Ibero-American News Digest
Haiti Crawling with Private Contractors
Aug. 6 (EIRNS)Absent a U.S. emergency reconstruction plan to coordinate with the Haitian government and centralize post-earthquake reconstruction and nation-building, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche, private security firms have jumped into the vacuum to prey on this devastated nation.
These predators can operate freely because much of the relief effort is steered by British financier interests, and subject to their genocidal dictates. There is no U.S. Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure program, or CCC-style mobilization for reconstruction. As one advisor to President René Préval aptly put it earlier this year, "these [contractors] are like vultures coming to grab the loot over this disaster, and probably money that might have been injected into the Haitian economy is just going to be grabbed by these companies...."
Within days of the Jan. 12 earthquake, a mercenary trade organization, International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), quickly teamed up with the British outfit Global Investment Summits (GIS), to pull together an early-March conference in Miami, entitled "Haiti: Resources for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance Summit." No one from the Haitian government attended the conference, but it was crawling with private security and other firms, as well as representatives of the Public-Private Alliance Foundation (PPAF), peddling its labor-intensive "small is beautiful" energy projects, among others.
Private security firms offer "services" that are properly the responsibility of the government, thus privatizing the reconstruction effort. Nor are their activities regulated. At the March conference, a Sabre International spokesman ominously warned that, "it will not take long before some kind of civil unrest occurs" in Haiti. And the All Pro Legal Investigations company announced it has "made a commitment to the Haitian community and will provide professional security against any threat to prosperity in Haiti."
This company boasts of handling "high threat terminations" and dealing with "worker unrest."
Will the demands of millions of homeless, sick, and unemployed, that they be treated like human beings, be considered "worker unrest" to be smashed by the predator security firms?
Peru's Bubonic Plague Outbreak Is Contained, for Now
Aug. 7 (EIRNS)Peruvian health authorities acknowledged this week that an outbreak of plague in the northern rural province of Ascope (pop. 40,000) began last April, with 31 known cases and 1 death reported as of yesterday.
Plague is endemic to that region, with the last significant outbreak occurring in 1994, when some 1,000 people were infected, and 35 died. Health Minister Oscar Ugarte blamed the current outbreak on the expansion of sugar cane cultivation in the area, and the burning of cane fields which drove plague-infected field rats into nearby villages.
National authorities have declared an epidemiological alert, sending in medical teams, fumigating homes, and instituting control measures in nearby ports, to keep the plague from spreading into the country's large cities. Were this to happen, under current conditions of a global breakdown of health and sanitation systems, the results could be catastrophic.
Plague manifests in three forms: bubonic (infection of the lymph glands); septicemic (infection of the blood); and pneumonic (infection of the lungs). The latter is the most dangerous, because it can spread from person to person. According to the Pan American Health Organization, plague is treatable with antibiotics, if detected early; the fatality rate for untreated cases is 30-100%. As of now, most of the cases identified in this outbreak have been of the bubonic form, but four were pneumonic (including two doctors).
Brazil, Argentina Defend 'Inalienable Right' to Nuclear Energy
Aug. 6 (EIRNS)The Presidents of Brazil and Argentina, Inácio Lula da Silva and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, respectively, signed a bilateral agreement Aug. 3, vowing to promote the "inalienable right of all nations to use and develop the peaceful use of nuclear energy," and renewing "their determination to act jointly to defend this principle internationally."
The two Presidents met on the sidelines of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) summit in San Juan, Argentina. Their agreement also calls for deepening their existing cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.
Brazil and Argentina are Ibero-America's two nuclear powers, although each has developed different capabilities. Argentina is interested in learning more about uranium enrichment from Brazil, while Brazil hopes to learn from Argentina's experience in producing radio-isotopes for medical purposes.
The Aug. 3 agreement calls for greater transfer of technology and know-how, training of human resources, and jointly designing two multi-purpose reactors, one to be built in each country. The two Presidents will meet again later this month to discuss further coordination in this field, which they describe as an "irrenounceable common patrimony of their strategic association."