"With a bill on the table that would mandate the use of free
software in government computers, Peru has become the latest Latin
American country to seek alternatives to what some call another
form of Yankee imperialism: proprietary software.
"Mexico, Argentina and Brazil have all pursued similar measures
in a government-led movement that is sweeping the region and
carries both pragmatic and philosophical overtones.
"On a practical level, proponents say that switching to
open-source programs -- which allow users to view and modify the
underlying code that makes the computer operate -- can save
countries millions of dollars that are now spent on licenses for
proprietary software, whose code is hidden..."