Germany as ,,protecting power"in Central and South America

BERLIN/MEXICO CITY | | mexikobrasilienecuador

BERLIN/MEXICO CITY Germany is now seeking to extend its policy on minorities to central and south America and offers itself as a ,,Protecting Power"to ,,indigenous peoples"of the subcontinent. According to the theme of a conference organised by the Foreign Office, south America must ,,open itself"to permit its peoples to exercise their ,,human rights". Several south American states felt that the conference was a ,,provocation". The ambassador of Ecuador spoke of a German ,,affront".

The conference theme was the responsibility of the Foreign Office, the Federal Press Office and the Federal Ministry for International Co-operation. Invitations were issued for a conference at the end of September (2001) in Berlin under the title ,,Indigenous peoples - human rights, cultures and developments. Readiness for change in central and south America".

Several south American states felt the conference to be a ,,provocation". The obvious aim of the organisers was to enlist foreign minorities in the cause of German foreign policy. Luis Fernando Serra, Brazilian Ambassador, was quoted in the Daily paper, Die Welt, with unusual clarity ,,The whole project is unacceptable. It is an attempt to talk up an ethnic conflict which just does not exist (...). We are a multi-ethnic country with a very clear, distinctive, national culture". The Bazilian ambassador called the written aim of the confeence ,,To create an opening for the achievement of a civil society in central and south America" ,,a totally unnecessary provocation of Latin America".

In the run-up to the conference, the Foreign Office had not informed the authorities of the target countries and only invited a section of their representatives. The ambassador of Ecuador , Werner Moeller, called this diplomatic dealing a German ,,affront".

The Heinrich Boell Institute is busying itself with the ,,opening up"of central and south America, as an auxiliary of the German Foreign Ministry. The institute is financed out of official funds from the party organisation ,,Federation 90/The Greens"and acts as co-organiser with the Foreign Office. It planned to confront the Mexican ambassador with representatives of the Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN) at the Berlin conference.

This systematic tactic of German policy has already been successfully used in Yugoslavia. It plays the role of ,,mediator"between separatist organisations in order to supplant governments which it opposes.

The plan by which Berlin sought to make itself ,,Protecting Power"of German-discovered ,,peoples"broke down after the protest of the Mexican embassy.

Numerous camouflaged and front organisations assist German foreign policy. Amongst them are ,,The European Centre for Minority Questions"(EZM/ECMI), various departments of the ,,Bertelsmann Institute"and the most recently founded ,,National Institute for Human Rights". These are rapidly building on Germany's policy of intervention, dressed in the guise of ethnic concerns.

,,Human rights"

The German care for ,,human rights"in central and south America is flanked by a steadily advancing economic penetration of the sub continent. Large German corporations use the cheap labour force (amongst which are many people of indigenous origin) to create competition for the USA along its southern border.

The weight of German pressure on wages became known as the result of a three week strike in the Mexican Volkswagen plant. The International Herald Tribune reported on 6 December (2001) that the strikers at Volkswagen were campaigning against an hourly rate of around 3 dollars. Comparable hourly rates in the US were around 20 dollars and in Germany around 25 dollars.

Sources:
Schroeder's visit should speed trade with Mexico; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 28.06.2001
Diplomatic Tension between Foreign Office and Latin America; Die Welt 04.09.2001
Strike ends at VW Mexico; International Herald Tribune 06.09.2001