What do you think this is?

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7295/whatisit.jpg [Broken]

I have wanted to post this for the longest time but only found my photos from this trip last week when I had to rearrange my office.

The interior wall is lined with military-grade razor wire. The guy in the tower and those patrolling the perimeter have automatic weapons. Both gates are normally closed with only one open at any time when a vehicle enters the complex.

What do you think; a prison or defense facility? Maybe a government building or research facility of some kind?
No, it is the entrance to a potato chip plant near Lima, Peru. I was there to oversee the installation of a new production line.

I don't know what it is like today, but when I was there about twelve years ago things were still quite dicey. Each day we were escorted from the hotel door to a waiting car by an armed guard. We took a different route to the factory each day. We were registered at the hotel under false names. Given that we were there representing a large US company, there was a risk of kidnapping, so that is the reason for the personal safety. But why all of the intense security around a junk food plant?
When the people are starving, they attack the food processing centers.
I thought that was quite amazing! I had never thought about it before. I have worked on the Missile Defense program, and also a classified stealth boat, but the security at the plant in Lima was the most intense I had ever seen.

It was quite the trip. For starters we ran out of fuel while circling Lima waiting for the fog to lift. So we had to divert to a military airport where we were effectively held hostage by the Peru military for six hours, on a 110 degree F tarmac, until Delta Airlines agreed to pay the outrageous price demanded for fuel. In the mean time, we were prevented from deplaning by guys with machine guns. We ran out of water and beverages, the toilets were full, and in total we were on the plane for 24 hours before we finally landed in Lima. It got even more interesting from that point on.
 
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