Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

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Peruvian government scraps privatisation in face of protests

President Alejandro Toledo’s administration was forced to
suspend the sale of two power utilities in the south of the
country after violent protests rocked the region for nearly five
Two deaths, hundreds injured and arrested, and nearly US$100
million in damages resulted from demonstrations in the southern
city of Arequipa last week. The government declared a state of
emergency, putting the military in charge, and imposed a
night-time curfew in the city to control rioters.

The protests began the same day the government sold the power
utilities to Belgium’s Tractebel for $167 million.

The upheaval follows a wave of political conflict, much of it
violent, in the Andes and neighbouring regions, including the
recent attempt to remove Venezuela’s democratically-elected
President Chavez and replace him with a US stooge.

The Peruvian government, under pressure from the IMF, was planning
to sell the two power utilities to the Belgian firm for less than
half of their true value. The tendering process was criticised for
lack of transparency, no other company but Tractebel apparently
bidding, and suspicion arising from the fact that, like Tractebel,
the wife of President Toledo is Belgian.



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