Monday, March 9, 2009

Chile's Arms Merchants

Want to make a weapons deal in Chile? Here are the dealers you have to work with, according to an article in El Mostrador. Virgilio Cartoni Maldonado, a former army pilot, represents more than 50 companies, including Eurocopter, Kraus Maffei Wegmann, Rafael and other weapons and aerospace manufacturers. Cartoni's deals amounted to 21% of all army acquisitions in 2004, according to one report. Benjamin Berkovits, who runs a conglomerate, represents Bell Helicopter, Boeing and MDA MacDonald Space. He is said to have close ties to the air force. He's made inroads into navy procurement thanks to a partnership with a retired admiral, Hernan Couyoumdjian. Antonio Fortino, head of Eurocopter in Chile, is not really a go-between, but has helped the navy acquire Super Puma and Dauphin helicopters. Spanish entrepreneur Javier Taibo is best known as publisher of Defensa magazine. Some reports say he's a lobbied for EADS in Latin America. Dealers can earn commissions of 3% to 5% the value of arms sales, El Mostrador says.

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