Where are the Catalan friends of Petro from whom Fico took the garbage contract in Medellín

It is no secret that Medellín stopped being a silver cup a long time ago. At the end of his mandate, Daniel Quintero wanted the company Themac Colombia SAS, related to Xavier Vendrell and Manuel Grau, Catalan businessmen nationalized in Colombia and friends of President Gustavo Petro, to execute a garbage contract for $251 billion with Various Companies of Medellín, attached to the EPM Group, which is responsible for cleaning streets and other city services.

Fico Gutiérrez had not been in office for four months as Mayor of Medellín when he was already ending that contractual process, but until now, the garbage in the street is obvious, although the District Administration explained that it has had as one of its purposes, execute strategies for the recovery of public space, beautification, cleaning and maintenance tasks.

On the soccer field in the Los Alpes neighborhood in Medellín, managed by Inder, where Pony Fútbol was played and there are Emvarias containers, the garbage is visible.

The Mayor’s Office and Emvarias say that they have reinforced the Cleaning and Decoration Committee with more than 2,000 people who have carried out 450 interventions in parks, critical waste points, streams, vehicular and pedestrian bridges.

Additionally, 3,400,000 square meters have been intervened with cleaning, gardening and painting work; washing of critical sanitary points, collection of debris, bulky items in the streets and removal of more than 1,700 cambuches, which includes attention to homeless inhabitants who occupy public spaces.

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Until now and after the failed contract with the Catalans, Empresas Various de Medellín, of the EPM Group, has the challenge of keeping the city clean

When and how Xavier Vendrell’s closeness to Petro arose

The closeness of the Catalan Xavier Vendrell with Petro goes back more than a decade. Vendrell appeared on the stage in November 2011, he had just started the Petro Mayor’s Office and did not hesitate to accompany the protest demonstrations against the dismissal and 15-year disqualification imposed on him by Attorney General Alejandro Ordoñez for the chaos that was created with the collection of garbage in December 2012 in Bogotá.

Read also: The Spanish friend of Petro who was awarded a $251 billion contract to collect garbage in Medellín

Vendrell was also at the Mayor’s side on July 8, 2020 to celebrate the ruling of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which in its ruling from Washington outlined the path to save Petro from sanction by affirming that the president’s political rights were had been affected by the disciplinary measure imposed by the Attorney General’s Office.

With that decision, the Inter-American Commission, an autonomous body of the Organization of American States, established jurisprudence against officials elected by popular vote.

Paradoxically and with more than a decade of difference, a garbage contract is once again the element that unites the names of President Petro and Xavier Vendrell, the Catalan who feels more Colombian than Spanish, promoted the separatist referendum in Catalonia and organized 86,000 witnesses elections and the Activists of Change platform during Petro’s last presidential campaign.

Vendrell’s closeness to the campaign was such that he even appeared in the so-called ‘petrovideos’ where the strategic role he had in the political guidelines during that period became evident.

The businesses of the Colombian-Catalans in Santa Marta and Medellín

Since 2011, Xavier Vendrell has been CEO of the company Barcelona Export Group, a company founded in 2008, based in Barcelona (Spain), with no more than 50 employees, specialized in advising, managing, exporting products and services to Latin American markets in sectors of health, construction, industry and consulting.

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The Catalan Xavier Vendrell met Gustavo Petro, recently elected Mayor of Bogotá and in 2023, he had a nine-month contract with Mintrabajo

In different media, Vendrell has also been mentioned as a partner of Manuel Grau in the company Themac Colombia SAS, which in 2017 signed a contract related to vehicles and garbage collection with the Mayor’s Office of Santa Marta when Rafael Martínez, politically close to President Gustavo, was mayor. Petro.

At that time, the Comptroller’s Office warned of delays on the part of Themac Colombia SAS but this precedent was not an obstacle for the District administration to initiate a contractual process during Daniel Quintero’s period as Mayor of Medellín.

Through Empresas Various de Medellín, a company attached to the EPM Group owned by the District of Medellín and whose Board is chaired by the Mayor on duty, Quintero began the contractual process to execute a pilot project for garbage collection with side-loading vehicles worth 251,000 million pesos.

On repeated occasions, Manuel Grau was seen with the first lady, Verónica Alcocer, on some of his diplomatic trips, such as the one he made to the Vatican in January 2023, a time when talk of the contract with Empresas Various de Medellín began.

This contract generated suspicion for two reasons: firstly, the amount because it was said to reach $251 billion and, secondly, the partners of the urban hygiene technology company, two Catalans quite close to the power circle of the President and the First Lady, oblivious to the issue and to the city of Medellín.

Fico Gutiérrez puts an end to the garbage contract process with the Catalans of Themac Colombia SAS

Although on September 25, 2023, the then manager of Emvarias, Carlos Borja, confirmed that the contract had been signed, which also included the leasing of collection cars, Mayor Federico Gutiérrez terminated that contractual process on April 11. of 2024 with the argument that the contract for “Lease of the vehicle fleet and equipment for the development of the side loading pilot in the provision of the public toilet service” had not been perfected.

At the time, Empresas Various de Medellín explained that, although the offer from the Catalan firm had been accepted in the direct negotiation stage, the acceptance was made conditionally and Themac remained silent regarding the conditions imposed, which prevented definitively perfect the contract.

Subsequently, Themac expressed disagreement with the conditions sent by Emvarias in the conditional acceptance of the offer, which according to the company led to the conclusion that the contract that the parties intended was definitely not achieved.

Themac was incorporated on March 9, 2017 in Bogotá as Themac Colombia Ltda. with an authorized capital of 3,000 million pesos and paid capital of 835 million pesos. In December 2018, it became Themac Colombia SAS with the aim of marketing, selling, importing, exporting, renting and distributing products and equipment that participate in the process of collecting, cleaning and managing urban solid waste. Themac’s corporate purpose also includes the provision of consulting services related to the use and development of methods and technologies in the process of collection, cleaning, management of urban solid waste, development of technologies, products and research to improve the environment.

Where are the Catalans and what happens to Themac after losing the Emvarias garbage contract

Themac Colombia SAS and the lives of Catalans have also registered some changes in recent months. In June 2022, for example, Camilo Andrés Torres Vásquez took over as general manager of the company and José Ignacio De Alcázar Peñuela was appointed alternate manager.

As of January 3, 2022, the company Themac Colombia SAS began to be controlled by the company Texom Limited based in the United Kingdom and as of February 7, 2023, its status as a subordinate company was formalized.

Control of Themac Colombia SAS, which reported income of around 1,924 million pesos at the end of 2023, is exercised by the British company indirectly through Themac Andina SA, another subordinate company established as a public limited company in 2005 in Quito.

Themac Andina SA is dedicated to the development of technologies in the field of urban hygiene in Latin America and the Caribbean, it markets equipment for the containerization and automated collection of urban solid waste, as well as applications for its implementation and management.

In turn, Themac Andina SA is a subsidiary of the Italian group OMB to which, apparently, the businessman Fabio Mascialino is linked, who also appears as the leader of Texom Limited, a British company that in turn would have a relationship with Xavier Vendrell and Manuel Grau.

Additionally, OMB has a presence in Chile and uses automatic side loading containerization technology for the collection of household waste.

For its part, Barcelona Export Group, Manuel Grau’s company, has reported that it has five subsidiaries in Colombia and is in the process of establishing three more. Its main activity is real estate, it is developing five projects, three of which are in Bogotá and the most advanced is the so-called Barcelona Tower, it has another in Tunja and the third in Santa Marta. Barcelona Export Group appears with a stake in the construction company Decoplack and they say it also has a presence in energy projects.

The contractual links that the Catalans have had with Mintrabajo and Cisa

So far, the Catalan friends of President Gustavo Petro have had no other media or contractual appearances after the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez, put an end to the million-dollar contract that they would execute with Empresas Various while the garbage remains in plain sight of their own. and strangers in Medellín without yet knowing what the path will be to carry out a new tender.

Apparently and as far as they are concerned, the Catalans have known how to take advantage of their closeness to the President and the First Lady, since Xavier Vendrell executed a 9-month contract for 45 million in 2023 with the Special Administrative Unit of Solidarity Organizations (Uaeos) , an entity attached to the Ministry of Labor.

Vendrell signed the contract with the Uaeos to advise on the “Local Public Procurement Strategy within the framework of the Partnership Agenda for Peace”, through actions to promote and foster the popular, social and solidarity economy with sustainability strategies and networks to the development of marketing circuits, markets, promoting small and medium-sized businesses that are informal.

In 2023, Manuel Grau was appointed member of the Board of Cisa SA, an entity that depends on the Ministry of Finance and from which he can learn about the State’s real estate businesses. Currently, the president of Cisa is Nicolás Corso Salamanca, one of Petro’s close friends who also has a seat on the Board of the Special Assets Society (SAE), in charge of managing the assets seized from drug traffickers and Catalans nationalized in Colombia, continue being from the close circle, waiting for new opportunities.

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