Court voids and extends royalty law.
BOGOTA -- Colombia's Supreme Court has declared
unconstitutional a 2000 law that changed the country's royalty
system for oil and gas production. However, the court will allow the law
to stay in effect until next June in order to give Congress time to
rewrite it. The court ruled that the law was illegal because the Chamber
of Deputies and the Senate passed different versions. Congress is
expected to simply pass new versions of the original law. Regional
governments appealed the law because it reduced royalty rates, which cut
payments to the provinces.