried out by INE.
The Claimant alleges that the Agreement protects foreign investors and their investments from direct and indirect expropriation; i.e. not only expropriation aimed at real or tangible personal property whereby the owner thereof is deprived of interests over such property, but also actions consisting of measures tantamount to an expropriation with respect to such property and also to intangible property. The Claimant states that, as the resolution deprived Cytrar of its rights to use and enjoy the real and personal property forming the Landfill in accordance with its sole intended purpose, the Resolution put an end to the operation of the Landfill as an on going business exclusively engaged in the landfill of hazardous waste, an activity that is only feasible under a permit, the renewal of which was denied. Therefore, Cytrar alleges that it was deprived of the benefits and economic use of its investment. The Claimant highlights that without such permit the personal and real property had no individual or aggregate market value and that the existence of the Landfill as an on going business, as well as its value as such, were completely destroyed due to such Resolution which, in addition, ordered the closing of the Landfill.75
The Respondent alleges that INE had the discretionary powers required to grant and deny permits, and that such issues, except in special cases, are exclusively governed by domestic and not international law. On the other hand, the Respondent states that there was no progressive taking of the rights related to the permit to operate the Las Viboras landfill by means of a legislative change that could have destroyed the status quo, and that the Resolution was neither arbitrary nor discriminatory. It also states that the Resolution was a regulatory measure issued in compliance with the State’s police power within the highly regulated and extremely sensitive framework of environmental protection and public health. In those circumstances, the Respondent alleges that the Resolution is a legitimate action of the State that does not amount to an expropriation under international law.76
The Claimant affirms that the Resolution is arbitrary because the reasons invoked therein to deny the renewal of the permit that had been granted on November 19, 1997 (the «Permit»), under which the Claimant had operated the Landfill over the last year, are not proportional to the decision not to renew the Permit.
The Resolution77 refuses renewal of the Permit on the following grounds: (i) the Landfill was only authorized to receive waste from agrochemicals or pesticides or containers and materials contaminated with such elements; (ii) PROFEPA’s delegates in Sonora had informed, in the official communication dated November 11, 1998,78 that the waste confined far exceeded the landfill limits established for one of the Landfill’s active cells, cell No. 2; (iii) the Landfill temporarily stored hazardous waste destined for a place outside the Landfill, acting as a «transfer center», an activity for which the Landfill did not have the required authorization; Cytrar was requested on October 16, 1997 to file reports in connection with this activity, but to date the relevant authorization had not been issued; and (iv) liquid and biological-infectious waste was received at the Landfill, an activity that was prohibited and that amounted to a breach of the obligation to notify in advance any change or modification in the scope of the Permit, and to unauthorized storage at the Landfill of liquid and biological-infectious waste. The Resolution also textually provides as follows:

Furthermore, CYTRAR S.A. de C.V. agreed with the different levels of the Federal, State and Municipal Government and communicated to the public the relocation of the landfill.

The Claimant challenges those statements because, among other things, the excess of the authorized landfill levels of cell no. 2 was the subject matter of an investigation and an audit by PROFEPA, as a result of which a fine was imposed on Cytrar by means of an official communication dated December 16, 1999.79 That fine was a minor penalty, substantially smaller than the maximum fine established by law. The Claimant also highlights that the official communication issued by PROFEPA to impose the fine stated that the infringement did not have a «significant effect on public health or generate an ecological imbalance».80 The Claimant also stated that in another similar official communication issued by PROFEPA,81 in which a fine was imposed on Cytrar for a number of infringements —including acting as a temporary storage of hazardous waste to be sent to other companies and operating as a transfer center, circumstances that were invoked by INE in the Resolution that denied the renewal of the Permit—82, PROFEPA expressly stated that

... the infringements committed by the company involved are not sufficient to immediately cancel, suspend or revoke the permit for carrying out hazardous material and/or waste management activities, nor do they have an impact on public health or generate an ecological imbalance.83

The Claimant also states that, through the notes dated June 2584 and July 1585 1998, Cytrar had already requested from INE the permit to expand cell No. 2 of the Landfill and build another cell. INE replied to this request on October 23, 1998,86 stating, among other things, that the expansion request would be resolved together with the decision on renewal of the Permit. The Claimant claims that this decision adversely affected it because INE partly used the same reasons for which it already knew that the authorization to expand cell No. 2 would be denied (the same reasons used by PROFEPA to impose a fine on Cytrar by means of an official communication dated December 16, 1999, mentioned above), but deferred its decision to be able to use those reasons as the grounds for the Resolution under which INE refused to renew the Permit.87
The Respondent highlights that Cytrar had not met the requirements to allow INE to evaluate an authorization to expand cell No. 2, since Cytrar had not submitted the related plans. The Respondent also states that as Cytrar had not submitted these plans and, regardless of such a breach, had commenced the cell’s expansion activities, Cytrar had not complied with one of the Permit’s conditions. The Respondent states that on October 23, 1998, INE requested additional information from Cytrar to decide on the expansion of cell No. 2 and on the construction of cell No. 3, and requested that Cytrar present the engineering project and the related drawings.91 The Claimant complied with such requirement on November 4, 1998.92
The Respondent also refers to a number of circumstances related to the Landfill and its operation. The Claimant also refers to such circumstances, and substantial evidence has been produced in that regard. Such circumstances underlie the Resolution or had a significant effect thereon, although not all such circumstances have been mentioned in the text of the Resolution.
According to the Respondent, those circumstances are:93

1) the site of the Landfill did not comply with applicable Mexican regulations in terms of its location and characteristics;

2) in 1998, Cytrar had committed a number of irregularities while operating the Landfill, mainly related to the transportation of waste from Alco Pacifico, and such irregularities triggered strong community pressure against the Landfill;

3) Mexican authorities, mainly from the Municipality of Hermosillo, expressed their doubts as to the Landfill’s operations;

4) there was the risk that community pressure might increase if operation of the Landfill continued; and

5) Since 1997 Cytrar had reportedly been aware that community pressure suggested that the operation of the Landfill was not feasible due to its location, and that is why it agreed to relocate it at its own cost.

The opposing community groups claimed that the Landfill was only 8 km from the urban center of Hermosillo, and that such proximity breached the regulations that required a distance of at least 25 km from any settlement of more than 10,000 residents. Legally, however, such circumstance could not be invoked against Cytrar because the Landfill had been located and authorized to operate at such site before the adoption of such regulations, which are not retroactive. Reportedly, in deciding to refuse to renew the Permit, INE took into account the fact that the location of the site did not comply with the regulations as well as the resulting community pressure.94
The Parties agree that community opposition to the Landfill was due not to the manner in which Cytrar operated it, but to the transportation to the Landfill of contaminated and abandoned soil from the Alco Pacifico plant located in the state of Baja California, Mexico. Owing to a series of events that are not relevant at this point, Cytrar was in charge of the collection, transportation and landfill of Alco Pacifico’s hazardous waste and contaminated soil pursuant to an agreement dated November 19, 1996, executed between PROFEPA, Los Angeles County, USA, Fomento de Ingenieria S.A. de C.V. (Fomin) and Cytrar.95 Fomin was entrusted with the supervision of the transportation and discharge services that Cytrar had to provide under such agreement, in compliance with the contract and the applicable legal provisions, and had to report its findings to PROFEPA. The shipments of toxic materials and soil destined for the Landfill began under an initial transport permit issued by INE96 in early 1997.97 In view of the claims of the community, PROFEPA conducted inspections of the trucks in October 1997, which essentially determined that there were open hazardous material packaging bags. PROFEPA therefore adopted urgent measures for Cytrar to rectify the situation, which were complied with by Cytrar. There were similar situations in November 1997, and, at the time, in addition to adopting urgent measures affecting Cytrar, PROFEPA applied a fine to Cytrar.98 In April 1998, PROFEPA found some irregularities in the discharge of Alco Pacifico’s waste and levied a fine on Cytrar, stating that «there are circumstances that pose or may pose a risk to the environment or to health». A similar situation was found in May 1998 in connection with the transportation and discharge of waste from the company Siderurgica de California, which also gave rise to the issuance of urgent measures by PROFEPA, which were also complied with by Cytrar.99

The community’s opposition to the Landfill, in its public manifestations, was widespread and aggressive, as evidenced by several events at different times. In November 1997, the association Alianza Civica de Hermosillo (Hermosillo’s Alliance for Civic Affairs) publicly denounced Cytrar’s "actions and omissions" particularly in connection with waste transportation from Alco Pacifico, and requested that Cytrar’s permit to operate the Landfill be cancelled and the extension thereof be denied.100 Also in November101 "...around 200 people organized a demonstration, marching to the landfill and closing it down symbolically... ", and then, a meeting was held with federal, state, and municipal public officials including the President of INE, the Deputy Director of the PROFEPA Environmental Audit Bureau, the Minister of SEMARNAP and representatives of the community organizations. In December 1997, the association Academia Sonorense de Derechos Humanos (Sonora Human Rights Academy) filed a criminal complaint against Cytrar for the commission of acts that could be defined as "environmental crimes".102 In January 1998, the same association "...filed a challenge..." against the Municipality of Hermosillo for the permit granted by that Municipality in 1994 to operate the Landfill.103 In late January 1998 "...members of the community and of the different community organizations..." organized a blockade of the Landfill which lasted until March 7, 1998, when the police intervened under orders of the Attorney’s General Office. After the police intervention, the community organizations that questioned such measures organized a sit-in at Hermosillo’s Town Hall104 that lasted 192 days. By late March 1998, the same opposition groups issued a communication condemning the actions of the authorities that had put an end to the blockade of the Landfill.105 In April 1998, a group of demonstrators attempted to block access to the Landfill but the police thwarted this action.106 In September 1998, a certain Asociación de Organismos No Gubernamentales en Lucha contra el CYTRAR (Association of NGOs Against CYTRAR) filed a claim before the State Commission of Human Rights against the authorities of the State of Sonora and the Municipality of Hermosillo for having intervened to put an end to the 192-day sit-in organized at the Town Hall107. In October 1998, a "family demonstration for the defense of health and dignity" and against "the landfill and the authorities’ position in that regard" was organized and a public communication contrary to the Landfill was issued.108 According to the news media, about 400 people participated in the demonstration.109 In November 1998, community organizations submitted a petition to the local office of SEMARNAP so that expressions of such associations and individual citizens be considered upon evaluating the renewal of the Permit. During that period —as evidenced by the "Press Dossier (I)" included in the documents offered by the Claimant—110 these developments were covered by the local press and Hermosillo’s radio and television.


The authorities of the Municipality of Hermosillo were the direct target of "community pressure". The Municipality was one of INE’s interlocutors at the time of consideration of the Permit’s renewal. In view of the pressure that questioned the Municipality’s grant of the permit to use the land where the Landfill was operated, the Municipality rendered an opinion on March 31, 1998, which explained that at the time of granting such permit the current legal provisions were not applicable and that those provisions came into force subsequently, establishing a minimum distance between landfills and urban centers which the Landfill did not comply with. However, the Municipality expressed its agreement with the community about the need to relocate Cytrar’s hazardous waste landfill operation to a different site and its support to conduct an audit of operations to determine whether the Landfill’s operation entailed any risks. That same day, the Health Commission of the Municipality rendered an opinion confirming that, although Cytrar’s operation at the Las Víboras site met the legal requirements for functioning and there were no "legal, ethical or logical arguments" to seek the closing of the Landfill, all necessary efforts should be made to relocate Cytrar’s operations. After this, several other decisions to the same effect were issued by the Municipality, additionally highlighting that only the federal Mexican authorities were competent in "...events relating to toxic waste".111 INE also consulted with the Municipality on November 18, 1998 about Cytrar’s requests to, among other things, expand cell No. 2 and build another one. The Municipality did not agree to the construction of a third cell, but accepted expansion subject to:112

....a detailed and legal relocation commitment agreed upon between the three levels of Government and the company

and provided that:

...a commission with representatives from each party be formed; and that, prior to that, an audit of operations be conducted and the final close down of the landfill be carried out; and that it would have to be made clear that that would be the last authorization for the current site.

The consultation with the Municipality and with the authorities of the State of Sonora and its results have been summarized as follows in the declaration of Dra. Cristina Cortinas de Nava,113 who was at the time INE’s General Director for Hazardous Materials, Waste and Activities and issued the Resolution, during the Hearing held from May 20 to May 24, 2002:

.... the gentleman is right to point out that I consulted with the municipal authority and with the state authority before making my decision about the company’s application for an authorization to expand its capacity while relocation was pending!...]. Let me inform you that the reply that I obtained from the authorities was "let them fill in the cell, that’s all right. But don’t let them build anything else because we have waited too long for their relocation to allow them to have more space at the site they are at".


The relocation of Cytrar’s operations as a response to community pressure was therefore also one of the factors taken into account by INE, and mentioned incidentally in the Resolution, upon deciding whether to renew the Permit. By late 1997, owing to the community pressure against the Landfill, Cytrar and the Municipality of Hermosillo started negotiations about the relocation, which, indeed, entailed the final close down of the hazardous waste landfill operation at the Las Viboras site, and that was undoubtedly the aim pursued by the community groups and the authorities of the Municipality. The relocation and the final close down of the Landfill, as it has been seen, were also the express claims of the Municipality of Hermosillo, apparently in response to the complaints about the Landfill and Cytrar’s operation described above. The Claimant underscores that, as from the commencement of the negotiations, it did not object to the relocation but accepted it on the condition that a new site be identified before closing the operation at Las Viboras, and that the continuity of the operation at the new site and premises be guaranteed with the necessary permits.114 On March 16, 1998, in a notice published by the local press, Cytrar ratified, among other things, its agreement to relocate its operation.115 On July 3, 1998, at a meeting called by the Governor of the State of Sonora and attended by the Minister of SEMARNAP, Ms. Julia Carabias Lillo and the authorities of the Municipality of Hermosillo, Cytrar was informed of a joint declaration issued by the federal, state and municipal authorities stating that although the inspections conducted did not provide "...evidence of any risk to health and the ecosystems..." arising out of the Landfill, the relocation was necessary to "secure environmental safety in view of the rapid urban growth of Hermosillo, provide a response to the concerns that had been expressed and guarantee, in the long term, the environmental infrastructure to handle and dispose of industrial waste".116

The declaration also states that:

...As a consequence, the present landfill operated by CYTRAR shall cease to operate as soon as the new premises are ready to start operations...

Later, IMADES (Sonora’s Environmental and Sustainable Development Institute), a government entity, focused on the search for a new site in the State of Sonora on the basis of a broader and more ambitious landfill proposal as to the scope, activities and functions related to the landfill of hazardous waste, or CIMARI (integral center for the management of industrial waste).117 By October 1998, IMADES had "... shortlisted three possible areas...". After visiting the sites, together with Cytrar, INE considered that, with the approval of Cytrar, "carrying out the applicable studies" in a site located in the Municipality of Benjamin Hill118 would be feasible.
When INE considered the renewal of the Permit, the relocation had not taken place and, reportedly, the final relocation site had not been identified, i.e. a site which had tested positive to all feasibility studies for the purpose for which it would be used, and a site qualified to be authorized as hazardous waste landfill. On November 9, 1998, a few days before issuance of the Resolution, Cytrar sent a note to the Governor of the State of Sonora —following the procedure stated by INE through the official communication of October 23, 1998, sent by Dr. Cristina Cortinas Nava—119 ratifying its relocation commitment, stating also that it would relocate to any site indicated to it. In this note Cytrar also expressed that it would assume all costs related to the acquisition of the land, constructions and transfer of the landfill’s waste to the new site, all the above without resigning to its position that the Permit should remain in full force and effect until the relocation had effectively taken place.120 Similar commitments were reaffirmed by Tecmed in the notes dated November 12, 1998, to Julia Carabias Lillo, head of SEMARNAP,121 and November 17, 1998, to Dr. Cristina Cortinas Nava, INE’s General Director of Hazardous Materials, Waste and Activities.122 This last note was also sent by Cytrar to Sonora’s governor and to the mayor of the Municipality of Hermosillo by means of communications where Cytrar highlighted its relocation commitment included in point 7 of the original note.123 After issuance of the Resolution that denied the renewal of the Permit, there were a number of discussions and actions, which involved Tecmed, intended to carry out the relocation. These discussions and actions extended to January 2000 but have currently ceased.124

II. Fair and Equitable Treatment

III. Full Protection and Security and Other Guarantees under the Agreement

F. Compensation. Restitution in kind.

The Claimant’s claim for compensation or restitution in kind is based upon the provisions of Title VII(l) of the Appendix to the Agreement, which contemplates those two options. The Claimant requests restitution in kind —which the Claimant considers "absolutely impossible"— only secondarily, as the Claimant primarily seeks monetary damages.222 The Arbitral Tribunal considers that monetary damages paid to the Claimant as compensation for the loss of the investment constitutes an adequate satisfaction of the Claimant’s claim under the Agreement. Therefore, and taking into account that the Claimant primarily seeks monetary damages, the Arbitral Tribunal will not consider the admissibility or inadmissibility of the restitution in kind in this case.
The Claimant calculates the amount to be paid as monetary damages under the discounted cash flow calculation method by which the Claimant intends to determine the Landfill’s market value. Upon the basis of the report issued by the expert witness appointed by the Claimant, the amount to be paid as damages as of the date of the expropriation —November 25, 1998—totals US$ 52,000,000, plus interest. The Claimant further claims compensation for the damage allegedly caused to the Claimant’s reputation, with arbitration costs to be borne by the Respondent.
The Parties have not raised any dispute as to the fact that this market value is defined as the fair value of the transaction on an arms’ length basis, where both parties to the transaction have knowledge of the applicable circumstances.230 The Respondent acknowledges that the price obtained in a public tender "...is an efficient manner to determine the price of the assets sold...".231 The Claimant has not challenged this allegation. The Arbitral Tribunal finds that upon the 1996 sale the Landfill’s market value was US$ 4,028,788, and will take that figure as the starting point for a subsequent analysis. The Arbitral Tribunal also finds, on the basis of the evidence submitted, that the existence of a market supported by a sufficient number of similar transactions that may be used as a guide to determine the Landfill’s market value as of November 25, 1998, has not been established.
In the task of establishing the market value as of such date —the moment when the expropriatory act occurred—, the Arbitral Tribunal will also take into account other factors in accordance with the practice of international arbitral tribunals in similar cases.
For such purposes and on the basis of Article 5(2) of the Agreement, although the Arbitral Tribunal will consider the existence of community pressure against the location of the Landfill at its current place and that such pressures and the location would have jeopardized the operations of the Landfill in the long run, the Arbitral Tribunal will not necessarily take into account the actions or determinations of the Mexican authorities that, echoing the community sentiment, in turn exerted pressure on Cytrar for it to relocate or that are part of the Respondent’s actions considered to be in violation of the Agreement in this award or that contributed to the damage resulting from such violations,232 and that may have an adverse effect on valuation of the compensation. Upon weighing such community pressure, the Arbitral Tribunal cannot ignore the relocation commitment assumed by Cytrar, supported by Tecmed, the performance of which would have mitigated or eliminated such pressure, and whose non-performance is not attributable to Cytrar or Tecmed, nor the responsibilities of the Municipality of Hermosillo and of INE, as the case may be, that were involved in the sale of the site to Cytrar or that authorized Cytrar to operate the site under the premise that its location was legitimate despite the fact that it did not comply with Mexican laws. Such legitimacy was terminated by the Resolution which, in practice, ignored such legitimacy in order to address social and political factors against such location.
The Arbitral Tribunal will also take into account the additional investments made as from the Landfill’s acquisition until the date of the Resolution and will consider that Cytrar has contributed management and client development elements that caused, among other things, a 39% increase in the Landfill’s operation by 1997, excluding the activities related to Alco Pacífico,233 and that also produced net income in the second year of operations, i.e. during a stage of entry into and consolidation in the market at the beginning of its operations. It cannot be denied that the investment in the Landfill was productive and added value to the former Landfill’s operations as well as goodwill, nor can it be denied that the Claimant was deprived of its investment’s profits, and value added and goodwill, or that the Claimant’s losses also include lost profits. As acknowledged by the Respondent itself, this operation almost did not exist for a long time before Cytrar’s acquisition of the Landfill and, in the short periods in which it did exist, such activities were reduced in scope from a financial and business standpoint.234 It is logical to understand that, as activities increased due to Cytrar’s operations, this increase must have required additional investments. Although upon assessing the Landfill’s market value two of the nine cells of the Landfill were full, thus reducing the original landfill capacity from nine to seven cells, it must also be taken into account that the increased productivity of the Landfill was evidenced after Cytrar took over the Landfill’s operation. Such increased productivity is necessarily based on Cytrar’s managerial and organizational skills and on gaining new clients, to the extent that the Respondent is willing to acknowledge at least net income for one additional year for an amount of US$ 314,545.235 On the basis of these considerations, it is legitimate to conclude that the Landfill’s market value as of November 25, 1998, could not be lower than the acquisition price paid by Cytrar.
Promptly after effective payment to the Claimant of all sums payable to it by the Respondent under this award, the Claimant shall take all the necessary steps to transfer, or cause to be transferred, to the Respondent, or to a nominee designated by the Respondent, the assets forming the Landfill.
Taking into account that the Claimant has been successful only with respect to some of its claims and that the challenges or defenses filed by the Respondent were also admitted partially, each Party will bear its own costs, expenses and legal counsel fees. The costs incurred by the Arbitral Tribunal and ICSID will be shared equally between the Claimant and the Respondent.

G. Decision

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