Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has joined several members of the Orlando state legislative delegation in asking U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to act on Peru’s bond payment defaults.
At issue are Peruvian land bonds.
Decades ago, the South American nation issued “Agrarian Reform Bonds” to U.S. investors as compensation for approximately 23 million acres of expropriated land.
Today, those bonds have an estimated value of over $40 billion and are included in the investment portfolios of pensions across the country, including the accounts that fund retirement plans for Orlando’s police, firefighters and other public employees.
The problem? Peru has stopped paying out.
As the country’s economy has trended down, the Peruvian government has relied on a forged court ruling and executive actions to replace the bond payments with other, less lucrative investment instruments.
Dyer is calling for Florida’s U.S. senators to confront Peru, even if they have to get the U.S. State Department involved.
“Peru can — and must — pay back these debts. If we do not act, allowing the Peruvian government to deliberately take advantage of U.S. investors will set a terrible precedent to countries around the world,” Dyer wrote in the letter.
In all, an estimated 200 pensions programs across 27 states could be negatively impacted by the bond defaults.
Dyer’s letter is below.