State Sen. Victor Torres sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott urging them to help secure bond payments from Peru.
Peruvian land bonds make up a sizable chunk of the investment portfolios for pensions across the country, including those for Central Florida police, firefighters and other public servants.
Between 1969 and 1982, Peru’s communist military government expropriated approximately 23 million acres of land with a current value of $42.4 billion. As compensation, landholders were issued Agrarian Reform Bonds.
Yet the South American nation has missed billions of dollars’ worth of payments thanks to a forged court decision, putting public employee retirement plans in jeopardy.
“Although they were purchased carefully, honestly and fairly, the Peruvian government has not made good on the debts they owe to U.S. investors,” the Orlando Democrat wrote in a Feb. 26 letter.
“Key stakeholders in the U.S. have tried to work directly with the Peruvian government to solve this issue amicably. Despite assurances they would meet, the Peruvian government has yet to do so.
“We cannot allow countries to get away with defaulting on their debts, especially when it hurts Orlando families. I am committed to ensuring that our community’s employees have peace of mind about their pending retirements and can plan for their futures with confidence. I hope that you share my commitment.”
Torres, himself a retired police officer, closed out by asking Rubio and Scott to bring the issue to the U.S. State Department or to directly address the Peruvian government to ensure pensioners “have the financial peace of mind they deserve.”
Torres’ letter is below.