Who looks after the interests of the manufacturers of cluster bombs?
Article published in Publico.es
For years the International civil society has been leading a campaign of disarmament, first carried out a campaign to ban anti-personnel mines in particular and subsequently a campaign to ban cluster munitions.
Both campaigns achieved an international treaty banning the use, manufacture, storage and sale, while also agrees to destroy the mines and cluster munitions stored or sown. The campaign to ban anti-personnel mines was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Spanish organizations driving these campaigns pushed the Spanish government to sign these treaties , the government did so and joined them. As a result, Spanish companies can not manufacture or sell such weapons or technology to manufacture them in a third country which has not signed the relevant conventions.
Instalaza is an explosives company which produces cluster munitions; With the signing of this treaty, the company stopped producing and selling this type of munition and armament. So, the company felt compounded by the decision of the Government and interposed a lawsuit claiming a compensation by the decision in the courts. Instalaza demanded an economic compensation of around 60 million Euros, claiming that the decision prevented to the profit of the company, failure to meet sales that were under negotiation or future sales and corresponding profits and costs that would have to carry out destruction of stock or the lost associated in the I+D invested in its development.
A couple of months ago, the Judge of the Audiencia Nacional of the seventh section of the Chamber for Contentious, dismissed the demand of Instalaza, therefore, the Government will not have to economically compensate the manufacturers of these pumps for economic losses involving them not manufacture or selling them. This is good news.
Minister of Defense, Pedro Morenés, was Director of Instalaza between 2005 and 2009. Knows the business and has good relations with it, so, it was not necessary for the company to take the case to the courts. However the Ministry of defence can compensated directly due to the lack of business, by the Ministry, and thus it has done so to Instalaza extrajudicially. In fact the Ministry has since hired the acquisition of explosives with Instalaza and has hired their services for the dismantling of cluster bombs. Therefore, we can say that Instalaza has benefited from the signing of the treaty banning cluster munitions.
At the beginning of 2014, the Army has formalized a contract with instalaza to supply military equipment, specifically the grenade launcher Alcotán with a value of 4 million Euros. Instalaza has been, and is, a historical supplier of explosives for the Spanish army. Instalaza doesn't need to sue the Government and not to antagonize the Ministry of defense, since it continues to be a regular provider still selling other explosive products and will continue to sell products of new generation in the future.