Thanks to a law passed under Pres. Augusto Pinochet and left unchanged for decades, 10% of the profits from Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, are reserved for the Armed Forces of Chile (known as the FACh, for its soon-to-be-outdated Spanish initials). While both left and right have talked about changing the law, nobody ever gets around to it. (Sorry Mom, I was just about to cut the defense department’s guaranteed appropriations but I got distracted.)
With copper prices at a record, you can just see the foam dripping from the jowls of 150 arms dealers and other exhibitors as they make their way to Exponaval 2010, a show of naval technology in Valparaiso, Chile Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Organizers say the show has more than doubled in size from two years ago to 8,500 square meters (about 85,000 square feet) and will host 20,000 visitors, up from 8,000.
Assuming that the show succeeds in its goals of facilitating $600 million in arms deals, we can all rest easier knowing that the coasts of South America will be safer from
well, you know. Safer.