In the past, Echeverra has successfully lobbied against a legislation that would have made companies liable for faulty structures. [...] companies like Echeverria's conduct private site studies through hired third-party engineers who aren't held responsible for the results.
BRIEFS 8 Chile THE COUNCIL ON Jeanie Gong, Research Associate HEMISPHERIC Following Chile’s recent devastating earthquake, President Sebastián Piñera is facing criticism for his plans to reconstruct affected areas of the country. Piñera awarded $15 million in no-bid contracts AFFAIRS to three giant building-supply companies. These enterprises either have been run or represented by 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW several of Piñera’s cabinet members or other political appointees. Fernando Echeverria, a lobbyist Suite 1C Washington, DC 20036 for the building chamber, runs the company leading reconstruction efforts in Santiago. In the past, phone: 202.223.4975 e-mail: email@example.com Echeverria has successfully lobbied against a legislation that would have made companies liable for fax: 202.223.4979 issn: 1275-559 faulty structures. Moreover, companies like Echeverria’s conduct private site studies through hired Washington Report on the Hemisphere third-party engineers who aren’t held responsible for the results. Problems are further exacerbated © 2010 Published Biweekly by the inability of Chilean cities to always ensure that the buildings are built according to code. (22 Issues per Year Plus an Index) Piñera’s choice of reconstruction companies also creates another issue: large corporations receive by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs most of the business, depriving many local vendors of much-needed opportunities. The $15 million con- June 25, 2010 Vol. 30 No. 11 tracts are going to corporations that control more than half the Chilean market, rather than helping local economies. These contracts, in fact, worsen the country’s already strained wealth disparity and make it Chairperson: Judith Chiara more difficult for smaller vendors to experience a fair share of the resulting growth in public expenditures. Editor-in-Chief: Larry Birns Chief Copy Editor: Wendy Raymont Managing Editor: Katherine Charin Panama Associate Editor: Carl Patchen Assistant Managing Editor: Whitney Cole Brendan Riley, Research Associate Illustrator: Margaret Scott On April 26th, the United States granted France’s extradition request for Manuel Noriega, Trustee Editorial Board: Peter G. Bourne, M.D., the former Panamanian dictator deposed by a U.S. invasion in 1989. Having already completed former member of Carter White House; Charles a seventeen-year sentence for money laundering in the U.S., Noriega faces charges of purchas- B. Dale, former President, The Newspaper Guild; ing French luxury apartments with millions of illegal drug dollars. Although Noriega’s defense Roger Wilkins, former editorial board member, The objected to the current request due to his status as a prisoner of war, which had allowed him to New York Times, Washington Times, Washington Star serve his U.S. sentence with comfortable accommodations, it did not succeed in halting the extra- Senior Research Fellows: Sean Burges, Ph.D; dition. In early June, the Panamanian government requested Noriega’s extradition from France so Richard P. Claude, Ph.D; Susan Eckstein, Ph.D; that he might be tried in Panama for charges of money laundering, corruption, and murder. Both Julie Feinsilver, Ph.D; John Foran, Ph.D; Hol- countries have tried and convicted him in absentia of the currently filed charges but now vow to
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