Archive for August, 2012

Chile: Proposed privatization of lithium mining generates political, economic and social conflicts

Thursday, August 16th, 2012


((Demonstrators in Santiago, June 22 — photo by Mario Ruiz))

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo for August 12, 2012. See original here and related article here.]

by Victor Farinelli

Faced with the prospect that 30 years from now its copper deposits will not produce the same as they are producing now, Chile is seeking alternatives to one of the pillars of its economy. Sale of ore is the principal force behind the Chilean GDP and accounts for more than half the country’s exports.

Among the several options, one in particular has the potential of replacing copper in its importance in the Chilean economy: the mining of lithium. The few reserves of lithium already being exploited in Chile represent 41 percent of world production of the mineral and the demand is growing exponentially.

Beyond that, the country is part of the region termed the Lithium Triangle, a name given the triple border between Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, which accounts for close to 85 percent of the known reserves of the material. (more…)

El Salvador: Maquiladoras, women and reform

Friday, August 10th, 2012


((ContraPunto photo))

There are currently 81,000 maquiladora workers in the country

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for July 30, 2012. See original here.]

by Gloria Morán

San Salvador – She is a 43-year-old woman and she has worked in a maquiladora making clothing in San Marcos, San Salvador, for eight years. During that time her routine has been to get up at 4:00 in the morning. She is Marta (a fictitious name), she lives in Apopa and it takes her an hour to get to the factory.

Marta is the single mother of three girls, 19, 13 and ten years of age, which makes her situation more difficult. For the past eight years she has had to get up early to make breakfast and lunch for herself and her daughters. Her salary is 187.40 dollars a month, minus the deductions required by law. (more…)

Paraguay: Lugo declares that Paraguayan Left is more united than ever

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012


((Agencia Brasil photo by Antonio Cruz))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for August 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Tadeu Breda

“The parliamentary coup changed my life completely,” former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo acknowledged in an interview with Brazilian alternative communications media on Thursday, August 2. “I was thinking that once my term ended in August, 2013, I could surrender power and dedicate myself to other things. Now, however, more than ever, I have to be more politician than bishop.”

It was with these words that Fernando Lugo announced that he will continue his political activities after the lightning impeachment he underwent on June 22. This is also one of the reasons that will keep him in the capital city of São Paulo for the next few days; the other is to continue treatment of a lymphatic cancer that developed in 2010. At the time, the then president sought out the specialists at the Hospital Sírio Libanês and the tumor was removed. (more…)

Chile: Newly declassified files reveal details of Pinochet’s espionage network

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for August 8, 2012. See original here.]

by Mauricio Weibel Barahona

Deceased General Augusto Pinochet’s secret police led an espionage network within and outside Chile that crossed paths with the Vatican, the FBI, Latin American dictatorships and the world press, according to thousands of previously unpublished secret files to which the German Press Agency (dpa — Deutsche Presse-Agentur) has gained access.

The documents, classified for decades, verify that Chilean repressive bodies, first DINA (Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional) and later CNI (Centro Nacional de Información), carried on almost daily correspondence with ministers and other authorities to coordinate operations throughout the world. (more…)