From Volume 6, Issue 45 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 6, 2007

Ibero-American News Digest

Pro-Infrastructure Candidate Wins Bogota Mayoral Elections

BOGOTA, Oct. 29 (EIRNS)—Samuel Moreno Rojas, the candidate for mayor of Colombia's capital, Bogota, around whose campaign the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) mobilized support for a World Land-Bridge strategy, won the elections on Oct. 28 by a wide margin: 43.7% vs. his leading opponent's 28%. Moreno provoked the oligarchy's hysteria by refusing to back down from his promise to build a subway for the city, despite the oligarchy's insistence that Colombia "cannot afford" even this minimal form of modern transportation.

The LYM told Bogota's citizens they should not only fight for their right to a subway, but for Colombia to participate in the biggest project of them all: the unification of the Eurasian landmass and the Americas by a railroad running from Siberia to North America through a tunnel under the Bering Strait, down through North and Central America, crossing into South America through the jungle terrain of the Darién Gap which lies on the border between Panama and Colombia.

The Uribe government still insists there is no money for a subway, let alone railroads; since Bogota is the nation's capital, its mayor is viewed as the second most important political post in the country.

Ecuador's Correa Names Bank of South Negotiator

Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Ecuador's President Rafael Correa yesterday swore in nationalist economist Pedro Páez, head of the President's Technical Commission for the Bank of the South, as Economic Policy Coordinator. From that new cabinet post, Páez will be responsible for coordinating everything from the Economics Ministry and the Foreign and Trade Ministry, to customs, taxes, social security, and the state development banks.

Páez said that along with his new duties, he will continue working on the design of a new financial architecture internationally. In a dialogue with EIR's Dennis Small on Radio 530AM of Quito, Ecuador Sept. 12, Paez explained that his government understands that a new regional financial architecture is required to protect the nations and production of South America from the whims of the international financial markets. (See EIW #39 InDepth for full exchange.)

LaRouche Inspires Promoters of Mexico's PLHINO Water Project

SONORA, MEXICO, Oct. 30 (EIRNS)—As organizing intensifies for a Nov. 9 conference in this state on the regional water management project known as the North West Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO), Sonora's Diario del Yaqui published a front-page story Oct. 28, highlighting the importance of the PLHINO, and U.S. economist Lyndon LaRouche's role in organizing for the project.

"Demand for this project has taken on a second wind, and arises once again as the paradigm of a plan without which the country will lose its food self-sufficiency, and the Northwest of Mexico its future," the article states, and then reports who created this "second wind": "Since 2003, the leaders of the Permanent Forum of Rural Producers, Alberto Vizcarra Osuna, Adalberto Rosas López, and Jaime Miranda Peláez, inspired by the economic concepts of Lyndon H. LaRouche, former U.S. Presidential candidate, have intensified their drive for the construction of this great project."

Organizers "drew up a document addressed to Sonora Gov. Eduardo Bours, which proposes that the economic reactivation and reconstruction of the region have as its focus the completion of the PLHINO project," Diario reports.

Calderón Guts Budget for Electricity Infrastructure

Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—A leader of the Mexican Electricity Workers Union (SME), Martín Esparza Flores, warned on Oct. 26 that electricity infrastructure in the country's important central region is operating under "emergency conditions" as a result of the Calderón government's refusal to finance the state agency in charge of repairing and replacing obsolete equipment.

Testifying before a Senate committee, Esparza denounced President Felipe Calderón for "perversely" allocating only 1 billion pesos to the state-run Central Power and Electricity (LFC) agency, while setting aside 12 billion pesos to finance the operations of private foreign utilities, which function on the basis of what's profitable, as opposed to how best to meet the population's needs.

"This is a time bomb," Esparza said. LFC needs at least 10 billion pesos to repair or replace 30-year-old equipment, cables, and transformers, as well as to build new substations. Were there to be a sharp drop in voltage, as a result of the infrastructure's grave state of disrepair, he warned, half of Mexico City would be left without power, together with parts of Mexico state and Hidalgo. This would especially affect lower-income areas, as well as the Mexico City subway, and the equipment that pumps lake bed waters from under the capital city. Within ten minutes of a power outage, Esparza stated, the water level in Mexico City would rise by 12 meters.

Free Trade Creates Demographic Crisis in Mexico

Nov. 1 (EIRNS)—Over the six years of the Vicente Fox Presidency (2000-06), 3.2 million Mexicans—half a million annually on average—left the country, according to a new report from the Secretary of Government. This translates into 8% of the economically active population, consisting largely of young men, who head for the United States in search of work.

Thus, the sectors of the population that tend to be most productive—young workers—are leaving in droves. On top of this, Mexico's birth rate is dropping. This situation immediately calls for the programmatic solutions offered by Lyndon LaRouche, such as cross-border infrastructure development projects, to give young Mexicans hope for the future and a reason to stay at home.

Indictments of Pinochet Clan Annulled—On Whose Orders?

Oct. 26 (EIRNS)—The Santiago Appeals Court unanimously voted today to annul the indictments of the widow and five children of the late fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, along with four retired generals who had worked closely with him.

A total of 23 people, including the family members, were indicted on Oct. 4 by Judge Carlos Cerda, on charges of embezzlement of public funds in relation to the dictator's secret fortune stashed away in accounts in Washington, D.C.'s Riggs Bank.

As the world economy crumbles, the synarchist financial networks that put Pinochet in power in 1973, are flexing their power in Chile. For decades Pinochet was an asset of the British monarchy's BAE weapons cartel, which paid him handsomely—and illegally—for arranging numerous weapons deals.

In stating that none of the family members "had knowledge of or the desire," concerning theft of public funds, the Appeals Court decision flew in the face of mountains of evidence compiled by the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as by dedicated Chilean and European investigators, which document the role of Pinochet's wife, children, and several close aides in a vast criminal enterprise, involving theft of public monies, money-laundering, and weapons and drug trafficking.

Chilean Reps Tour France, Russia To Explore Nuclear Option

Oct. 28 (EIRNS)—Chilean Congressional delegations toured France and Russia this past week, to visit both nations' nuclear plants, and to discuss with both government and energy sector officials how they might cooperate to help resolve Chile's desperate energy crisis.

Pressure on President Michelle Bachelet to consider nuclear energy has been building, particularly since the commission of scientists she mandated to study the feasibility of nuclear power delivered its study to her with a reportedly favorable recommendation. Unfortunately, Bachelet has chosen to keep the report's contents secret.

In Russia, during a four-day tour that concluded Oct. 26, members of the Senate's Mining and Energy Commission met with leaders of the State Duma as well as with the president of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom, and experts from Atomstroyexport, which specializes in building nuclear reactors abroad. After touring the Russian nuclear reactors, they expressed the hope that Russia's state energy companies could contribute their expertise to Chile, not only in the nuclear sector, but also for oil and gas development as well.

EC Invites Brazil To Join International Fusion Project

Nov. 2 (EIRNS)—Visiting Brazil this week, European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, suggested that Brazil join the seven-member International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) program. ITER, originally proposed by Russian Academician Ye.P. Velikhov in 1985, will be a tokamak fusion reactor, designed to produce net energy, as a critical demonstration for a commercial fusion reactor. "Nuclear fusion is certainly one area where Brazil and the ITER members can cooperate more intensively," a spokesman for the Commissioner said on Oct. 29 from Brussels. Initially, this might take the form of a bilateral agreement with the EU, but Brazil could later join as a full member.

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