Ibero-American News Digest
Half a Million March in Chile
Aug. 14 (EIRNS)An estimated 500,000 people marched Aug. 9 in ten cities across Chile, 150,000 in the capital, Santiago, in the ongoing protest against the Pinochet-era for-profit education system that has made higher education prohibitively expensive for all but the elites.
The Chilean Students Federation (CONFECH), the National Teachers Association, and Secondary Students Association organized the march, but other sectors of society are joining in, in a process that is taking on the characteristics of a mass strike.
Security forces have responded with fierce repression, using tear gas and water cannons as well as hooded provocateurs. In Santiago, 397 marchers were arrested on Aug. 9.
Members of Congress have offered to meet with student leaders in an effort to find some basis for compromise. However, CONFECH leader Camila Vallejo has stated that any proposed solution must come from President Sebastián Piñera, and that students await a serious response to their demands for creating a free, state-run educational system.
Piñera, whose approval ratings have plummeted to 26% from 31% ten days ago, is desperate. He convened his Council of Ministers Aug. 10 to try to formulate some plan of action. He says he's willing to meet with students, but only to discuss the 21 points in his new education proposal, which protest leaders have already rejected. The slogan heard in the Aug. 9 marches was, "It's coming down, it's coming down, Pinochet's education [system] is coming down."
After an all-day meeting of CONFECH's executive committee Aug. 13, Vallejo stated that in the absence of a response from Piñera, they plan to hold another national strike on Aug. 18.
'Peruvian-Flavored Fascism: The Wolf Removes His Sheepskin'
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)Under that title, EIR's Lima correspondent Luis Vásquez Medina warns in an article posted today to his website (http:luisernestovasquez.com), that Peruvians had better wake up. "In Peru today, a political process is taking shape which could very well carry us into a historic tragedy of Dantesque proportions. Two factors historically key for the birth of fascism are converging. On the one side, the explosion of the worst economic crisis in world history, and on the other, the coming to power of a President with all the psychological characteristics to become an Andean Hitler."
In office less than a month, President Ollanta Humala has demonstrated that what he says is no indication of what he may do, or intends to do, such is his perverse capacity of cynical lying.
Take the case of his policy towards the narcotics trade, which is once again hollowing out Peru. In his inaugural speech, Humala solemnly pronounced that his government would not legalize any drug, not even the coca leaf. He then promptly named a top legalizer as head of the national anti-drug agency, DEVIDA.
Vasquéz writes that you probably could not find within a thousand-mile radius a more servile puppet of George Soros than Ricardo Soberón, Humala's appointee to head DEVIDA. For decades now, Soberón has been on the payroll of numerous of that Nazi-trained speculator's myriad drug-legalization NGOs, ranging from the Andean Commission of Jurists and the Andean Council of Coca Producers, to the Transnational Institute, the Dutch-based center spewing drug legalization personnel and matériel globally. Even as he was assuming his post as anti-drug czar, Soberón reiterated that "personally," he favors the legalization of drugs.
Sparking the Imagination of Argentine Children
Aug. 14 (EIRNS)Over 2 million Argentines have visited the "Tecnopolis" science and technology exposition in Buenos Aires in one month. Children came in large numbers to marvel at the exhibits on nuclear energy and aerospace technology, among others, and learn of the country's scientific achievements in its 200 years of existence. Many children left Tecnopolis proclaiming "I want to be an astronaut."