Half-Moon Madness: Not just some Bolivian thing, apparently


Don’t come ’round tonight,

‘Cause it’s bound to take your life–

There’s a bad moon on the rise…

–John Fogerty, “Bad Moon Rising”

Just when you thought it was safe to go out walking in the moonlight, there’s a whole new band of loonies out there to reckon with. Now that Evo has basically put the boots to the tyrannical Media Luna prefects and their blatant resource-grab, it looks like the phenomenon of Half-Moon Madness–that is, right-wing separatism, land-grabbery and unrestrained greed–has mutated and spread to Argentina. ABI has the story; I have the translation for you:

“Almost cloned from the separatism of eastern Bolivia, whose ideology boils down to not paying taxes on its extraordinary oil, gas and agricultural earnings, as well as its open racism against its non-white citizens”, is the Argentine “Media Luna”, said journalist Anahí Fernández on Friday in La Paz, in the report “Frente Transversal”.

Fernández affirms that just as in eastern Bolivia, “the development of the ‘Countryside Party’ in the provinces of Entre Ríos, Córdoba and Santa Fe constitutes a virtual rebellion against the federal state in the name of agricultural incomes of large soybean-growing land-owners and mid-size ‘chacareros’ enriched by the bean boom and the inflated value of their lands.”


This ultra-right sector of the Rural Society, along with known adherents of this political posture, such as the Rabbi Bergman, or those on file as violators of human rights, such as Vicente Massot, this new “Little School of the Americas” constitutes, at best, a virtual new Patriotic League after the fashion of Manuel Carlés in the 1920s, or the groups of armed Bolivian civilians who provoked the massacre in Pando, says Fernández.

“Let’s tell it like it is: you don’t call up an apologist for torture to teach your kids how to throw a tea party. Oddly, except for Horacio Verbitsky in Página 12, no mainstream media journalist has touched this issue, which is by all lights serious. […] It is as if their position on the subversive activities of ‘El Campo’ were benevolent. […] As the graffiti says, they piss on us and the TV says it’s raining.”

Fernández considers it evidence of the land-owners’ duplicity that they trot out their “dialoguists” and “peacemakers” on TV but “activate their worst elements to dynamite all possibility of dialogue.”

“With an enemy there is no dialogue. And the government of Cristina Fernández is THE enemy of these interest groups, who are all allied with the opposition, the National Disinformation Network, and that portion of the middle class that dreams of one day being the patrón of a large estate and takes pleasure, even though he is not there yet, in whacking the peons with his riding crop.”


The Argentine “Media Luna”, “like its Bolivian twin”, is looking for an event which will bring about the breakdown of institutions and restore the politics that once guarded its interests.

“The date is October at the latest. Much earlier, you could see the actions aimed at bringing about the downfall of a hated enemy: the government rose in 2007 by way of free elections and the National Project which had begun in 2003.”

If this sounds like crazy conspiracy theory to you, may I remind you again of how the US ambassador to Bolivia was caught in secret talks with the Media Lunatics there? Right-wing separatism is nothing new under the Latin American sun; Venezuela has it too (“Independent and Eastern Republic of Zulia”, anyone?)

Fernández doesn’t mention a US connection here, but it’s not entirely irrelevant. In case anyone thinks the days of the CIA tailor-making the Argentine government to Corporate America’s liking are over, may I draw your attention to something Leon Panetta recently said that pissed off the Argentine government quite royally? And gee, you don’t suppose it has anything to do with the recent tax talks between the government and El Campo (literally, “The Countryside”)? Silly rabbit, haven’t you yet twigged to what corporate globalization is all about?

It sure has all the smells of big land-owners, human-rights abusers from the Dirty War era, and middle-class wannabes all banding together to try to get Cristina Fernández over a barrel (or grain silo, as it were.) Let’s hope she’s as tough as Evo, because she’s gonna need to be. Her enemies are every bit as fascistic as his, and a whole lot sneakier to boot. Don’t be too surprised if they interpret Panetta’s words as a go-ahead signal to ramp up their nefarious plans.

After all, the US economy is in big trouble, and we already know that Wall Street has never had any reservations about taking the rest of the world down with it.

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