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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Down by Law

Under the Covers

  • 12.13.06

    On Dec. 9, Evo Morales convened the "Segunda Cumbre," a summit of Latin American leaders that included Lula, Bachelet, Chavez, Ecuador's newly-elected Correa, and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega. (Report). The group discussed a new gas pipeline through Chile, legalizing coca, and expanding free trade. The event went largely unnoticed by US media, which remains obsessed with the ME. Yet LA not only has huge undeveloped energy reserves, but also accounts for 7 times as much US trade as the Middle East, and is also the key to issues like immigration, illegal drugs, and the environment. Also absent from the scene was Daniel Ortega's brother Humberto, the former Nicaraguan Defense Minister who now reportedly runs the lucrative "mafia maderera," a group of tropical hardwood companies that have reportedly been pillaging Central America. Of course most Latin American countries that still have tropical hardwoods left, like Peru and Brazil, also have "mafia madereras" -- for which the US is a key export market.