Know your nominees

Obama’s nomination to head USAID’s programs in Latin America is Mark Feierstein, who, according to the Andean Information Network, is a pollster who works for right-wing political candidates in Latin America, including ones who’ve presided over massacres:

Feierstein, of the firm Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner, served as a political adviser to former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada during his 2002 Presidential campaign.  Sánchez de Lozada resigned and fled to Chevy Chase, Maryland in 2003 to escape prosecution for the massacre of 60 protesters by troops operating under his orders.  Last year Feierstein and his colleagues again conducted polling in Bolivia to assist the campaign of right wing candidate Manfred Reyes Villa, who lost by a landslide to President Evo Morales.[1]  The appointment of the political pollster has increased apprehension in the region that aid programs will continue to be used to support U.S.-favored political actors within the region’s democracies.

The AIN takes the eminently reasonable position that if Obama wants Latin Americans to see USAID as something more than a shady political operation, he should not appoint shady political operatives to run it.

(Disclaimer: I don’t know much about the AIN, only that I heard an excellent interview with head Kathryn Ledebur on the Just the Facts podcast, and she impressed me very much as a thoughtful person who knows what’s up.)

  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Related posts:

  1. Some alternative
  2. And the nominees are…
  3. “Strange Bedfellows”
  4. Bringing on the nasty
  5. Storm gathers, says Semana
This entry was posted in Bolivia, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Comments

  1. Jakob
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this Peter, this is an important story that people are not paying attention to. We brought this up at maladjusted awhile back.

    http://structurallymaladjusted.blogspot.com/2010/05/weekend-update_17.html

    Also, the AIN link seems to be broken in the post: http://ain-bolivia.org/2010/06/tuesday-hearing-feierstein-nomination-raises-questions-about-usaid%E2%80%99s-role-in-latin-america/

    Anybody who wants to see this guy in action should go watch “Our Brand is Crisis”, a great movie.

    • Peter Krupa
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Jakob, fixed it. Sorry, I’m about a month and a half behind on things, in the process of catching up. :-P And I’ve been meaning to watch Our Brand is Crisis for awhile now, maybe this is a good excuse to crank up the ol’ bittorrent…

One Trackback

  1. [...] nomination to Latin American USAID programs is Mark Feierstein, who has worked closely with right wing political leaders in the region, including those who have [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Warning: Illegal string offset 'solo_subscribe' in /home/thegringo/latamdaily.com/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php on line 304

Subscribe without commenting

  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]