Mexican Tax Man: Bad Business Logic Behind Miscounted Beans

Paramount-Universal joint venture was one of a number of companies receiving irregular tax refunds on the Iron Auditor’s watch, says Mexican federal auditor.

In his weekly Web column, Oficio de Papel, Mexican journalist Miguel Badillo provides an update on funky doings in Mexico’s tax and customs institutions — including the troubled “enterprise integration” Big Dig at the Mexican tax authority under former Treasury secretary Francisco “The Iron Auditor” Gil Díaz.

See Badillo: Oracle-Powered Mexican Tax Machine Bogs Down.

Badillo’s axe to grind this week is a new list of firms that received improper tax refunds, for reasons that need clarifying.

If I understand this properly, the Mexican tax man says design limitations in the business logic of its “integrated solution” were to blame for the “anomalies,” in which tax breaks were misclassified under the heading of a customs duty known as the DTA.

On the problematic administration of the DTA program, see also

We translate, as always, in haste.

Hace unas semanas comentamos los problemas que enfrenta el presidente de Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT), José María Zubiría Maqueo, por el costoso retraso en la aplicación de un sistema contratado para modernizar su plataforma tecnológica denominado “Solución Integral” y que representó un gasto de más de 52 millones de dólares, lo cual ha causado disgustos y desconfianza al secretario de Hacienda, Agustín Carstens.Según Zubiría Maqueo los problemas con este contrato no son atribuibles a hechos de corrupción o negligencia en el organismo que preside, y también ha exculpado del atraso a la empresa Oracle o Peoplesoft, que originalmente fue la que ganó el contrato, bajo el argumento de que se trata de un nuevo sistema es una arquitectura tecnológica muy compleja.

Some weeks ago we noted the problems faced by the head of the federal tax administration in Mexico (SAT), Mr. Zubiría, because of costly delays in the implementation of a system designed to modernize its technology platform, know as the “integrated solution,” representing an expenditure of $52 million, which has led the current treasury secretary, Carstens, to express annoyance and doubt. According to the head of the SAT, the problems cannot be attributed to acts of corruption or negligence at the SAT, and has also exonerated Oracle-Peoplesoft, which won the original contract, arguing that the new system has a very complex technical architecture. 

Pues en medio de la crisis que vive el presidente del SAT y sus problemas con su jefe Carstens que lo mantienen al borde de la renuncia, hay que agregar las graves acusaciones de supuesto delito de peculado que le hace la Auditoría Superior de la Federación en su último informe sobre la cuenta pública correspondiente a 2005, en donde señala que el SAT extrajo de manera irregular más de mil 200 millones de pesos correspondientes al Derecho de Trámite Aduanero para entregarlos a grandes contribuyentes como son Mexicana de Aviación, Aeroméxico, United International Pictures y Minsa, entre otras empresas privadas nacionales y extranjeras.

Now, in the middle of that crisis and the trouble that the SAT director is having with Carstens, who is on the verge of asking for his resignation, we have to add the serious accusations of misappropriation of funds made by the federal auditor (ASF) in his last report on the 2005 public accounts. The ASF indicated that SAT improperly took more than 1.2 billion pesos ($110 million) out of the customs duty fund and paid them out to large taxpayers such as Mexicana Airlines, Aeroméxico, United International Pictures, Minsa, and other private Mexican and foreign firms.

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Colombia: “World Capital of Trade-Unionist Murders”

Alfredo Correa de Andreis: Assassinated in Barranquilla, 2004.

In Colombia, 72 union leaders were murdered in 2006, two more than in the previous year, according to Human Rights Watch. The NGO considers Colombia “The world capital of trade-unionist killings,” with more than 1,500 deaths since 1990.

Colombian prosecutor probing U.S. firms in Washington visit (AP):

Iguaran meets with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday. With both, he is sure to talk about Chiquita Brands and the Alabama-based coal company Drummond Co. Inc.

On the dubious record of the USDOJ under Gonzalez as Fourth Amendment defender and net exporter of due process of law, start with Adult Supervision for Mexican Narcs?

Uribe is out in the media today trying to refute a Human Rights Watch report on the extermination of trade unionists.

Thousands of Colombians disappeared in the past decade, most victims of right-wing militias that emerged in the 1980s to fight leftist rebel groups.The paramilitaries quickly evolved into mafias, enriching themselves through cocaine trafficking, theft and extortion in large chunks of the country, particularly the Caribbean coast. Large landowners, politicians and corporations bankrolled the militias to expand their holdings, while police and military officers turned a blind eye.

More specifically, as El Tiempo reports today, Mario Iguarán will lay the blame for the murders of numerous labor organizers on both paramilitary groups and military units.

Durante su visita a Estados Unidos, Mario Iguarán ha dicho que no quiere adelantarse a los resultados de las investigaciones, pero lo que se ha encontrado hasta el momento confirma esas sospechas.

During his visit to the U.S., Iguarán said he does not want to anticipate the results of the investigations, but that what he has discovered to date confirms these suspicions.

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Peruvian Navy in Intel Hell

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How to locate your local drug-smuggling Maoist revolutionaries on Google Earth.

Ofertaban informe secreto de la Marina sobre Sendero (La República, Peru): Another scandal in the Peruvian military as an intelligence officer is accused of selling intelligence data on the Shining Path guerrilla movement to private-sector security firms.

Congress members want the Peruvian vice-president, Adm. Giampietri, to recuse himself, and the congressional intelligence committee he chairs, from the investigation of the case.

Weapons were recently found being smuggled out of Army armories and smuggled to the FARC by narcotraffickers. See Peruvian Army Arms the FARC Through the Narc?

Ex agente Carlos Barba Daza puso a la venta información reservada, como fotografías satelitales y proyecciones computarizadas de SL.

Former agent Carlos Barba Dazas offered to sell classified information, such as satellite imagery and computerized models of projected Sendero activity.

One of his customers, reportedly: A security officer for Spanish multinational Telefónica.

Los cimientos de la Marina de Guerra se remecen nuevamente. Información secreta que da la ubicación exacta de miembros de Sendero Luminoso y las zonas que controlan en los valles de los ríos Apurímac y Ene también fue ofertada por el capitán de corbeta AP Carlos Barba Daza a empresas de seguridad privada. Lo grave de esto es que la información puesta a la venta pertenecía realmente a la Dirección de Inteligencia de la Marina (Dintemar).

The foundations of the Navy are being rocked once again. Secret information on the exact location of members of the Shining Path guerrilla movement and the zones they control in the Apurímac and Ene river valley (known as the “VRAE”) were offered by Capt. Carlos Barba Daza to private security firms. The matter is a serious one because the information offered for sale properly belongs to the Navy Intelligence Directorate (Dintemar).

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Brazil: Regulators Hold Hearings on Telefônica’s Italian Job

Vigilante consumerdom: angry Argentines spank the Spaniards. Source: Iconoclastas.

Cade e Anatel analisarão juntas compra da Telefónica (Último Segundo/IG, Brazil): Brazil’s telecoms regulator, Anatel, and its antitrust watchdog, CADE, will jointly analyze Telefónica’s purchase of a stake in Telecom Italia from the Tupi perspective.

TI has a cellular concession in Brazil called TIM which has also been the objective of, ahem, intense interest.

Personally, given a choice between signing up with a Brazilian cellular company and being pistol-whipped during a mugging, I would personally want to know how severe the pistol-whipping was going to be before making up my mind.

O Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (Cade) e a Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (Anatel) devem trabalhar em parceria para analisar o impacto concorrencial no mercado brasileiro de telefonia da compra da empresa italiana Telecom Itália pelo grupo espanhol Telefónica associado a um consórcio de bancos italianos. Apesar de ter sido anunciado no último final de semana, o negócio ainda não é oficial para os órgãos de defesa da concorrência brasileiro, já que as empresas têm até 15 dias úteis, a contar da assinatura do primeiro documento da operação, para registrá-lo.

CADE and Anatel will work together to analyze the effect on competition in the Brazilian market of the acquisition of TI by Telefónica and a consortium of Italian banks. Although  it was announced last weekend, the deal is not yet official for Brazilian competition watchdogs — companies have 15 business days from the signing of the deal to register it with regulators.

No entanto, desde o último dia 26 de abril, e até o início de agosto, o Cade vai debater em nove audiências públicas as transformações que estão ocorrendo no setor de telecomunicações. O conselho está particularmente preocupado com os impactos concorrenciais das novas tecnologias que permitem a chamada convergência digital. Para as próximas audiências, que ocorrerão este mês e em junho, estão confirmadas as participações de dirigentes da concessionária de telefonia fixa de São Paulo, Telefônica, e das operadoras de celulares Vivo, TIM e Claro.

Even so, starting last April 26 and running through early August, CADE is going to hold nine public hearings on current transformations in the telecom sector. CADE is particularly concered with the competitive effects of new technology that enable so-called “digital convergence.” Confirmed for the next hearings, to be held in May and June, are executives of Telefônica, which holds the fixed-line telephone concession for São Paulo, and cellular operators Vivo, TIM and Claro. 

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Mangabeira Unger and DVD: Applying the Teste da Farinha
Unger: cui bono?

COMO MANGABEIRA AJUDOU DANTAS CONTRA OS FUNDOS: “How Mangabeira Unger Helped [Daniel Valente Dantas] Against the Pension Funds.”

A follow-up news item since then: Brazil: Opportunity Costs for Dantas Fellow Travelers.

Paulo Henrique Amorim — who is, after all, one of the founders of CartaCapital magazine — interviews a CC reporter who has dug into the involvement of Harvard Law professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger with the business dealings of Brazilian investment banker Daniel V. Dantas.

Unger’s 2005 op-ed in the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, accusing the Lula government of meddling in a dispute between Brasil Telecom management, controlled by Dantas, and Brazilian pension funds — and calling for the impeachment of “the most corrupt government in Brazilian history” — is causing quite a stir.

See Mangabeira Rewrites History!

Unger has now been named to a second-tier cabinet-level research and planning position in the Lula II government, as you recall.

He has said he will apologize to Lula in the speech commemorating his swearing in.

According to this reporter, Unger’s support for Dantas went a little beyond the moral and rhetorical.

Look, I cannot for the life of me get my head around this whole dispute, but I keep taking notes on it in the hopes of somebody being able to put two and two together.

And I have not checked out this reporting myself yet, mind you, so caveat lector; I merely translate pra inglês ver.

Amorim is one of the CC journalists allegedly wiretapped by Dantas and Kroll, so as you can imagine, they have a tremendendous, as they say in Brooklyn, hard-on for the “big-eared banker.” On the other hand, I have yet to catch CC lying to me. And I have tried.

A revista Carta Capital que chega às bancas neste final de semana traz uma reportagem que mostra como Mangabeira Unger ajudou Daniel Dantas a operar contra os fundos de Pensão e a Brasil Telecom.

This weekend’s CartaCapital magazine carries an article on how Mangabeira Unger helped Daniel Dantas to operate against the pension funds and Brasil Telecom.

O autor da reportagem e secretário de redação da Carta Capital, Sérgio Lírio, disse em entrevista ao Conversa Afiada que Dantas deixou um rombo de R$ 600 milhões na Brasil Telecom. E Mangabeira “embolsou” US$ 675 mil para ajudar Dantas.

Sérgio Lírio told Conversa Afiada in an interview that Dantas stuck Brasil Telecom with a shortfall of R$600 million, and Mangabeira “pocketed” US$675,000 for helping Dantas out .

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