US Military Presence in Latin America Increases: New Military Base in Peru

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Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / December 29, 2016

Image credit: Últimas Noticias
Image credit: Últimas Noticias

The Peruvian news site Reina de la Selva published yesterday that a project for a US military base had been signed by the Regional Government of Amazonas, Perú, the representative of the Southern Command in Peru, Mino Swayne, and the Legal Representative of Parthenon Contracting E.I.R.L., under a deceitful name: Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) of the Amazonas.

The report also informs that “this project will be financed by the Southern Command or by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), thanks to the agreement made by the Regional Government of Amazonas, to strengthen the response capabilities against any type of natural or manmade disaster, because our region is prone to natural disasters with severe consequences.

The project will demand an investment of US$ 1,351,779.06 dollars to pay for the design and building. The base will have a 625-square-meter heliport, and a two-floor building. The ground level will be equipped with a warehouse of humanitarian aid products of around 1,000 square meters. And the first floor will be the headquarters of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre, also of approximately 1,000 square meters. Its will be equipped with subsections: logistics, communications, monitoring and analysis, operations, evaluator, and others. There will also be a press conference room, a meeting room, a kitchenette, two bedrooms for reserve troops and a parking area of approximately 800 square meters”.

The REOC has been increasingly present in Peru since 2009 and, suspiciously, according to the media outlet Cuba Debate, the places they chose to settle down in “aren’t identified as disaster areas”, newspaper Cubadebate says.

With the excuse of emergency response centres, the US continues to increase surveillance on Latin America. The clearest example of this is Haiti after the earthquake, which derived in a military occupation by the UN, led by the United States.

Military bases or occupations, whether they are led by the UN, Nato, or the EOCs, are usually established under the guise of cooperation and natural disaster aid.

For example, in Paraguay one of these bases was set up in February 2014 on the border area of Aguaray. Some years before that, the Mariscal Estigarribia base had been placed on another border area, the Guaraní Aquifer, one of the biggest freshwater reserves of the planet.

And it’s not surprising that this plan to control Latin America is being supported by local right-wing governments, because the US itself influences the elections that choose them. In Perú, they are enabled by the newly-inaugurated President Kuczynski. And in Argentina, there’s Mauricio Macri, who according to Política Argentina intended to install a US military base in a strategic location: the Southernmost province, Tierra del Fuego, the closest place to the valuable glaciers of Antarctica.

Even supposedly progressivist governments such as the one led by Cristina Fernández in Argentina voted to maintain their troops in the UN-led military occupation. Furthermore, many of them have sanctioned repressive laws such as the Anti-Terrorist Law.

In Colombia, the government of Juan Manuel Santos coexists with six US military bases (what would the US think if a single foreign military base existed on its territory?). This year, Santos was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for the Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP (the guerrilla wasn’t awarded for its efforts despite having been nominated together with the President). But the Nobel Peace Prize winner is now making cooperation agreements with Nato, with the goal of “combatting terrorism and drug trafficking”, which is the old excuse the Colombian government uses when it creates or increases armed conflict and lets the main powers of the West intervene on its soil.

It is known that every time Nato intervened, the only thing that followed was more war. Examples are Libya and Afghanistan, where over 20,000 people (many of them civilians) died.

And, back to Peru, this country already has nine military bases surveilling its territory. Apparently, the US intends to keep extending its power over Latin America. Lest we forget the military dictatorships they created to destroy our democracies and murder our social leaders and citizens.

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