Chilean Government Writes Off Tax Debt Owed
by Top Logging Companies Celulosa Arauco and CMPC
19 April, 2004
The Chilean government is currently under
investigation for irregularities regarding the cancellation of tax
debt owed by the countrys leading corporations. In 2001, the
government cancelled tax debts of Chiles largest and wealthiest
companies, among them the two largest logging firms that have continued
to drive the destruction of Chiles native forests.
The companies benefitting from the governments
debt cancellation are CMPC- Forestal Mininco under ownership of
Eliodoro Matte, and Arauco Cellulose and Constitucion S.A., owned
by Anacleto Angelini. The government cancelled tax debts from 1997
onward. In 2003, Chiles national Treasury Inspector´s
Office conducted an inquiry into the process (Record 216-2003, Appendices
11 and 12) and accused Chilean General Treasurer Gianni Lambertini
of "abandonment of function".
The amount of debt forgiveness is estimated
at $4.1 million dollars in the case of CMPC-Mininco and $134,000
in the case of Arauco. This indirect subsidy was granted to the
logging companies despite the fact that both are recognized as leading
destroyers of Chilean native forests and own over 1,500,000 hectares
(3,700,000 acres) of pine and eucalyptus plantations in Chile.
Geoaustral Org. Bosques & Comunidades
Geoaustral FM 1015. La Voz del Medio Ambiente y la Comunidad
Tel./Fax (56-65) 251812
Casilla Postal 876 Puerto Montt - Chile.
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