The FARC way

I want to congratulate LATIN TRADE for the excellent article. "Guerrillas in Business" (April 1999). The concept of applying a strategic business analysis to an efficient organization that is so far removed from the accepted capitalist model was an excellent idea. I also liked the piece's layout. It clearly told more about the subject than four pages of text would have. After reading the piece, you almost wish every story could be presented this way.

Rafael S. Vasquez



Caracas, Venezuela

Crystal clear bidding

I read with great interest your article, "Muddy Waters" (March 1999). As a consultant on water projects. I've spent the last five years on the subject of privatization in relation to public utilities serving residential areas. In my opinion, privatizations fail for two reasons. First, the projects are inadequately structured--technically, financially, institutionally and politically. Latin American governments do not dedicate enough resources to planning the various aspects of such projects. So, what you see is the product of a government making it up as it goes along, a government only too happy to unload the burden of managing these businesses. Second, corruption remains an obstacle to keeping the process transparent and open. This is why public works projects get handed over to multinational companies without any restrictions or controls.

To avoid all this, it is necessary to put into place certain controls, perhaps the most important is citizen control, over the politicians in charge of privatization. A...

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