From Volume 37, Issue 36 of EIR Online, Published Sept 17, 2010

Ibero-American News Digest

'NAWAPA Tour' Galvanizes PLHINO Organizers in Sonora

Sept. 10 (EIRNS)—Some 30 activists leading Mexico's movement to build the Northwest Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO), the tri-state water and power management plan mapped out, like NAWAPA, decades ago, met yesterday in Sonora, to view LaRouchePAC's just-released Spanish-dubbed "Tour of NAWAPA" video, and coordinate the fight to make such great biospheric engineering projects the keystone of a new international system, replacing globalization.

Several years of drought in the dry but rich agricultural state of Sonora, have created a crisis, out of which profiteering private interests associated with Prince Philip's World Wildlife Fund (WWF), are trying to pit farmers in the south against urban areas in the north, in a fight for rapidly disappearing water. The water war has been stymied by the organizing of the Pro-PLHINO Committee, founded several years by the LaRouche movement, which has brought tens of thousands of citizens onto the streets twice this year, in support for a policy of expanding the water available in the region, through the PLHINO and desalination projects.

Thus, the farmers, agronomists, and engineers present at the Sonora NAWAPA meeting were no novices to great water projects, but the scope and intent of Lyndon LaRouche's concept of NAWAPA, electrified them. The "guided tour" video of NAWAPA, and an elaboration by EIR Ibero-American editor Dennis Small of the international and scientific implications of NAWAPA, led to a lively discussion, with questions ranging from how to overcome the "huge problems" to get such an enormous project implemented—and, "Won't this take generations?"—to the role of the WWF in running the greenie opposition to the PLHINO and related great projects.

The spirit prevailing in the meeting, was captured by an older farmer present, who reported that he had first heard about NAWAPA in the 1960s, from the Agriculture Minister of President Adolfo López Mateos (1958-64). The farmer said that when people say such a project is too ambitious, his response is: Ever since man cracked the atom, there are no limits to what we can do.

NAWAPA-Plus: LaRouche's Darien Gap High-Speed Rail Proposal Hits Panama

Sept. 12 (EIRNS)—The Sunday online edition of Panama's largest-circulation daily Critica reported that Lyndon LaRouche is discussing the necessity of constructing a high-speed rail corridor to cross the Darien Gap, the 100-kilometer wide jungle along the Panamanian-Colombian border through which not even a highway has ever been built. This project would be a key part of the international extension of the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) project. (See EIR's Aug. 20 article, "NAWAPA: Bridging the Darien Gap.")

The battle is thus joined: On Aug. 20, the U.S. Embassy in Panama issued a statement insisting that the "natural state" of the Darien Gap should not be touched.

Charge d'Affaires David Gilmour issued his statement, "U.S. Embassy Applauds Decision to Reject the Opening of the Darien," ostensibly in support of the Panamanian government's announcement that it would not even explore the possibility of building a highway through Panama's portion of the Gap, to connect up with a Colombian highway project, the "Transversal of the Americas," which is to run from Colombia's eastern border with Venezuela to its western border with Panama.

Gilmour alleged that "environmental and national security risks" preclude changing the "natural state of the environment in the Darien," and repeated the stupid argument that breaching "the natural barrier" would let screw worm and foot and mouth disease cross from South America into Central and North America (an argument similar to a call to end world travel because it spreads diseases).

As for the security threat, as the Critica article points out, the Darien Gap "is generally considered to be impenetrable (although, if truth be told, it is, today, overrun by the FARC narcoterrorist drug cartel, among others)."

Mexico's Role in Ongoing Mars Projects

Sept. 7 (EIRNS)—The scientists who announced last week a new interpretation of 30-year-old Mars data, which recasts the discussion of life on Mars, addressed a packed press conference this morning, explaining their research, and the changes taking place on Mars. The briefing was held at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), because the principal author of the scientific paper describing the results, Dr. Rafael Navarro-Gonzáles, is Mexican, and teaches at the UNAM. Dr. Navarro has been working with NASA on research to shed light on questions of the possibility of life on Mars, and other locations outside the Earth.

Dr. Navarro has participated in a broad range of field research, like his coauthor Chris McKay, studying life in extreme environments, such as the Atacama Desert in Chile, and Antarctica. He obtained his advanced degree in chemistry in the U.S. in 1989, and returned to Mexico in 1991, to help the growth of the scientific community there. At the press conference, the scientists said they were very pleased to be at UNAM, which has had 10 years of collaboration with NASA. Dr. Navarro is a member of the science team that will be analyzing results from one of the instruments to fly on the Mars Science Laboratory next year.

Since April, Mexico has had a civilian space agency, with modest funding and modest goals. Now, with the thrust to build NAWAPA taking shape internationally, the scientific, engineering, and manpower of Mexico will have to be mobilized. The talents and capabilities of Mexico's space community will play a vital role.

Von Humboldt Colloquium and Its Impact in Colombia

Sept. 10 (EIRNS)—On Aug. 30-31, a colloquium was held in Bogota, Colombia on "The Humboldt Brothers and Their Impact in Latin America," organized by the German Academic Exchange Service (DADD), the German Embassy in Colombia, and the Javieriana University, as part of Colombia's celebration of its national Bicentennial.

Approximately 40 people attended the colloqium. The lack of young people in attendance proved a disappointment to several of the speakers, who view the revival of the Humboldt brothers' work as a crucial flank against the destructive neoliberal orientation of current education in Colombia. In his speech, Guillermo Hoyos of the Javierana University proposed that a Humboldt curriculum be created to attract youth to research, history, and science, in place of the current focus on study for profit. Both Hoyos and another speaker, Jorge Arias de Greiff, lamented that youth are not attending such events because of the education they are receiving, which has abandoned real science.

Members of the Lyndon LaRouche Association of Colombia distributed a leaflet identifying the active collaboration between the Humboldts, Benjamin Franklin and his U.S. networks, and great Ibero-American scientists such as Colombia's José Celestino Mutis, and the revival of that kind of thinking today, as embodied in LaRouche's NAWAPA concept. Nearly a third of those present at the colloquium gave their contact information to further discussion on the NAWAPA project.

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