Ibero-American News Digest
Mexico's Enemies Fret, 'What Is LaRouche Up To?'
July 27 (EIRNS)Today's political gossip column of La Crónica de Hoy, the Mexican daily associated with the corrupt, hated former President Carlos Salinas "de NAFTA," led with a call for action to be taken against Lyndon LaRouche's associates in Mexico. LaRouche associates "aren't important, but it's better to de-claw them and keep an eye on them," the "Pepe Grillo" column (usually written by the newspaper's editor) demands. The column's headline asks nervously: "What Is LaRouche Up To?"
Interesting timing. Al Gore was to land in Mexico on July 31, and Mexican media have taken note of the fact that the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) have been carrying out high-profile deployments on the streets of Mexico City, warning Mexican citizens that racist Al is selling genocide behind his "global warming" fraud. "For Al Gore, You, and Not the Economic Collapse, Are the Problem," a polemical leaflet being distributed by the LYM warns, informing Mexicans that this avid proponent of population reduction was just hosted by the pro-Pinochet crowd in Chile.
"All this is going on while you worry about turning off the lights for two minutes to help Mother Earth. A world war would harm the Earth more than the little industry we have today or the lights in your house, don't you think?" the leaflet asks.
Just as the Salinas crowd thought they had destroyed the Mexico of the great President José López Portillo, up comes a new generation of Mexican youth working with López Portillo's American friend, Lyndon LaRouche, to revive Mexico's spirit of greatness.
Kirchner: Mexico Should Join South American Integration
Aug. 2 (EIRNS)During his July 29-Aug. 1 trip to Mexico, and meetings with President Felipe Calderón, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner emphasized the crucial importance of Mexico participating in "the building of the nations of South America and Latin America," and joining such entities as the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) to advance continental integration and economic development for all.
The fact that the Argentine President traveled to Mexico is in itself significant. His relationship with Mexico's previous President, Vicente Fox, was hostile at best, as he took on the role of regional leader against Fox's attempts to shove the Bush Administration's lunatic Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) down the throats of unwilling Ibero-American governments. Even though Calderón is also a free-trade advocate, he stated at the beginning of his Presidency that "looking south," and improving relations with all nations of the region, will be a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Last February, First Lady Sen. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, now also a Presidential candidate for the government's Victory Front, spent two days in Mexico, to begin talks on how to forge a closer relationship between the two nations.
This visit occurs at a time when Mexico's relationship with the Bush Administration is less than rosy, exacerbated by the fascist U.S. plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants. In an Aug. 1 speech at the Argentine Embassy in Mexico City, Kirchner declared that, "in the name of those Argentines who have suffered so much, we won't remain silent about the construction of a contemptible wall, such as the one being built on the U.S.-Mexican border, which is a real assault on integration." A day earlier, he said the wall was "an affront" to Mexico, to Argentina, and to all nations of the world.
Bi-oceanic Rail Corridor Debated at Rail Conference
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)A proposal to build a 3,600 kilometer bi-oceanic railroad corridor extending from the Brazilian port of Paranagua on the Atlantic coast, to the Chilean port of Antofagasta on the Pacific, was put on the table at the July 11-12 conference of the Latin American Railroad Association (ALAF), held in Asuncion, Paraguay. Enthusiastically backed by Paraguay, the proposal was debated among executives from the state railroad companies of several Ibero-American, European, and African nations.
Although it once boasted one of the most advanced railway systems in Ibero-America, built in the 19th Century, by American System proponent Carlos Antonio López, today Paraguay's railways are paralyzed. In recent years, government has been urging Brazil's Ferroeste, S.A. railroad company to join with Paraguay's state railroad company, Ferrocarriles del Paraguay, S.A., to establish a rail link between the two, as a first step toward hooking up with existing rail lines in Argentina and Chile, so as to reach ports on the Pacific coast. The proposal is seen as a way to foster the region's physical integration and economic development.
Financing is the stumbling block, underscoring the necessity of having an independent bank or financing entitysuch as the proposed Bank of the Southable to extend low-cost credit to finance such projects. Although "public-private partnerships" were discussed as a source of funding, Lauro Ramírez, head of Ferrocarriles del Paraguay, S.A., emphasized that only the state can come up with the large sums required, and guarantee that regulatory norms are respected by all. Ramírez is also the head of the Latin American Railroad Association.
Argentina To Mine Uranium Again, To Fuel Nuclear Reactors
Aug. 2 (EIRNS)The Argentine government has announced its intention to once again mine and produce uranium, in order to fuel its own nuclear reactors. In the context of revitalizing and expanding the country's nuclear energy program, Planning Minister Julio De Vido will sign an agreement shortly with the president of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), José Abriata, and the governor of Salta, Juan Carlos Romero, to initiate uranium mining activity at the Don Otto mine in Salta in Argentina's northwest, which it's estimated will be able to produce 30 tons annually, to begin with.
Although Argentina has significant uranium reserves, for the past ten years it has relied on foreign imports for the 120 tons it needs to service existing reactors. In the 1990s, many mines fell victim to the IMF austerity policy imposed by former President Carlos Menem, and were closed or had their activity dramatically reduced. Now, the Kirchner government is committed to reopening closed mines, while expanding uranium exploration and mining.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed on July 27 between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Nucleoelectrica Argentina, to begin negotiations for the construction of a 740-megawatt CANDU-6 reactor, which will be Argentina's fourth nuclear plant.
IMF Disinvestment Policies Caused Brazilian Air Disaster
July 28 (EIRNS)The worst crash in Brazilian aviation history, which left 199 people dead on July 17, was an accident waiting to happen. The disaster was caused by an IMF-driven policy of disinvestment in transportation and other infrastructure, in order to pay interest on the debt, Carlos Lessa charged on July 24. Lessa headed Brazil's National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) for nearly four years, until he was driven out of office in 2004 by financial interests, because he fought to dump monetarist policies and return to economic dirigism, to rebuild the country.
Under International Monetary Fund dictate, in 2003 and 2004, expenditures on flight security were cut back, and no new air traffic controllers were hired, Lessa told Jornal do Brasil July 24. The situation has only worsened since then, and now passengers and crew alike are afraid to fly.
In that same period, Varig, Brazil's oldest national airline, was forced into bankruptcy by the same policies. The BNDES, then under Lessa's direction, worked out a rescue package to save Varig, but then-Treasury Minister Antonio Palocci turned it down, because the IMF considered any debt rollover to be an expense, and expenses had to be cut. Varig disappeared, and 400 of Brazil's most experienced pilots and technicians today work outside the country, Lessa said. "They dismantled a national and international system. It is a crime.... A nation's airline system is a question of national integration."
Prosecutions Put Spotlight on Pinochet's Nazi Operations
July 30 (EIRNS)Chilean prosecutors and judges are accelerating their indictments and prosecutions of the murderers, torturers, and kidnappers who collaborated with the late dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, thus shining a spotlight on the Nazi-style operations of the man who for many years also functioned as an asset of Britain's BAE criminal enterprise. With the funds he received in commissions from BAE, Pinochet not only built his personal fortune, but financed a host of illicit activities and atrocities that were central to his Operation Condor killing machine.
On July 24, former Army Auditor Gen. Fernando Torres Silva and former Military Intelligence officer Col. Enrique Ibarra were indicted and arrested for the 1993 kidnapping and murder of Eugenio Berrios, a chemist employed by Pinochet's secret police, the DINA. A true Nazi doctor, Berrios worked out of the Army's Bacteriological Warfare Laboratory, producing toxins and poisons, including Sarin gas, used not only on alleged "terrorist" detainees, but also on military personnel and even other DINA members who threatened to reveal the dictatorship's crimes. Ironically, Berrios himself was later kidnapped and murdered by his former DINA colleagues, in Montevideo, Uruguay, because he knew "too much."
Through the Berrios case, prosecutors are also closing in on solving the 1982 death of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva, who died under strange circumstances following surgery. Judge Alejandro Solis is soon expected to indict four doctors who worked for the DINA-controlled Clinica London, and who are suspected of injecting bacteriological agents into Frei following his surgery, causing his death. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that Pinochet himself ordered Frei's murder, and that Berrios was involved.