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By Paco Puche
They are not the only ones, nor the oldest, but they are the ones that roam most successfully in Spain and Latin America, I mean the so-called Avina and Ashoka, both in a strategic alliance. The two have penetrated many prestigious social movements, they have pierced the organizations as if it were a Gruyere cheese, and since they have taken the members by surprise, and the entities do not have adequate incompatibility regulations, there we have flagship movements whose leaders call themselves anti-capitalist and are partners of Avina / Ashoka (sic).
Are these postmodern times conducive to serving two masters? Avina is founded, supported and encouraged by the Swiss Schmidheiny, a criminal sentenced in a court in Turin (Italy) to 18 years in prison and 100 million euros in compensation, last June. It has maliciously killed (this is the sentence) more than two thousand people in just three asbestos factories in Italy. But between himself and the family that preceded him in the lethal business, since the beginning of the 20th century, they have behind them tens of thousands of deaths when they already knew of the fatality of this mineral. The Guariniello prosecutor who had handled the case, in the middle of the hearing, considered that he should revise upwards the penalties requested in the first trial and requested 20 years in prison for the accused (the maximums), because, he said: “I could reread the sentences of the Superior Court pronounced in the most serious cases of disasters and deaths, and I realized that it was nothing compared to a disaster like the one that was relived in the course of this trial. A genocide. Wanted.
The friends, leading partners of Avina and beneficiaries who have not publicly condemned her alliance with a criminal, what postmodern ethical argument can they display in the face of such infamy?
Ashoka is chaired in Spain by a leader from the JP Morgan bank (Rockefeller), an entity recently fined $ 1.7 billion for contributing to the pyramid robbery perpetrated by Madoff. It is partnering with Monsanto, Bill Gates and Rockefeller to bring transgenic seeds to Africa. The Spanish Rural Platform has condemned this alliance saying that it is "a murderous attempt" for the continent. The nonsense consists in that the president of that complaining Rural Platform, Jerónimo Aguado, was both a partner of Ashoka and a collaborator of AVINA (sic). Again the ethical compatibility of serving two antagonistic masters. These are the most relevant events in this chapter of the year that has ended:
1st. Schmidheiny (Avina) sentenced in the second instance to 18 years in prison and 100 million euros in compensation.
This doubling year, last June 3, has seen how in the second instance the claim of the Swiss industrialist, AVINA founder, who had been sentenced to 16 years in prison in the first instance, was raised to 18 years. It is pending before the Supreme Court, that is, in an instance that no longer reviews the facts but the procedure and possible contradictory sentences. Ratification is already the most probable.
During the third hearing held on February 19, 2013, Judge Oggé compared Eternit's (Schmidheiny) strategy to the Nazi strategy of deporting Jews to Madagascar (1939 to 1941), a plan that was later superseded by deportations to the Death camps. The newspaper La Stampa was very forceful, it said the next day: "parallel between Schmidheiny and Hitler"
For this reason he has been called "the asbestos Nazi." Quite well-oriented qualifier given that he has inherited the immense fortune of his family, which was partly made in Nazi Germany, in whose factories the Schmidheiny used prisoners of war as the work of slave labor, as the journalist has documented with witnesses and papers Swiss Maria Roselli (1).
2nd. Victims around the world ask the institutions that have distinguished the asbestos magnate and founder of Avina to degrade him. Given Schmidheiny's ignominy, coordinated victims' associations around the world are trying to pressure the entities that have decorated the philanthropist to withdraw the distinction. Such are, for the moment, the honors received at Yale University, in the state of Brazil, and at the Jesuit University of Venezuela. Lawyer Meisenkothen, who is in charge of the Asbestos Victims' Associations case in the United States, wrote last December to Yale University saying: “On October 30 of this year you wrote that after a careful examination of the archives of the Yale University, we have not found any grants from Mr. Schmidheiny or Eternit or the Avina Foundation. Instead, it seems clear that Stephan Schmidheiny gave Yale significant financial support in 1997 and, more importantly, in the summer of 1996, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate. " Yale has ended up accepting the veracity of the donation, but for now, he does not agree to withdraw the distinction.
Likewise, at the stroke of a checkbook, he obtained an honorary doctorate from the Andrés Bello Jesuit University in Caracas. The rector himself, Luis de Ugalde sj, confirms this: “from April 3 to 5, 1998, four Latin American Jesuits with Stephan met at La Alquería, his home in Mallorca (…) this meeting became an annual meeting and the group it was called “Grupo Palmera”. On April 19, while we were having breakfast in Cachamay Park, Schmidheiny firmly promised me the requested loan of four million dollars at ten years and without interest; they would be delivered by the Avina Foundation in the first three years (1998-2000). ”In 2001 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Father Ugalde s.j. At the moment, the victims have not been able to get the Catholic university to degrade him either. Will the new airs of Pope Francis arrive there?
3rd. The victims try to get Schmidheiny to serve his Turin sentence. The penalty imposed is double: 18 years in prison and 100 million euros for the slaughter of more than two thousand people. Since he has not paid and has not appeared in court, the associations try to obtain a search and arrest warrant and, in addition, to trace his assets around the world to be able to be collected. This task of searching for goods is very difficult because, for example, from what is traced in Spain in the commercial and property registers there is not the slightest trace of the character. Everything is in the name of companies. This is the case of the aforementioned Alquería de Mallorca, on the road from Andraitx to Capdella, s / n km 4, (owned by the interested party, Jesuit word) that is in the name of a company, with a sole partner who is ... another company . (It is curious that in the BOE of Avina's creation in Spain, the registered office that appears is the same as the Farmhouse). With this property alone, full compensation could be paid. According to Forbes, this magnate occupies number 458 on its list this year.
4th. Asbestos Victims Abandoned Around the World
In November the news reached us from Lebanon (it could have been from anywhere else since they do the same everywhere) that the Schmidheiny asbestos factory, which was sold cheaply, ended up closing due to bankruptcy in 1996 and today continues as seen in the photo: with hundreds of outdoor pipes scattered around causing new deaths. So far, and only in one district in the north of the country, it has produced more than 300 deaths and about 700 cancer patients. None of the victims has received compensation from the justice, the company or the state and when they have addressed Schmidheiny he has not answered them, as he has always done with the inquiries of victims from all over the world
(Nicaragua, Brazil, South Africa, etc.)
5th. The European Parliament urges a safe homelessness by 2028 In view, as we have just mentioned, of the serious pending problems of homelessness, as is also currently the case in Valladolid, on March 24, the European Parliament approved by a vast majority a resolution in which, among many other matters of interest related to the world asbestos situation, “urges the EU to carry out an impact assessment and a cost-benefit analysis of the possibility of creating action plans for the safe removal of asbestos from public buildings and those where public access services are provided by 2028, as it provides information and guidance to encourage private homeowners to audit and assess home risk for asbestos, following the example of Poland ”(2).
6th. The 2nd Latin American Congress and 1st International Congress of Socio-Environmental Health of Rosario (Argentina), held between June 25 to 28, 2013, gives way to philanthro-capitalism as the central presentation. Organized biannually by the Rosario School of Medicine, with the participation of 500 people and 60 panelists, in the central nucleus of the five main conferences there has been a place for philanthro-capitalism, asbestos and health. Along with Seralini (glyphosate), Marie-Monique Robin (poisons), Miguel Jara (health) and Andrés Carrasco (transgenics) was Paco Puche (philanthro-capitalism).
The recognition at this high level of the importance of the infiltration of big capital in the social movements of Latin America is due to the fact that the American continent is one of the key pieces that foundations of big capital pursue, given the situation of the different revolutions in the aforementioned continent and the importance of its resources. Spain serves as a bridge for them, that is why Avina / Ashoka connected at the beginning of the 2000s with people like Víctor Viñuales, from the NGO Ecodes, who appears in his biography as “member of the Advisory Council of International Bridges of the Avina Foundation”, to as well as as a member of the Inditex Advisory Council and the Greenpeace Council, a whole rehash that explains very well the alliances between big capital, Avina and social movements. He also cooperated from the beginning with Pedro Arrojo, from the Nueva Cultura del Agua Foundation, which also served as a bridge with Latin America.
7th. Philanthro-capitalism at the Summer University of La Granja organized by Izquierda Anticapitalista Following the example of Rosario, this summer in La Granja (Segovia) Izquierda Anticapitalista has dedicated a seminar to the topic of philanthro-capitalism, which has aroused enormous interest among the participants. More than 50 people listening for two hours to Daniel García's explanations about the nature of these foundations and their connections with big capital. This program will continue and for the moment it has been exhibited in Pamplona and Valladolid.
A blog specializing in philanthro-capitalism called “philanthropists” has also been opened to focus on this issue. 8th. Ashoka penetrates in depth in Izquierda Unida (IU): the case of Ainhoa Zamora As we said, the foundations of big capital continue their march, they have enough money to hire people and they have every interest in the world in reducing the power of the alternatives. The penetration they have done in IU has been most striking.
First they have managed to promote Ashoka from the IU pages, without further investigation, having a permanent propaganda page for the philanthropic since 2007 (3). But, above all, since last year they have co-opted Ainhoa Zamora as one of the six people who direct the foundation of great capital in Spain (4), specially hired to “lead the Young Changemakers project and also lead the relationship with the Social Entrepreneurs ”. Currently, from Ashoka and in collaboration with BBVA, it is promoting an “Ibero-American contest of ideas to change the world”. Again on the bridge with Latin America.
This person holds the following positions at IU: in February 2011, at the IV IUCM Youth Conference, he is elected as one of the nine people in the management for the next three years; and in the general elections of 2011 the last one appears in the IU lists for Madrid, headed by Cayo Lara. She is not an unknown militant, she belongs to the leadership of IU and from there she goes on to direct, without interruption, a foundation of philanthro-capitalism that is most antagonistic to IU. He hasn't even had time to change his jacket.
To complete the Gruyere cheese, it should be noted that Ainhoa Zamora was elected in 2012 as National Secretary of the NGO “Acsur las Segovias”. Ashoka / Avina delight in this tame, collaborative and legitimizing alternative movement.
9th. Monsanto in Spain and social movements From the documents leaked by Wikileaks we know that "Spain is the greatest ally" of the United States in its fight in favor of transgenics in Europe ", as reported by the Country on December 19, 2010." The Government of Spain has traditionally been a great defender of biotech corn, ”says a cable from the US embassy in Spain. Refers to any government. For this and other reasons, in our country in 2013 a total of 138,543 hectares of GMOs were cultivated, which represent more than 90% of all genetically modified crops in the EU, and in the last year it has grown at a rate of 20% , according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture. It also accounts for 67% of outdoor experiments across the EU.
In July, news broke that Monsanto was withdrawing from Europe, except for Spain and Portugal. With good reason, Spain has been called "the last Monsanto colony" (5).
And what have we done wrong to be the last of the EU-wide platoon when it comes to resisting the power of the multinational GMOs? The Wikileaks cables already said that the governments of the PSOE and the PP are good allies of transgenic multinationals; We also know from the surveys that the population's rejection of this type of food is somewhat lagged in Spain with respect to the EU average; But we also have a notable presence in Spain of the foundations of philanthro-capitalism, especially the Avina / Ashoka tandem (6), which is not the case in the rest of the EU countries. These asbestos and GMO foundations (7) have deeply penetrated alternative social movements as we have said (8).
In view of the fatal results, it is obvious that the social movements so far called anti-transgenic should make a thorough review of their strategies, their alliances and their leaders, since it is the shameful case that the Rural Platform, the largest The country's anti-transgenic entity, which brings together such relevant organizations as COAG, Greenpeace, Caritas, Cifaes, Ecologistas en Acción and a long etcetera, has had since its creation, some fifteen years ago, the same president in the person of Jerónimo Aguado, collaborator of Avina and partner of Ashoka. Thus, in collusion with Monsanto allies, an anti-transgenic organism cannot be energized.
10th. How we have been waiting in 2013 for the alternative movements allied with Avina / Asoka to publicly reject these foundations of the great capital of asbestos and transgenics.
With the exception of the New Culture of Water Foundation, which has publicly dissociated itself from the Avina foundation, neither Greenpeace, nor Cifaes de Amayuelas nor the Paulo Freire University, have been able or willing to make a public statement of rejection and distance from their former allies, to happen that the philanthro-capitalist condition of Avina and Asoka is already public and notorious and that the Rural Platform has called Asoka's behavior in Africa a “murderer”.
We suspect that the propaganda made by these foundations to make life-long contracts with their partners is more than a bluff and that as they require in their conditions of participation in Ashoka “when sending any information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs , graphics, videos, messages and other materials (“content”) through this website, I grant Ashoka a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable and fully disbursed license, the royalty-free license to use ”. Asbestos and GMO victims await public rectification and rejection from movements allied with philanthro-capitalism.
Philanthro-capitalism by nature will try to infiltrate social movements, therefore, to protect themselves, alternative and resistance movements have no choice but to equip themselves with statutory measures that formulate specific incompatibilities with antagonist foundations, and must limit the mandates of domes. On the way, improve the quality of your internal democracies and tolerate self-criticism.
In 2014 philanthro-capitalism will not disappear but it will be depleted of conditions, in view of what awaits one of its greatest supporters and funders, Avina tycoon Stephan Schmidheiny. However, we must remain vigilant.