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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Amcit Property Claims Monthly Update: January 2008

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #0194/01 0501507
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191507Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2099
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MANAGUA 000194

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, EB/IFD/OIA, AND L/CID
STATE ALSO FOR WHA/EPSC
STATE PASS TO USTR
TREASURY FOR INL AND OWH

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV ECON USTR KIDE NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: AMCIT PROPERTY CLAIMS MONTHLY UPDATE: JANUARY 2008

REFS: A) 07 MANAGUA 2581 B) MANAGUA 173

SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION
------------------------

1. In January of the 2007-2008 waiver year, the Government of
Nicaragua dismissed 52 U.S. citizen claims via a dubious review
process that determined claimants did not own the property that had
been expropriated. The Embassy does not consider these 52 claims
resolved and they remain active in our database. A U.S. citizen
claimant also withdrew six property claims after a local court
foreclosed upon the properties. The legal representative for the
heirs of a deceased American citizen claimant informed us that the
GON resolved a claim registered in the Embassy's Property Office
database. We have added a "Court Decision Against Claimant (Claim
Withdrawn by Amcit)" section and a "Claims Dismissed by the GON"
section to this report.

2. Since January 1995, the GON has resolved 2,520 Embassy-registered property claims belonging to 658 American citizens (Amcits). With the resolution of one Embassy-registered claim and the withdrawal of six Embassy-registered claims, the Property Office database now includes 667 registered property claims belonging to 294 Amcits. Including Amcit claims not registered with the Embassy, the GON has resolved a total of 4,540 American citizen claims since January 1995. Most have involved compensation via government-issued indemnification bonds ("bonos de pago de indemnizacion" or BPIs). As of January 31, 2007, the GON had issued BPIs with a face value of $324,000,525 to Embassy-registered claimants. With the inclusion of the one claim compensated in January, the GON has resolved six cases during this waiver year.

EMBASSY REGISTERED CLAIMS DISMISSED BY GON
------------------------------------------

3. On November 29, 2007, the GON presented the Property Office a list of 18 Embassy-registered claims it was considering dismissing primarily because of the lack of proof that the claimant owned property that had been expropriated (Ref A). On January 31, 2008, the GON reported that the 18 claims provided in November 2007 are indeed "dismissed" cases, and in addition provided a second list of 34 Embassy-registered "dismissed" claims so characterized because a) the claimant could not provide proof of ownership and/or expropriation of the property; b) the claimant already possessed the property (but still needed the title); or, c) the matter is being handled in court. Property Superintendent Yara Perez explained that claimants must either follow the administrative process or pursue the claim in court (Ref B).

4. It appears that the GON's currently preferred method to "resolve"
Embassy-registered claims is "dismissal." The Embassy does not
recognize these dismissed claims as resolved at this time, and
continues its efforts to contact and consult with affected claimants
to ensure that their rights are protected. Our Property Office also
continues to press the GON for more cooperation on the resolution of
property claims in a fair and transparent manner.

EMBASSY REGISTERED CLAIMS WITHDRAWN BASED ON COURT DECISIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. On January 30, 2008, Mr. Jose Arguello asked the Property Office
to remove six Embassy-registered claims from our database after a
local court ruled that the properties be foreclosed upon and
transferred to a private bank. Mr. Arguello has accepted the court
decision and said that he will no longer pursue these claims.

Type of No. of
Claimant Property Claims
-------- ---------- ------

Arguello, Jose land 6


EMBASSY-REGISTERED CLAIMS RESOLVED IN JANUARY 2008
--------------------------------------------- ------

6. On February 6, 2008, Dr. Lino Meza Martinez, legal representative
for the heirs of Mrs. Teodolinda Gonzalez-Becklin, provided a
written statement to the Embassy Property Office attesting that on
January 15, 2008, the GON had compensated Gonzalez-Becklin with
indemnification bonds (BPIs) for a house in Managua. The heirs of
Mrs. Gonzalez-Becklin reached a settlement with the GON for BPIs
with a face value of 1,035,600 cordobas, approximately $24,750. We
have updated our database to reflect this settlement.

Type of No. of Type of
Claimant Claim Claims Resolution
-------- ----- ------ ----------

Gonzalez-Becklin,
Teodolinda house 1 bonds


STATUS OF AMCIT PROPERTY AS OF 01/31/07
---------------------------------------

7. The following is a snapshot of current American citizens'
property claims. The Embassy maintains separate databases for
claims registered before and after the July 31, 2005, deadline in
the Consolidated Appropriations Act.


EMBASSY-REGISTERED CLAIMS NUMBER
------------------------- ------

Total Amcits with all claims resolved 658
(145 were Amcits at time of confiscation)

Total Amcits with pending claims 294
(64 were Amcits at time of confiscation)

Total Amcits registered with the Embassy 1,137
prior to July 31, 2005
(269 were Amcits at time of confiscation)

Total Amcit claims pending resolution 667
(117 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Total Amcit claims resolved 2,520
(403 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)


EMBASSY-REGISTERED CLAIMS BY CALENDAR YEAR NUMBER
------------------------------------------ ------

Claims resolved in calendar year 2008 1
(0 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved in calendar year 2007 10
(0 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2006 81
(6 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2005 126
(7 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2004 218
(11 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2003 243
(22 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2002 125
(20 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2001 175
(17 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)

Claims resolved calendar year 2000 70
(7 were claims of Amcits at time of confiscation)


EMBASSY-REGISTERED CLAIMS RESOLVED BY WAIVER YEAR NUMBER
--------------------------------------------- ---- ------

Registered claims resolved so far in 2007-08 6
(waiver year: August 1, 2007 - July 31, 2008)

Registered claims resolved 2006-07 waiver year 34

Registered claims resolved 2005-06 waiver year 86

Registered claims resolved 2004-05 waiver year 187

Registered claims resolved 2003-04 waiver year 214

Registered claims resolved 2002-03 waiver year 183

Registered claims resolved 2001-02 waiver year 160

Registered claims resolved 2000-01 waiver year 142

Registered claims resolved 1999-00 waiver year 77

Registered claims resolved 1998-99 waiver year 156

Registered claims resolved 1997-98 waiver year 204

Registered claims resolved 1996-97 waiver year 145


EMBASSY-REGISTERED CLAIMS UNDER GON CONTROL NUMBER
------------------------------------------- ------

Total Amcit properties under GON control 54
(subject to revision)

GON-held claims resolved 2007-08 waiver year 0

GON-held claims resolved 2006-07 waiver year 0

GON-held claims resolved 2005-06 waiver year 3

GON-held claims resolved 2004-05 waiver year 16

GON-held claims resolved 2003-04 waiver year 12

GON-held claims resolved 2002-03 waiver year 11

GON-held claims resolved 2001-02 waiver year 26

GON-held claims resolved 2000-01 waiver year 2

GON-held claims resolved 1999-00 waiver year 2

GON-held claims resolved 1998-99 waiver year 5

GON-held claims resolved 1997-98 waiver year 29

GON-held claims resolved (total) 176


CLAIMS DISMISSED BY GON DURING THE 2007-08 WAIVER YEAR NUMBER
------------------------------------------ ------

NOVEMBER 2007 18

JANUARY 2008 34

COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF CLAIMANT
(PROPERTIES RECOVERED) NUMBER
-------------------------- ------

445

COURT DECISION AGAINST CLAIMANT
(CLAIM WITHDRAWN BY AMCIT) NUMBER
------------------------------- ------

6

TOTAL CLAIMS RESOLVED BY LAND SWAPS NUMBER
----------------------------------- ------

6

TOTAL CLAIMS COMPENSATED IN BONDS
(face value of bonds $324.00 million) NUMBER
------------------------------------- -----

1,857

NON-REGISTERED RESOLUTIONS BY WAIVER YEAR NUMBER
----------------------------------------- ------

Non-registered resolutions 2007-08 waiver year 0

Non-registered resolutions 2006-07 waiver year 12

Non-registered resolutions 2005-06 waiver year 30

Non-registered resolutions 2004-05 waiver year 0

Non-registered resolutions 2003-04 waiver year 6

Non-registered resolutions 2002-03 waiver year 22

Non-registered resolutions 2001-02 waiver year 93

Non-registered resolutions 2000-01 waiver year 300

Non-registered resolutions 1999-00 waiver year 455

Non-registered resolutions 1998-99 waiver year 310

Non-registered resolutions 1997-98 waiver year 230

Non-registered resolutions 1996-97 waiver year 208


TOTAL REGISTERED & NON-REGISTERED RESOLUTIONS NUMBER
--------------------------------------------- ------

Total number of Amcit claims resolved 4,540

NON-WAIVER CLAIMS REGISTERED AFTER JULY 31, 2005 NUMBER
--------------------------------------------- --- ------

Total Amcit claimants registered with Embassy 12
(1 was an Amcit at time of confiscation)

Total Amcit claims pending resolution 18
(1 was a claim of an Amcit at time of confiscation)

TRIVELLI

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