The countdown has begun for the start of the 4th Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is scheduled to arrive Friday, November 4, together with the majority of heads of State.
The President of the United States, George W. Bush, on the other hand, is expected to arrive today, November 3, and with him, a strong security scheme.
Altogether there are 7500 police, besides the scheme mounted by the US, which includes two airplanes and three helicopters. The barriers set up in the city have made the residents’ lives more difficult.
The restricted areas, where circulation is limited to people with credentials, covers 250 blocks. Residents, too, are required to show credentials to move around in these areas.
As the start of the summit nears, the atmosphere in Mar del Plata grows more tense. Shopkeepers are emptying their show windows and closing their stores for fear of looting. Some sectors of the city will stop functioning today, until Saturday, November 5, for fear of attacks.
According to the head of police communications in Mar del Plata, Daniel Rodrigues, as of this moment no bomb threats or public disturbances have been registered.
Various demonstrations are scheduled for Friday, October 4, all over Argentina to protest the presence of US president George W. Bush. Former Argentinean soccer star, Diego Maradona, will participate in one of the marches in Mar del Plata. The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is also expected to show up for the demonstration against Bush.
In Brazil, the MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – Landless Workers Movement) and the CUT (Central íšnica de Trabalhadores – Unified Workers Federation) have scheduled street demonstrations all across the country. The MST is also present in Mar del Plata distributing literature against Bush and the FTAA.