Central and South America have long been hotbeds of turmoil.  While not quite as chaotic as Central Africa, as impoverished as Southeast Asia, or as embittered as the Middle East, Central and South America are no strangers to conflict and poverty.  Since the first westerners set foot in the jungles of the new world, these regions have been treated as pawns and playthings.  In this modern world things have changed little.  Relations with North America especially have always been tense.  The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Drug War, the Panamanian Missile Crisis, these events all boiled over during the early 90's, when the Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega, fearful of CIA assassination, and faced with the overthrow of his regime via democratic process, overtook the Panama Canal.  This led to the beginning of what is termed as the First Central American Conflict.  The mission of retaking Panama quickly turned into full scale conflict and spread to South America as the drug Cartels of Columbia, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua supported Noriega financially and militarily.  The drug war the US had been engaging in quietly for years suddenly became an open battle ground. 

The DEA struck a harsh blow, developing and releasing a genetically engineered bio-plague which specifically attacked the Coca Plant.  The initial revenue lost to the cartels was crippling.  As drug prices soared and supply dwindled to a trickle, the situation became desperate, the U.S. was forced to engage drug dealers en masse at home, as well as abroad.  The drug cartels found support in European funding.  The motives for the European backing remain a mystery.  The money was traced to a conglomerate of Euro-corps, which were destroyed utterly by American covert operations, the CEO's of these corporations were found dead however, official reports indicate suicide.  It has long been believed that the corporations were merely a front for the newly formed EEC, and the entire business was merely a means to overextend American spending and give the US government a black eye.  Regardless, as supply of cocaine trickled to nothing, the U.S. seemed finally on the brink of destroying the cocaine trade forever, then the bottom fell out.  In retaliation for the CIA assassination of Medellin Cartel leader Pablo Escobar, Medellin terrorists from Columbia smuggled a small, low yield nuclear device into New York, detonating the device in Manhattan at 4:30PM, on Wednesday, December 7th, 1993.  This event was the beginning of a domino chain of disasters. Severe drought in the Midwest resulted in another dust bowl situation, the meltdown of a nuclear plant in Pittsburgh, street gangs taking near complete control of Miami, and the final nail in the coffin, the World Stock Market Crash of 1994.  All these events led to the near total collapse of the U.S. economy in 1996, and forces American forces to withdraw from all conflict in central and South America.  The government, so tangled in the machinations of the Gang of Four (CIA, DEA, FBI, and the NSA) became almost completely ineffective at stemming the rising tide of unemployment, homelessness, and unrest. 

As the U.S. struggled to regain its feet, the drug cartels wasted no time.  European botanists, and genetic engineers were secretly imported and employed by the cartels, and worked quickly to develop new strains of plague resistant Coca plants.  These plants, dubbed "synthcoke" by American and European media, were cultivated and hit the streets like a bombshell.  The rest of the world, reeling from worldwide economic depression was eager for the escape the drugs provided, and the Cartels achieved even greater control of their countries than before.

The worldwide economic crash left Europe in nearly as bad a position as the US, and in the later half of the 1990's the EEC suffered its own string of disasters, natural and otherwise.  Eastern Europe was hit as well, especially Russia, and russian aid to Cuba came to an end. 

In the US, the Gang of Four, under investigation, after the deaths of both the President and the Vice president, began a series of operations designed to tie up and confuse resources, in effort to better hide their plots.  In the midst of all this, drought again hit the Midwest, causing a fort shortage the likes of which the US had never seen.  The US halted all food exportation, eliminating the rest of the worlds food supply by nearly a quarter.  The EEC was able to aid eastern Europe, and China supported its allies, but much of the rest of the world was left to fend for themselves.  As some states begin seceding from federal resources (which at the time were stretched so thin that it was crippling even the states able to support themselves), the US began taking risks to bolster the economy.  Among these risks were a re-organization of the US Military, and the funding for expansion of the Panama Canal.

With the economy in the US slowly regaining its footing, the drug market soared.  Multi-National corporations descended on South America in greater force than ever.  Millions of acres of land in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Suriname, and French Guiana were bought or seized by these corporations. Corporate lumber, agriculture, and natural resource operations were largely welcomed by the governments of these countries, which were usually led by puppet rulers paid to look the other way.  The rural peoples of these countries were not so pleased.

The Gang of Four, in a bold move, and aided by a boost to the economy due to its new position of agricultural dominance caused by the food crash of 2002, convinced the US leaders that invading South America was necessary to again stem the tide of drugs into the US, as well as to further bolster the economy.  With the rallying cry of "REMEMBER MANHATTAN" the U.S. declared war on Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in 2003.  It became quickly apparent that the US vastly underestimated the renewed strength of the Drug Cartels, who were supplied and backed heavily by European and Russian interests (interests which accused the US of engineering the Food Crash).  The war was brutal and US forces were locked in a constant state of conflict.  Territory was won, then lost, then regained and lost again in an endless cycle.  The war dragged on for 7 years,causing the US to bleed money like a sieve.  Finally, almost totally bankrupt, the US was forced to withdraw completely from the region.  The financial situation in the US was so bad, and overstretched, that during the withdrawal, the US was forced to abandon thousands of civilian contractors, as well as isolated military personnel too remote to pull out.  This tragedy would forever be known as "The Long Walk" and was seen as a blow to Morale the US military might never recover from, as these abandoned souls were forced to make their own way back to the states, often on foot.  The "Walkers" were beset upon by hostile forces almost the entire way home.  Of the 500,000 US contractors and soldiers abandoned in South and Central America, only 10% survive the trek home.  Ironically, some of the trekkers chose never to return home at all.  Jonathan Meta, one of the Army officers left behind, lead a small group of renegades to hijack several tankers and large boats and seized an abandoned oil platform in the gulf of Mexico, declaring themselves a new country under the title of Meta-key.   Another group, led by Colonel Jonas Pike assumed complete control of the Panama Canal.

The operating procedure of the Multi-national Corporations are almost universally identical.  They begin by legally assuming control of a region, and then through a series of forced relocation efforts, move the native populations into corporate controlled complexes (read Labor camps) by promising them gainful employment and all the benefits of western life.  This gainful employment (read slave labor) consists of back breaking manual labor, planting and cultivating crops destined to be sold in America, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc... Private farms and local villages are sanitized to make way for the corporate facilities, often by way of Incendigel carpet bombing.  The amount of plants and animals driven to extinction from this practice is immeasurable.  Local crops, usually consisting of corn, are eliminated to make way for cattle farms, soy fields, and fruit groves.  The local work force ends up growing oranges for wealthy Americans and Europeans, orange juice they can not afford themselves. Through corporate savvy, these workers actually end up in debt to the companies they are forced to work for, and their native diets are replaced with cheap soy based meals supplied by the corporations.  This allows the corporations to subtly tamper with the locals diet, adding mood stabilizers and mental depressants to keep them copacetic, and getting them addicted to mild stimulants via soft drinks to keep their energy levels up so they can work harder.  Bottling factories for most of the worlds soft drinks (Including Chill Cola and ) are located in Central and South America wear business practices and ingredients can be more closely safeguarded.  In the fields of the multi-corp agri-farms, pesticides banned in every first world nation are used in abundance, with no concern given to the local population, cancer rates and birth defects soar exponentially, and it is rare to find a field worker over the age of 50.  In addition, the crops themselves are often subjected to radiation "cleansing", and it is common to see a large van with a small nuclear generator parked next to the other farm machinery, moving the cultivated crops along a conveyor belt and subjecting them to low doses of radiation to increase shelf life.  The operators of the machinery wear full rad suits, while the laborers are given nothing.  But if a laborer gets sick, he need not fear, Multi-national pharmaceutical companies are present, cultivating natural resources for new drugs, and are more than happy to test experimental pharmaceuticals on the local population.  Any civilians who resist the relocation are labelled as subversives, and taken into custody by local governments under the watchful eye of whichever western Military is supporting the local Multi-Nat corporation. Captured subversives are often subjected to torture, rape, and murder.  Corporate employed Death Squads are often utilized to weed out potential subversives from the local populace.  The definition of subversive activity varies, from open or covert resistance, to activities such as teaching the locals to read, non violent protests, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Now with corporate greed more influential than ever, and the strangle hold placed on the United States by the ICMF closing the canal to all U.S. inbound and outbound traffic, The United States is once again preparing to invade Panama.  With the SAA potentially siding with the ICMF, the possibility of widespread conflict throughout Central and South America is once again threatened.  This situation is made even more tense as the SAA is supplied by China and the Neo-Soviets, as well as the EDF.  China and Russia even have troops in place in Peru and El Salvador, and the EDF is undergoing a a troop buildup on the strategically important Falkland Islands.  Should these forces come into armed contact with the Americans, the entire situation could escalate into a global conflict, taking the fighting from a war in the third world, to a Third World War.














Authors note: I have tried to stay as close and faithful to the sparse information on Central and South America given in the Cyberpunk universe as possible (much of it is contradicting), I have also tried to be respectful to the cultures, religions and peoples, while still attempting to make it a rich and interesting environment.  However since I have never been to Latin America I am sure I have gotten some things wrong, and I ask that anyone offended forgive me.  Some information may conflict with what is already official, I ask that you use your own judgment in choosing which path to take in resolving such problems.  I truly hope you enjoy this.

This project was a massive collaboration of the members of the Views From The Edge Cyberpunk 2020 forum, exactly one year in the making.


Deric "Wisdom000" Bernier

Joe "Citizen X" Kleman    Mikael Van Atta

Destecado              Bookwyrm


Other Contributors:
Stray Catalyst
Dog Soldier
G. Fiendish
Encanta Anima
Cameron "Bonedaddy" Jacobs
James Bernier
Jesse Miller
Pat Gabalvi
Jeff Sykes
Matt Baldwin

If you have comments, questions, complaints, ideas, submissions, or suggestions e-mail me at wisdom000@gmail.com).