Thursday, November 30, 2006

Military, Industry, and World Bank Money in Uruguay

Despite fierce international controversy and opposition, the Finnish pulp and paper company Oy Metsa-Botnia said the World Bank's International Finance Corporation has approved 520 million US dollars in financing for its pulp mill project in Fray Bentos, Uruguay plus 170 million US dollars in additional insurance guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

Meanwhile, thousands of Argentine citizens opposed to the completion of the pulp mill are assembling and picketing across the river, blockading access to Fray Bentos from Argentina, and the Uruguay army has moved into positions surrounding and protecting the pulp mill contruction site.

Miguel Campostrino, leader of the Gualeguaychu Environmental Assembly responsible for the route blockades was quoted in a newspaper saying that “over a thousand people are willing to cross over to Uruguay and do whatever is necessary to avoid the completion of the Botnia pulp mill, and I’m not bragging”.

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