By Alejandro A. Tagliavini *
Believing that the State “justice” can be independent of the executive power, that finances it, is naive and runs against the market economy that says that those who receive money must give something in return, otherwise the economy could not work. Let’s see some curious cases.
The Supreme Court of Peru ruled that the Machu Picchu archaeological park, the main tourist attraction in the country, is owned by the State after rejecting the lawsuit, initiated in 2005 by the Zavaleta family, to claim land from the Machu Picchu National Archaeological Park (old mountain, in Quechua), 130 kilometers from Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire (XV-XVI centuries). Those are some 22,000 hectares where the citadel was built by the Inca emperor Pachacutec (1438-1471) and found in 1911 by an American explorer.
“We have shown that these lands were expropriated by the General Directorate of Agrarian Reform in the 1960s and 1970s in favor of the State,” says the government. That is, the government arbitrarily expropriates land and then its “justice” says that they belong to the government because it expropriated them, the State appropriated them “legally”.
At the supra-national level, the same thing happens. At a time when Boeing is facing a crisis over its 737 MAX aircraft, after two fatal accidents, the Appeals Court of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the US must end “fiscal aids” directed at Boeing. They were referring to a tax reduction. That is, that when government relieves its weight on a private company is considered “illegal” by a (multi) state court.
The US government says that, at the same time, the European Union (EU) was required to eliminate subsidies for the competitor Airbus, which it has not done so Trump now threatens with additional tariffs, to European products, to compensate the economic damage valued at US $ 11,000 million annually.
And there are more serious cases. According to Sebastiana Barraéz, two young men are being held in a Venezuelan military prison without a trial after an incident with the son of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice. Melvin Gregorio Farías Gutiérrez and Junior Gerardo Rojas Gutiérrez were arrested because of a confusing episode with the bodyguards of the judge’s son. They have been in the basement of the Military Counterintelligence General Directorate for a year, says Barraéz, where the “most dangerous” military and the executives of CITGO, PDVSA’s US subsidiary, are detained.
But States not only criminalize innocent people, they also force them to associate with criminals. Speaking of Venezuela, according to Refugees International (RI), some 5,000 citizens emigrate every day and there are more and more elderly, disabled and minors trying to cross the border. But some Venezuelans begin to resort to “criminals” – smugglers, traffickers – in their attempt to find asylum, in other countries, due to the hardening of the border controls of the receiving states, as in Chile and Ecuador.
Some communities that had initially welcomed Venezuelans are now show growing resentment and tensions and even some violent acts have occurred in Peru, Brazil and Argentina, according to RI. By the way, it is very ironic that these countries condemn the Maduro regime, but then reject those who escape from this regime.
* Member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Global Prosperity, Oakland, California