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buenos aires: ciae scandal

CIAE advertisement

During the 1920s, the UCR policital party (Unión Cívica Radical) attempted to investigate the pricing structure for electrical companies which serviced Buenos Aires.  While being accused of price gouging, the CIAE & the CHADE attempted to extend their 50-year concessions & renegotiate prices. Both discussions came to a halt in 1930 when General José Félix Uriburu ousted President-elect Hipólito Yrigoyen in the first coup d’etat in Argentine history. Since Yrigoyen represented the UCR, most of the party took the overthrow personally & withdrew from politics. An active UCR splinter faction had little power since Uriburu disbanded the legislative body of Buenos Aires for two years.

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buenos aires: ciae expansion

CIAE, Buenos Aires, Puerto Nuevo, superusina

After service began in 1914, the CIAE continued to grow as demand increased. They invested heavily in infrastructure –approximately 75-85% of profits until 1950. Their main competition, the CATE, had financial difficulties in Europe after World War I, & in 1920 company control passed to the Belgian holding company Société Financière de Transports et d’Entreprises Industrielles (SOFINA). To mark the change, the CATE became the Compañía Hispanoamericana de Electricidad (CHADE) with head offices in Barcelona & Madrid. Large investment kept the CHADE as the largest supplier of electricity in Buenos Aires, especially after the 1929 opening of a super-generator port complex:

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