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Bush's Macabre Barrick

Bush's Macabre Barrick

By Javier Rodríguez Pardo

The Canadian mining corporation Barrick Gold is not a sanctuary of sweaty capital, nor does it enjoy an exemplary image in the world market. It was born by unscrupulous efforts of the drug trafficker Peter Munk, formerly associated with the tycoon Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer of Saudi Arab origin.

The Canadian mining corporation Barrick Gold is not a sanctuary of sweaty capital, nor does it enjoy an exemplary image in the world market. It was born by unscrupulous efforts of the drug trafficker Peter Munk, formerly associated with the tycoon Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer of Saudi Arab origin.

This corporate formula was founded in Toronto, Canada, by the gold mining company Barrick Gold Corporation with contributions from political relations on the one hand and currency on the other, which promoted it to the fore. With Peter Munk, the British Crown enters the pristine circle of the company, through his friendship with Prince Philip, but it is the Arab Khashoggi who brings the largest capital.


George W. Bush, former director of the Central American Intelligence (CIA), is the third chapter in this story. As vice president of the United States, he contributes a gold mine located on a property owned by the US government, which Barrick ends up buying for 63 million dollars. This is the Goldstrike mine that actually contains $ 10 billion worth of gold.

Shortly thereafter, George Bush appears on the board of directors of Barrick Gold Corporation with the glittering title of "honorary advisor to the company's international board." For his control he does not hesitate to place the former Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, as his assistant; But it was Edward N. Ney, former ambassador to Canada, his spokesman on the board.

Starting in 1995, the former US president has been given more time and heads the body of "honorary advisers to Barrick Gold Corporation." A year later the company receives the Zaire gold exploration and exploitation concession. The fact is the cover of the world's newspapers because until then the influence of the former director of the CIA had allowed Barrick to seize important metal deposits, but what happened in Zaire became a capital robbery due to the bloody management that crowned it.

Zaire - 40 million inhabitants - contracted international debts that it could not pay. Incredible for a leading producer and exporter of cobalt in the world; second in diamonds, a great producer of copper and no less of tin, zinc, barite, magnesium, boron and a great rising star that kept gold in its entrails.

Such wealth that had so worried the British, brings together the looters of the first world, who are advancing determinedly on one of the richest regions but also with one of the poorest populations on the planet. Cruel and reiterated paradigm.

It cost little then for Rwanda and Uganda to invade Zaire. And while death took hold of hundreds of thousands of Zaireans, in systematized genocide, Barrick Gold Corporation, Anglo American Corporation and Río Tinto Zinc, drew the lines to divide the plunder of the mining enclaves, enslaving the survivors they needed as a hand of works after having been pushed to the scaffold.

In this way the macabre Barrick Gold is consolidated, which built its mining empire thanks to arms trafficking, drug trafficking that also knew how to promote the opium war, and which had in its favor an army of Bush's CIA agents who strategically swept the path of metals and precious stones. In Jeffrey Steinberg's article, "George Bush's Heart of Darkness," published by EIR International, it reads that "the invasion of eastern Zaire by the combined armies of Rwanda and Uganda, which began in September 1996, coincided with the entry of Barrick and Anglo American to take over exactly that area ... Thousands of refugees died in the fighting and another quarter of a million were forced to flee to the jungle, to die of hunger and disease, while some five hundred thousand crossed the border into Rwanda to die, probably, at the hands of the Tutsis. "

At the same time, the description of Barrick Gold's presence in Tanzania and Congo, made by the Mines and Communities website, seems shocking to us. (http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Company/bulyanhulu1.htm). Where Barrick intervened, there is a sequel of destruction and death.

We are talking about the same company that today is found in the Andes Mountains, thanks to an immense strip that runs from north to south, plundered from Chileans and Argentines by the Mining Treaty of Joint Implementation and by leonine binational agreements that yield the sovereignty of both nations.

Veladero and Pascua Lama are exponents of Barrick Gold's purpose and the transnational power of the mining invasions in South America. New geographical limits, with legal extraterritoriality, were enabled with these treaties and agreements imposed by the carnal relations of the southern presidents with the patriarch of the North: Menem - Bush in Argentina or Fuji Mori - Bush in Peru, it is the same.


For now, these countries do not require militarization, although the Empire prepares bases and facilities in the vicinity of strategic natural resources. The multinationals have legislation that authorized the transfer of the intended sites; they handed over sovereignty. In the same way, packages of national and provincial laws drafted by the consultants of the mining trusts, provide them with free supplies and energy for the agreed devastation. A new frontier, a new country opens up in the high peaks of the Andes Mountains, so that these companies can drill extensive tunnels towards the Pacific looking for northern markets, regardless of the destruction of ecosystems in their wake. Meanwhile, Argentines and Chileans will have to accept the figures and values ​​presented by the looting multinationals: what minerals, how much and what leaves through these parallel customs?

With this treaty they can trample on national parks or biosphere reserves such as San Guillermo in San Juan, where the Veladero and Pascua Lama deposits are located. But through the laws that we have mentioned, with fiscal incentives for exploration and mining, it is how they build looting. Everything is granted and everything is allowed. They can deduct from income tax 100% of the amount invested in determining the feasibility of a project.

With the law 24,196 they apply double deduction of exploration expenses and in addition they are granted fiscal stability and change for thirty years, accelerated amortization of goods and supplies and the possibility of indefinitely transferring the loss of an accelerated amortization to the next fiscal year. Another law returns VAT on exploration expenses. And the Mining Investment Law exempts them from paying import duties, or statistical tax for the importation of capital goods, equipment and supplies.

We allow mining companies to deduct from expenses the subsequent remediation of the damage that they themselves cause, and are exempted from income tax on the profits obtained from the capitalization of companies. Another highlight is royalties, by setting a maximum cap of 3%, although in some provinces the fee they must pay does not exceed 2% at the mine mouth (in Chubut, for example), when in other countries it is charged between 14 and 40% of the gross obtained. They also enjoy 100% exemption from the tax on minimum presumed income, early refund and financing of VAT and capitalization of up to 50% of the valuations of mining reserves. They are also exempt from any tax on mining property, and provincial and municipal taxes are not applied to transnationals that even usually agree to royalties lower than 3%, as in Chubut; The privileged mining companies do not pay the tax on the check or the transfers they make abroad of capital and profits.

In this sense, they are authorized not to enter the country 100% of what is produced by their exports. These privileged companies can "export" the metals "given away" by the Argentine Nation, through Patagonian ports that, the more southern they do it, the greater the reimbursement they receive. In case of using the port of Comodoro Rivadavia, they enjoy a 5% refund, but we must not forget that we charge them 3% royalties, in the best of cases. The difference is made by the Argentine people.

The multinational mining activity is exempt from paying the taxes included in the cost of liquid fuels: they pay, for example, fifty cents a liter of diesel when at the town pump it is around one peso and forty cents. But not satisfied with such benefits, in the Cuyo province of San Juan, the electrical energy that these mining plants receive is subsidized by the neighbors, in the electricity bills, through an item that finances the extension of 500 KV of "electric line mining ". And to think that San Juan winemakers and agricultural producers complained because they are obliged to pay for water and take care of its use, instead the mining companies divert springs and dry basins in the high peaks of the Andes Mountains to leach, with solutions of compounds chemicals, hundreds of mountains of precious minerals, non-renewable resources.

This story would be incomplete if we do not incorporate another view of the events.

The United States needs to manage the world's reserves of critical and strategic minerals because they are depleted in its territory or are scarce. He never lost the horizon of the Monroe plan of a single American nation, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

The recolonization suffered by the South American countries also explains the advance made by the powerful country of the North through hasty war scenarios, almost urgently. In principle, the idea of ​​planting anti-missile bases in Patagonia, an issue that we have dealt with in our articles Nuclear Missiles in Patagonia and Missiles on the Waiting List, is a complementary theme of the joint maneuvers of the Pentagon's armed forces in Argentine territory, such as it already happens in the northwest, on the coast and the Paraná Delta and in the southern region.

A conflict hypothesis is the pretext for landing in the Guaraní aquifer. From there, the United States draws up its plan to dominate the gigantic resource, because in this case the laws of the tri-border nations are not the answer it needs, there are no agreements, no cessions. On the other hand, for metalliferous resources, it is enough that the Argentine example prevail, packages of twenty laws led by the Mining Investment Law and the Argentine-Chilean Joint Mining Implementation Treaty.

Under what circumstances would the hawks of the Empire need to send troops to the southern tip of the continent, if they already have sepoy laws, rulers and officials in their favor?

In case the peoples opt for the insurgency and oppose the dispossession of their natural resources!

The social movements of Patagonia and of the northern peoples at the foot of the Andes Mountains, which are multiplying throughout the continent with a domino effect, are a conclusive expression for the USA to install bases "imagining" possible terrorist attacks on its territory. However, they had not foreseen that an unknown mountain valley, of scarcely 30,000 inhabitants, would plebiscite, with 81% of the votes in the polls, the most absolute rejection of the mining invader. Esquel made headlines in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Financial Times, and raised concerns in the stock markets, which received strong shocks when Canada's Meridian Gold was forced to abandon the gold of the Cordón Esquel.

The competition

Another phenomenon that breaks out with force in this chess is the competition of transnationals. The presence of the Asian giants with millions of hungry mouths and development projects that require vital inputs, resources and territory.

Chinese investments will be quantified in dollars, but the people of the Great Wall anticipate trade deals. Exploiting the gold and copper mine of El Pachón, for example, in exchange for the Agua Negra bi-oceanic tunnel, in the province of San Juan, which Argentina requires to go out to the Pacific, an offer they received from the Menemista governor José Luis Gioja. The Nation also works with the Chinese in other markets, a few tons of cereals for the construction of energy works, combined with some oil basin.

The Asian presence in the South American continent is not to the North American liking, it is well known, and the rivalry, the competition, accelerates the imposition of the FTAA and other commercial organizations that seal the dominance of the great Empire in these latitudes.

Meanwhile, the peoples continue to be unemployed, poor in basic goods and rich in extreme humiliation, mired in poverty and with little hope, although the volume of violence that unleashes such marginality is increasing every day. History throws warnings and, it seems that rejecting the mining invasions is one of them.

Now, how do the Bushes continue in this story?

Objectively, the North American nation needs minerals, as we already warned, and they do not come alone. You have to go for them.

We have not only the money, says George Bush, but also the right marines who, as appropriate, can go together or separately. But how good it would be if everyone were as reasonable as Argentine President Carlos Menem, reflects the old CIA cowboy. It must be seen that in that country, we should not resort to any of these options. To exploit the mining we have credits that back the deposit itself and the rest is executed applying the current local legislation.

The Argentine president, to all this, floods the media with undeniable euphoria: compatriots - he proclaims at ease - my friend Bush has already given the order to invest in the country. Argentina is now reliable; we will exploit the mountains; it is time for our mining. And see if it will not be reliable that Barrick Gold, my friend's own mining company, will come. What's more, with a couple of laws that are missing, everything will be resolved - he says with pride - while he extends his hand to his secretary Cohan, a geologist by profession who, with other mining consultants, had already prepared the text, ready for the National Congress approve it.

But the Chileans did not want to sign anything with the Argentines if before they did not give them part of the territories that they had been claiming and that thanks to Cardinal Samoré, special envoy of the Pope, the thing did not happen to greater.

Bush insisted: tell the senators to sign once and for all that polygon that Chile is asking for, which are crumbs. They are not going to fight over a trifle now. (Sometimes the Bushes apply a pacifist profile).

While calming the head of the Empire, the Argentine president managed to tell his friend Bush that there was a Santa Cruz ruler, Néstor Kirchner, who was delaying things, stirring up people against the signing of the Treaty, and that a few days ago he had placed in Caleta Olivia a prominent sign on the main route with the legend, "the continental ice cubes are as Argentine as Anillaco."

The ambassador says that when Bush heard about the continental ice, his advisers rushed to explain to him that they were incalculable reserves of fresh water. Then Bush was seen shaking his head in an affirmative way, hinting at knowledge of the subject and muttering that it does not matter if these ice cubes are Argentine or Chilean ... (he does not want to anticipate that sooner or later they will also go for them).
And finally everything was signed.

Chile had its lands reclaimed thanks to the happy polygonal and signed the Mining Treaty of Joint Implementation with Argentina, which cedes territory and jurisdiction of both nations to multinationals. Bush also complied, he sent Barrick to head an army of mining companies and Calos Saúl Menem announced with proud marketing that his carnal friend, George W. Bush, had invited him to Camp David to play golf.

* Chubut Antinuclear Movement (MACH)
Patagonian Ecological Systems (SEPA)
NGO MEMBER OF RENACE, NATIONAL NETWORK OF ECOLOGIST ACTION

N. B: For this article we use data and research published by EIR International. Reports of the session bulletin of the National Congress. The book "The Patagonian continental ice-The History Judge Us" by Dr. Alfredo Avelín. Own articles cited in the text, Nuclear Missiles in Patagonia; archives from the website www.noalamina.i8.com and from www.minesandcommunities.org


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