Home Office Location: Tenochtitlan, Aztlan
President/CEO : Juan Atzcapotzalco
Corporate Status: Private
Chief Products/Services: Chemicals, heavy industry, military technology, mystical goods/services
Secondary Interests: Aerospace, biotechnology, consumer goods, cybernetics, service
Security/Military Forces: Aztechnology Corporate Security
Like nation-states. the world view and behaviors of megacorporations are strongly influenced by the paths by which they reached pre-eminence in the business/commercial world. This is particularly true of Aztechnology Corporation. Though the name “Aztechnology” does not appear until 2020, the history of Aztechnology Corporation dates back to well before the Awakening.
Aztechnology began within the various drug cartels that operated largely out of Colombia, and later Panama and Nicaragua. in the late 20th century. The cartels were involved in various business concerns from the 1970s through the 1990s, and then once more around the turn of the century after a temporary downturn in their business fortunes. The Medellfn cartel led the group during the 1980s, giving way to the Cali cartel in the 1990s. After the Cali cartel’s influence diminished as a result of various factors the Medellin faction regained ascendancy.
In the preceding paragraph, the word “faction” is used advisedly. Though the cartels occasionally worked together, as in their response to the enhanced "War on Drugs·· staged by the United States in the late 1990s, they spent most of their time in direct and often violent competition with each other.
During the early years of the 21st century, the Cali cartel regained some of its lost power, but it failed to overtake the rapidly growing Medellfn concern. Two new major cartels had also risen to prominence in the interim: one based in Masaya (Nicaragua), the other in David (Panama, near the Costa Rican border). The Medellfn cartel led the pack; the Cali, Masaya and David cartels formed the “B-List” concerns.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the drug cartels accrued huge profits from their illicit trade, often with the cognizance of their governments and sometimes with their direct cooperation.
Before the turn of the century, the “drug lords”-or “cartel managers,” as they came to be called in Aztlan/ Aztechnology records—were struggling to find legitimate places to invest their drug revenue. Contrary to popular belief. the need to “launder” these funds was a minor motivating factor; the cooperation of various governments in the region made such complex tactics largely unnecessary. The major reason was much simpler: the revenues amounted to much more money than even the high-living drug lords could ever spend. The cartels therefore strove to “go legitimate” to some degree, while maintaining their major business concerns.
In 2007, Juan Ortega, the jefe ("chief’) of the Medellin cartel, managed to coordinate under his direction the various cartels’ efforts to invest in legitimate business. His success also allowed him to cement his position as the de facto overall leader of the Mesoamerican drug trade. In 2007, the major cartels bought out a major resource development company based in Villahermosa, Mexico, and renamed it ORO Corporation. Though the word oro means “gold,” the name actually derives from the initials of the three major cartel leaders responsible for establishing and managing it: Ortega (Medellfn), Julio Ramos (David), and Diego Oriz (Masaya).
In the following year, huge deposits of the strategically important metal molybdenum were found several kilometers off the Panamanian coast in the Golfo de los Mosquitos north of San Cristobal. The value of the mineralogical find was estimated initially in the tens of billions of U.S. dollars, but this estimate quickly proved conservative. “Coincidentally,” only ORO Corporation had exploitation rights, acquired from the Panamanian government months before the deposits were discovered. Further, in the months preceding the find ORO had acquired, squeezed out, or otherwise compromised all of the local companies that supplied the equipment and material necessary to exploit the deposits. The corporation had made similar “arrangements” with the downstream companies as well, those who would process the molybdenum ore taken from the shallow continental shelf.
It seemed obvious at the time that ORO Corporation had some prior knowledge of the find and had manipulated events to maximize its profits from the circumstance. Nevertheless, no one could prove chicanery on the corporation’s part. In any case, legal jurisdiction over the matter belonged to Panama, a nation that stood to gain spectacularly from ORO’s fortunes. This single event catapulted ORO Corporation from obscurity into the “major leagues” of industry.
ORO and TECHNOPIRACY
At the urgings of ORO Corporation and its “affiliates” the cartels, several countries in the region pulled out of many international agreements concerning copyright, trade secret, patent ,and intellectual property protection. Within Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua and (to a large degree) Honduras, it was no longer illegal to copy. repackage, disassemble and/or re-englneer software products of all classifications. Local companies, by this time having become subsidiaries or partners of ORO Corporation, began to “pirate” and sell computer application code, computer/video/trideo games, “e-pubs” (electronic publications), trideo and music programming and (later) simsense recordings. Because these companies did not have to invest in development, they could drastically undercut the official world prices for these products while still turning an immense profit.
By the time ORO and its affiliates took up technopiracy, countries in the Mesoamerican region stood among the few in the world that still refused to accept the logical necessity and wisdom of megacorporate extraterritoriality. In the countries under ORO’s corporate thumb, megacorporations hurt by technopiracy had little recourse. ORO management refused to listen to reason and back away from the corporation’s dangerous course. National governments and justice systems complied fully with ORO’s interests. Consumers the world over were shortsightedly swayed by the much lower prices of ORO’s pirated wares. Other nation-states. even those with the vision to accept extraterritoriality, were unwilling or unable to prevent their citizens from buying these pirated products. ORO’s revenues skyrocketed once more.
During the mass chaos that attended the so-called Awakening, ORO Corporation expanded Its technoplracy operations into other countries in Mesoamerica, subverting national governments in the process. Soon the cartels had acquired considerable influence over the governments of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. ORO ‘s enlarged technopiracy operations provided a major incentive for the formation in 2012 of the Inter-Corporate Council, which eventually became the Corporate Court. Initial incarnations of the ICC did not incl ude ORO. Member corporations soon recognized, however, that despite ORO’s distasteful business practices, the corp was too large and influential to keep
out of the council.
Somewhat predictably. the ICC failed to rein in ORO’s irresponsible actions. In 2013 , Keruba-at the time primarily a software company and a prime victim of ORO’s technopiracy-inltiated several minor raids against ORO’s resources to “send a message” to the corporation’s management. ORO answered the raids with larger operations, and the situation soon escalated into corporate war. The ICC tried to settle the situation by applying pressure to ORO, as the sympathies of the other megacorporate representatives on the council lay with Keruba, but had no measurable success. Eventually, the conflict wore down as both corporations expended their liquid assets.
FORMATION OF AZTECHNOLOGY
The events of the 21st century’s second decade transformed ORO from a renegade into a respectable partner of a brand-new national government. By 2015, ORO had acquired a measure of respectability through its humanitarian efforts after the VITAS plague swept Mexico. This, along with its unstinting work to establish a direct-democracy system after the fall of the Mexican government, raised ORO’s ethical stock in many eyes. The joint venture between ORO and the government of the new nation of Aztlan gave the corporation access to and some degree of control over a large market. In response to the relative stability of the new Aztlan government (by comparison with other Mesoamerican nations). ORO moved its central management structure to Mexico City (recently renamed Tenochtitlan). In 2022, ORO Corporation renamed Itself Aztechnology Corporation. This name change coincided with a huge “image re-engineering” project. a public relations campaign of epic scope. The corporation spent countless billions of pesos to recast itself as a new organization, completely different from the technopirates who had terrorized the high-tech markets only a decade before. Remarkably. and counter to the predictions of many corporate analysts. this campaign worked among noncorporate consumers. Corporate insiders knew better, of course; the jaguar named Aztechnology might have changed its spots, but it remained the same predatory beast beneath the pelt.
In the two decades that followed, Aztechnology moved to the forefront of Aztlans expansion. Aztechnology “security forces” fought alongside Aztlans national troops in the northern campaigns that struck Into Texas and “liberated” San Diego. Aztechnology also played a major role In Aztlan’s ongoing campaign to compromise the national governments of the countries to the south-incidentally, the countries with which ORO had struck its “sweetheart deals.” (Predictably, the campaign to compromise these countries went exceptionally smoothly.)
Aztechnology came into conflict with the rest of the mega corporate sphere again In 2044 when the Aztlan government, acting on the corporation’s direct instructions, nationalized all holdings belonging to other megacorporations operating in the nation. Negotiations In which the Corporate Court and individual megacorporations repeatedly and forcefully pointed out the consequences of this action failed to have any effect. In 2048, a coalition of megacorporations organized Operation RECIPROCITY, a paramilitary strike on Aztechnology’s Ensenada facilities, with the full knowledge and approval of the Corporate Court. Details of Operation RECIPROCITY are classified, as are the detailed negotiations that followed it. The result, of course, is well-known; the megacorporations signed the Veracruz Settlement in 2048. An overview of the settlement’s provisions may be found via the crosslink listed above. Detailed discussions of the settlement are classified under Ares access Overlord- I.
Though the Veracruz settlement loosened Aztechnology’s grip somewhat on the economy of the Mesoamerican region. Its current hold remains tight. With its close ties to the Aztlan government and the conditions of the settlement that require Aztlan (and often Aztechnology) to be a major shareholder in all foreign corporations, Aztechnology Corporation continues to be a major force to be reckoned with.