LatinNews Daily - 27 January 2023

In brief: Colombia’s Petro to take ‘direct control’ of state utilities

* Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro has announced that he will temporarily take direct control of state utility services. Petro said that he has “decided not to delegate his functions to the commissions that regulate public services, at least for a while.” He said that “the president of the republic, by order of the constitution, has the power to create general administrative policies for the control of public utility services, which are water and electricity”. This, he said, means that he will take “direct and personal” control over these services to protect “the public interest and that of users.”  Camilo Sánchez, the president of the national association of public services and communications (Andesco), criticised Petro’s announcement as “an unprecedented step backwards”, and argued that slashing prices would “repeat failures in neighbouring countries – breaking companies and breaking services”.

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