Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Juan Hombron and the Lucom estate dispute: Connecting the dots

GPI-HSM Agreement

Local media brings up again the issue of Juan Hombron and the 54 hectares which boundaries partially overlap those of finca 7022 (Cocle) of Hacienda Santa Monica, S.A., (La Estrella) formerly part of the Wilson Charles Lucom estate.  Lucom had signed in 2005 an Agreement (link) for the sale of the company shares to Grand Panama International, Ltd., a company owned by U.S. investors (SEC.gov).   Lucom passed away in 2006 without the agreement ever being annulled.

After the claims of Alberto Sudarsky and others over the beachfront of Juan Hombron in 2007 (link), daily La Prensa presented a news report about land claims in the same area awarded by the ANATI land titling authority (headed by former in-house counsel to the company of then Minister of Presidency Demetrio Papadimitriu (The Minister denied involvement).   ANATI awarded several parts of the 7022 beachfront to Trapp Real Estate Corporation and other shell companies in a few months of 2011 what takes other applicants several years, in what became object of a RICO claim in the U.S. against foreign nationals conspiring to the detriment of a U.S. national.  The RICO claim was dismissed by Florida courts in May 2012 (trusts_estates_prof).

The literal bequest in the Lucom will of the Hacienda Santa Monica, S.A., shares to a Nevis trust for sale to benefit the poor children of Panama, was construed by the Supreme Court of Panama Civil Section to mean that the deceased gifted all assets to his "dear wife" Hilda Piza as sole heir to do what she pleased.   With the passing away of Ms Piza, the road was clear for her descendants to arrange a shareholders agreement of October 24, 2012, under which the share ownership of Hacienda Santa Monica, S.A., was reorganized.   According to La Prensa of September 6, 2013, former Minister of Economy Alberto Vallarino acquired shares in the company, after the Lucom probate case (La Prensa).  The new board of Hacienda Santa Monica S.A. also includes board members from the neighboring Buenaventura company, with which a border dispute and several lawsuits for damages had ensued in civil court :
Título del DignatarioNombre del Dignatario

Reports about the future destiny of the Pacific beachfront of the property vary.  Ideas range from a tourist project to take advantage of the new Rio Hato airport, an environmental park (cambiodemocratico507) to a $5m naval station by Nov 2013 (minseg.gob.papresidencia.gob.pa ).
In the meantime, actions continue in the courts...

See also:
Las Uvas: Fever in the coast
Latin America's First "Branded City" Planned for Panama Gold Coast
Video: Inhabitants of Juan Hombron explain their side of the story
More about the Lucom dispute in Hacienda Santa Monica and Juan Hombron 

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