A few years ago I had read the bestselling book Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by whistle-blowing former economic hit man John Perkins. Recent events caused me to recall a few paragraphs of the engaging book. I thought that these paragraphs may be of interest to your readers.
“The Subaru slowed as it meandered through the streets of the beautiful resort town of Baños, famous for the hot baths created by underground volcanic rivers that flow from the highly active Mount Tungurahgua.
“Children ran along beside us, waving and trying to sell us gum and cookies. The spectacular scenery ended abruptly as the Subaru sped out of paradise and into a modern vision of Dante’s Inferno.
“A gigantic monster reared up from the river, a mammoth gray wall. Its dripping concrete was totally out of place, completely unnatural and incompatible with the landscape. Of course, seeing it there should not have surprised me. I knew all along that it would be waiting in ambush. I had encountered it many times before and in the past had praised it as a symbol of EHM [Economic Hit Men] accomplishments. Even so, it made my skin crawl.
“That hideous, incongruous wall is a dam that blocks the rushing Pastaza River, diverts its waters through huge tunnels bored into the mountain, and converts the energy to electricity. This is the 156-megawatt Agoyan hydroelectric project. It fuels the industries that make a handful of Ecuadorian families wealthy, and it has been the source of untold suffering for the farmers and indigenous people who live along the river. This hydroelectric plant is just one of many projects developed through my efforts and those of other EHMs. Such projects are the reason Ecuador is now a member of the global empire, and the reason why the Shuars and Kichwas and their neighbours threaten war against our oil companies.
“Because of EHM projects, Ecuador is awash in foreign debt and must devote an inordinate share of its national budget to paying this off, instead of using its capital to help the millions of its citizens officially classified as dangerously impoverished. The only way Ecuador can buy down its foreign obligations is by selling its rain forests to the oil companies.”