GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (Nov. 8)
Israel is among the 29 countries being represented here at “INTERFER ’77,” a Guatemalan government sponsored international commercial and industrial fair which ends Nov. 13. Israel is represented by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The IAI delegation is headed by Joseph Nahum.
Until INTERFER ends, there will be daily flyovers by one of the 12 Arava 201s bought by Guatemala from Israel since 1974. The Arava is a versatile short take off and landing plane adaptable to troop and cargo transport, medical evacuation or patrol operations.
Gen. Kjell Eugenio Laugerud Garcia, president of Guatemala, presided at the opening day ceremony Oct. 31, attended by the presidents of Nicaragua, EI Salvador and Honduras. Security was extremely tight throughout the exhibition grounds located on the edge of Aurora International Airport and in surrounding areas of Guatemala City.
Since its inception in 1971 INTERFER has become the most important Central and South American industrial showcase. As such it has served to focus attention on development trends and policy in the region. With this in mind, President Laugerud declared to the inaugural crowd of more than 1000 exhibitors, diplomats and members of the press, that “only if there is (economic) equality between countries can international peace exist.”
IAI, which was founded in 1953 as a small aircraft repair shop, has grown into a major industrial aerospace organization composed of 14 different divisions. In the last 10 years, it has more than quadrupled in size and today employs upwards of 20,000 workers. In the past, INTERFER has served to increase technical cooperation and to aid in the diffusion of industrial knowledge. The theme of INTERFER ’77 is “We will all progress together,” a process Israel is actively involved in.