Tuesday, January 21, 2014

South America News Roundup Dec 2, 2011: Chilean Justice, Brazilian Interest Rates, Argentinean Inflation

article from December 2, 2011
By Jamie Douglas

Chilean justice

Chile has been involved in a long-running trial, going back to the years of the shameful overthrow of President Salvador Allende. Judge Jorge Zepeda has just issued an indictment request for US Captain Raymond E. Davis for his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial execution of two US citizens, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi. Horman was a 31-year-old filmmaker while Teruggi was a 23-year-old student.

Captain Davis was commander of the US Military Group in Chile, answerable directly to the CIA, which, at the time, had their dirty hands in most countries in Latin America under the guise of “preserving democracy,” an effort that ultimately ended up costing tens of thousands of lives in the region and, in fact, helping to pave the way for brutal dictatorships to take the place of democracy.

Captain Davis at last stands accused today, 38 years later, of bearing responsibility for ratting the two US citizens out to the Chilean Secret Police while collaborating with the now-imprisoned Chilean Army Brigadier General Pedro Espinoza Bravo. He was a leader of DINA, the feared secret police, who, in 1976, planned the execution by car bomb in Washington DC of Chilean Diplomat Orlando Letelier, a former member of Salavador Allende’s cabinet.

The bullet-riddled bodies of both of the US citizens were found on a street in Santiago de Chile after they had been executed along with many others in the capital’s National Stadium. The United States did nothing for their citizens, except help to cover up their murder.

Documents declassified in 1999 clearly showed the involvement and contribution of intelligence by Captain Davis that led to the death of the two US citizens. The whereabouts of Captain Davis are currently unknown, and it is very unlikely that the FBI or any other US law-enforcement agency will assist in the detention and deportation of this highly decorated war criminal.

Brazilian interest rates

Brazil has led the world with the highest interest rates for the last 23 months and still does so, in spite of dropping the base rate by 0.5% to 11% recently. Financing any purchase in Brazil is a costly affair, and, like in Argentina, many merchants selling consumer goods are offering interest-free installment credit to anyone with a national ID card. It must be noted that not making payments is a criminal offense, where you get locked up without a trial until the debt is satisfied.

Brazil leads the world with the highest rates, followed by Hungary, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, China, Russia, Australia, Colombia and Taiwan.

Argentinean inflation

Argentina has been less than forthcoming with their official inflation rate, since former President Néstor Kirchner† replaced all the INDEC technocrats with his handpicked political cronies. The figures that have been released to the public since that time have been rather disingenuous, rarely approaching even one-half of what is taken for reality.

For a while, private consulting firms have issued their own highly academic figures. They arrived at their data with good old scientific methods: Sending hordes of people to all kinds of commercial establishments to ascertain the cost of consumer goods across a wide spectrum of items. Their figures, unlike those of the government-appointed cronies, do not lie.

So to combat the contrariness of those darn truth-sayers, the government of President Christina Fernández de Kirchner had her secretariat of domestic trade file a lawsuit against the private consulting firms. These same firms had already paid heavy fines for the audacity of speaking the truth against the official fiction created by the government lackeys.

Judge Alejandro Catania, a friend of the Kirchners’ who was assigned this case, tried to get the International Monetary Fund involved in this, to show that the wayward Melconian & Santangelo private consulting agency were indeed at fault. The government of Presidenta Cristina is on a collision course with the IMF over the false information disseminated by INDEC, and an agreement signed with the IMF will have to be fulfilled by January 10, 2012. The Argentinean government apparently prefers to be a financial rogue state.

Jamie Douglas
San Rafael, Mendoza

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