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Fospuca has a parotta of the nose

Fospuca has a parotta of the nose

In this region of southeastern Caracas, they wonder who is in charge of whom: the local mayor's office or the garbage collection company, owned by influential lawyer José Simón Ellarba. In this case, doubt does not hurt. Since Vosboca acquired the concession in 2015, there has been a history of the Baruta government acquiescing to the company's demands, even if it meant violating regulations or hurting municipal income. And what is missing, because everything indicates that in 2025 the award will be renewed for another decade.

Written by Marcos David Valverde / Armando information

The history of Fosbuca, the garbage collection company that has been in Caracas for more than 30 years, is no longer just that of a private enterprise providing service to the capital's municipalities, as it was bought by lawyer and businessman José Simon Ellarba Haddad in 2014. And moving into the sphere of political influence. The relationship, sometimes Siamese, sometimes patronage, between Vosbuka and the mayor of Paruta, for example, illustrates this shift well. With one caveat: Sometimes, it's also not clear who is sponsoring whom.

As we will explain in this story, Ilarba, through Vospuca, established a relationship with the mayor's office of Barota—a traditionally oppositional, middle-class district in southeastern Caracas—through which he was able to set customs, prices, collection mechanisms, and even penalties. A very rare case in which the supplier dictates terms to the contracting party.

Until the year that Fosbuca signed its first contract with the Barota Mayor's Office, in 2015, the amounts to be paid for the urban cleaning service in that and other Caracas municipalities were determined based on a simple, traditional calculation: tons of garbage in the municipality, divided by the number Population. But with the arrival of the new Phosbuca, this method has become nothing but garbage. After his refusal, the municipal council and the Barota Mayor's Office itself decided, as of that first year of the concession, to use a proportion proportional to the surface area of ​​its warehouses, regardless of the volume of their waste, and the rates previously set for the residential sector.

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In Parota, for example, if a building is 50 square meters and produces a ton of rubbish per month, the owner will pay much less than someone with a 200-square-metre building where 100 kilos of rubbish is produced in the same period. This counter-intuitive logic can be read as an incentive for efficiency in waste production and management, but it actually spoils the surface of commercial buildings.

This was just the beginning of a series of positive decisions for the company. In addition to allowing arbitrary increases in service charges, in 2019, Barota City Council programmed its municipal tax collection system to block payments from those companies that remained insolvent with Vosboka.

With this, the Barota Mayor's Office's satisfaction with Vosbuka has moved to another level: it is no longer just a matter of favoring the contractor, but also of doing so even if it harms the municipality's own income.

More details in Armando information