Hastings Leads Bipartisan Letter Supporting Florida Municipal Pension Plans Affected by Peruvian Agrarian Reform Bonds

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Washington, D.C., May 2, 2019 | comments

Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urging him to continue to engage the government of the Republic of Peru on the issue of Peruvian Agrarian Reform Bonds. The Peruvian Government continues to default on these bonds, which are held in pension plans by tens of thousands of Florida municipal workers. Joining Hastings in signing the letter include: Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Val Butler Demings (D-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Ross Spano (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (R-FL). (Please find a copy of the letter below and attached):

May 2, 2019

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

We write to express our concerns over the Republic of Peru’s refusal to honor its obligations to repay agrarian reform bonds. We fear that thousands of Florida workers, among them our constituents, and many more Americans across the country, will be placed at financial risk if the government of Peru continues to default on these bonds.

As you know, the government of Peru began issuing agrarian reform bonds in 1969 as a means of compensating land owners for expropriated lands. Following decades of currency changes and hyperinflation, the government ceased making payments on these bonds in 1992. The value and process for repayment of these bonds remains in question.

More than 50,000 Florida workers are invested in Peruvian agrarian reform bonds through their pension funds, including municipal workers, police officers, firefighters, trade unions, and port workers across the state. Entities within several Florida cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, North Miami Beach, and Hialeah are among those whose pension plans continue to be affected. As Representatives of these and other cities in Florida, we are concerned that workers who have spent their careers in public service are being unfairly impacted by the Peruvian government’s actions. 

Workers in Florida are not the only ones to be affected by this default. Nationwide, nearly $2 billion in debt is held across 30 states. The government of Peru’s refusal to pay its obligations threatens the hard-earned benefits that these Americans have earned.

We urge your continued engagement on this issue so that we may find a solution on behalf of the thousands of Florida workers placed at risk by this unnecessary default. We ask that you give our request your full and fair consideration, consistent with applicable statutes and regulations. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, 

Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress

Stephanie Murphy
Member of Congress

Val Butler Demings
Member of Congress

Brian Mast
Member of Congress

Bill Posey
Member of Congress

Darren Soto
Member of Congress

Ross Spano
Member of Congress

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress

Charlie Crist
Member of Congress

Matt Gaetz
Member of Congress

Neal P. Dunn, M.D.
Member of Congress

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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