Posts Tagged ‘privatization’

Mexico: University forum examines Peña Nieto’s energy privatization and US national security

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for Novembr 12, 2013. See original here.]

By Elizabeth Velasco C.

Mexico City – The privatization of the Mexican energy sector serves the interests of the United States government, which, for national security reasons, requires an assured supply of oil, gas and water during the course of the first half of the 21st century, according to Josefina Morales and Carlos Fazio, professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and José Antonio Almazán, a representative of retirees of the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Electrician’s Union), and Jesús Ramírez of the executive committee of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA – Movement for National Regeneration).

The panelists concurred on the description of Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform as “the outcome of 30 years of neoliberal reforms imposed since Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,” which have already brought to Mexico “a war of plunder of its strategic resources and the social gains bequeathed by the Mexican revolution.” (more…)

Chile: An economic plan drawn up 40 years ago

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

x chile copperNeoliberalism in the extreme

[Translation of an article from Punto Final for September 6, 2013, as republished in Clarín of Santiago on September 8. See original here.]

By Paul Walder

It’s been 40 years since the coup d’état. A period that has passed with the slowness of social paralysis, of frozen consciences. A period that has allowed for the installation by force of the most unbridled capitalism on the planet, a model that was later to be adjusted and perfected until its consolidation.

It has been four decades divided into two great stages, the first under the harshness of dictatorial violence, the second marked by the seductive pleasures of consumption. If in other places and other epochs those 40 years were long enough for several wars and revolutions, Chile after the coup and the repression fell into a heavy sleep that left the way clear for counter-revolution and the collapse of all its social and labor conquests. Chile, which at the beginning of the ‘70s of the last century passed through a singular revolutionary process without a shot being fired, began the next century with an economic and social structure more fitting to the 19th century. The oligarchy, made up of a few traditional families and other more recent arrivals, took possession of the country, of its natural resources and of the lives of millions of workers and consumers. (more…)

Chile: Mine supervisors oppose privatization of lithium production

Friday, June 15th, 2012


((El Mostrador photo))

[Translations of two articles, the first from El Clarín for June 13, 2012, the second from El Mostrador for June 14. See originals here and here and related articles here and here. Copper mining in Chile, nationalized in 1971, is under the control of CODELCO, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile, the National Copper Corporation of Chile.]

Government plans to hand lithium mining over to private corporations

The government yesterday opened domestic and international public bidding for the exploitation of the country’s lithium mines, which has until now been in the hands of two state enterprises. The winning bidders will be able to extract as much as 100,000 tons of the metal for a period 20 years and will have to pay the state seven percent of the monthly profits as royalties.

Lithium, also known as “white gold,” is used in automobile, cell-phone and computer batteries but also in glass making and medicines. (more…)

Argentina: Petroleum workers speak out on Repsol management and the current outlook

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for June 8, 2012. See original here and related article here.]

by Sebastián Premici

“I never understood why they privatized it. What they did with the oil fields was terrible, we could see that, but we did not know the whole of it. The business had very good economic results, you could see it on the books, but none of it stayed here.” Omar Stocco is a chemical engineer and plant manager of the YPF refinery in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. He has worked for the company for 25 years and was a witness to the whole process of privatization. Now, at 52, he will be in charge of security at the refinery, which currently produces 13,000 cubic meters of fuel. But he will also be a witness to the new managerial and political change in the petroleum company. “Everything is in place for things to be done well,” he declared. (more…)

Transverse anger in Chile

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


The student movement and citizen protests against exclusion, neoliberalism and the lack of democracy

[Translation of an article from SubVersiones for August 25, 2011. See original here and related articles here.]

“This is our moment and this is our position: Free, quality public education” — SubVersiones photo by Italo Retamal


by Claudia Villagrán Muñoz

Something changed in Chile on August 4. It was no longer only students who were mobilized but an important part of Chilean society actively joined in the students’ clear and concise demands: free, quality public education for all Chilean children and youths. The march, called by high-school and university students and by the professors, who on that day defied the authorities’ orders not to hold another march along the main avenue of Santiago, was brutally repressed by the Chilean police, who are under the command of the Ministry of the Interior.

There arose immediately a widespread indignation over the prohibition against the right to assemble freely to demonstrate, indignation against the police forces being used against minors who were not causing trouble, indignation over seeing downtown Santiago in a state of siege as in the worst days of the dictatorship, indignation because a just demand was not being listened to after three months of legitimate protest. When night fell, the most humble of the population, sectors of the middle class and even the well-to-do all over the country joined together for a cacerolazo [a noisy protest involving the banging of pots and pans] organized by the citizenry in a matter of hours, a massive spontaneous protest that had not been heard since protests across the country against the Pinochet dictatorship. (more…)

Honduran students oppose privatization of schools

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011


Diario Tiempo photo

With teachers’ support,  students occupy schools in response to proposed reforms

[Translations of four articles from Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula and El Heraldo of Tegucigalpa, for August 6, 7, 8 and 9. See originals here, here, here and here.]

Diario Tiempo, August 9

Police continue removing students from occupied schools

Tegucigalpa – Hundreds of Honduran police on Tuesday removed groups of high-school students who were occupying some ten schools in different departments of the country in opposition to what they consider a proposal for privatizing education, a police source reports.

“We have recovered eight institutions so that children in the capital can go to class,” declared police commissioner and coordinator of the operation, René Maradiaga, in an interview broadcast on ABC. “We have detained 48 people,” who were taken to police headquarters in the capital. (more…)

Chile: Harshest repression yet for student demonstrations

Friday, August 5th, 2011


“The struggle belongs to the whole society. All for free education.”

[Translations of three articles from August 5, 2011, the first from La Tercera, the second and third from El Mostrador. Both publications are in Santiago, Chile. See originals here, here and here and related articles here.]

Government confirms 874 arrested in student protests and 90 police injured

Government spokesman Andrés Chadwick confirmed this morning that the nation-wide total of persons detained in the student march yesterday was 874 and that there are “more than 90 injured police officers.” He further added that the demonstrators’ constitutional right to assemble was not violated since it “depends on a request” and this was denied by local authorities…

In response to student claims concerning violation of the right of assembly, Chadwick declared that “the constitutional right to assemble is subject to a request, to authorization, when it is to occur in a public place, and that has to be submitted to the local authorities and the local authorities determine the place where the right will be exercised.” (more…)

Chile: Student demonstrations continue as repression escalates

Sunday, July 17th, 2011


El Mostrador photo

Demonstration in capital draws 50,000

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago for July 14, 2011. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

According to early counts, more than 50,000 people gathered in the center of the capital city on Thursday [July 14] for another march called by the Colegio de Profesores and the Confederación de Estudiantes Universitarios (Confech) to oppose proposals on university funding offered by the executive and to insist on ending profit making in education.

Although the city government had not authorized the demonstration to gather in the Plaza Italia area, it was from there that the column of people, carrying signs and poster, began to move west on the Alameda. (more…)

Chile: Copper miners strike against looming privatization

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

One-day stoppage falls on 40th anniversary of nationalization law

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for July 11, 2011. See original here.]

Workers in Codelco [Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile – National Copper Corporation of Chile] began a 24-hour strike this morning as a warning against the eventual privatization of the mining company.

Some 15,000 regular workers and another 30,000 contract workers are called on to participate in the strike, which the company says will entail a loss of 41 million dollars.

The president of the Federación de Trabajadores del Cobre [Federation of Copper Workers], Raimundo Espinoza, said on the 24 Horas television channel, “We have in effect a complete shutdown of Codelco; there is no production. After 24 hours we will go back into production, because this strike is a warning in the face of questions we have already presented to Codelco, in the face of the question of privatization, of the participation of this government, which has invested a minimum level of resources into the company.”

According to the leader, the stoppage includes the Chuquicamata, Andina, Teniente, Ventanas and El Salvador divisions and the central office.

“We are undertaking this stoppage because we have concrete evidence of an effort not just by Codelco but by the government to begin a secret privatization of this great state enterprise. We are going to make a presentation to the comptroller and we sent letters to the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies and to the presidents of all the political parties, giving them background on our vision of the company,” he said.

In an interview with Radio Cooperativa, the leader asserted that they will send information on this “secret privatization” to the comptroller general of the republic and to Congress.

The mobilization coincides with the 40th anniversary of the law nationalizing copper that led to the founding of Codelco. The enterprise has decided to postpone celebrating the anniversary.

Chile: Thousands of students march for better education, against privatization

Friday, July 1st, 2011

El Mostrador photo

[Translations of two articles, the first from La Jornada of Mexico City, the second from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, both from July 1, 2011.  See originals here and here and related articles here.]

Hundreds of thousands of students demand education reforms
Confrontations with police result in 38 arrests, 20 injuries to cops

By Enrique Gutiérrez

Santiago, June 30 – In one of the largest demonstrations of the past 20 years, some 200,000 Chilean students rallied today at La Moneda, the  presidential palace, to demand reform in public education and to reject  privatization, resulting in isolated confrontations with the police, with at least 38 arrests and two dozen injuries to police officers, and a warning from the president, businessman Sebastián Piñera, that strikes and demonstrations will not improve the educational system.

“Un pueblo educado jamás será engañado” [“An educated people will never be deceived”], “Queremos educación pública gratuita y de calidad” [“We want free, quality education”] shouted the students, among whom were high school and university students as well as professors.  “We want the government to understand that this is a political movement, that what we are fighting for is better education,”  asserted student leader Camila Vallejos. (more…)

Chile: Copper miners challenge government indifference

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Union claims plot to privatize is behind contract workers’ strike

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago for June 8, 2011. See original here. Codelco is the Corporación Nacional del Cobre, the state-owned National Copper Corporation; the El Teniente division of Codelco, about 80 kilometers south of Santiago, works the largest underground copper mine in the world.]

by Claudia Rivas Arenas

“A political conspiracy” to weaken Codelco is the charge leveled on Wednesday by the Federación de Trabajadores del Cobre [Federation of Copper Workers] of the El Teniente division, which has been on shut-down for five days, resulting in a loss to the country so far of 50 million dollars.

The workers travelled to the National Congress to seek the backing of Senators Juan Pablo Letelier (Partido Socialista) and Guido Girardi (Partido por la Democracia), who criticized the administration harshly for its role in the conflict and because, they assert, neither the Minister of Mining, Laurence Goldborne, nor the Minister of Labor, Evelyn Matthei, has attempted to solve the problem. (more…)

Chile: Students march for more access to education, an end to privatization

Friday, May 13th, 2011

[Translations of articles from La Jornada of Mexico City and El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for May 12, 2011. See originals here and here.]

La Jornada

El Mostrador photo

Thousands of youths reject privatization of education

By Enrique Gutiérrez

Santiago, May 12 – Some 25,000 Chilean students took to the streets of Santiago on Thursday and thousands more marched in other parts of the country to demand a strengthening of public higher education and rejection of privatization of education, and gave the rightist government of Sebastián Piñera until May 21 to repond to their demands.

After a peaceful beginning, the response of the police was to begin suddently to repress them with water cannons and tear gas, using the repressive measures of the ministry of the interior, which sparked encounters with the students that lasted for hours. (more…)