Chiapas Facing the FTAA Alcarajo with the FTAA!

Chiapas Facing the FTAA Alcarajo with the FTAA!

By Gustavo Castro Soto

The Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas (FTAA) as a continental expression of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), will be one of the most terrible trade agreements that have ever been signed. The transnational companies have prepared the drafts of the supposed negotiations to be signed by the presidents of the region.

The Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas (FTAA) as a continental expression of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), will be one of the most terrible trade agreements that have ever been signed. The transnational companies have prepared the drafts of the supposed negotiations to be signed by the presidents of the region.

In these "agreements" all benefits are guaranteed to large multinational corporations over governments. The reaction of disagreement from civil society, but also from many businessmen, churches, political parties, among others, have led the United States government to modify its strategy: accelerate the process; further militarize the regions; consolidate free trade agreements in parts, that is, by small blocks of countries either with Central America or with Caribbean and South American countries; and to try to overthrow politically, economically or militarily the presidents who oppose the process, such as the presidents of Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador.

Another US government strategy focuses on Cancun, from September 10 to 14, 2003, at the time of the V Meeting of Ministers of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a global expression of the FTAA virus and the exacerbation of neoliberalism. If the interests of the large transnational corporations succeed in getting the presidents of the nations to sign the new rules of world trade, society will regret it. This is why the wave of protest and worldwide mobilization against the WTO is growing. It already feels, it comes, it is coming. The understanding of peoples about the origin of economic problems, hunger and misery, increasingly transcends borders.
This largely determines the new social alliances that are being woven between the lower and lower classes of each nation in the world. For this reason, we consider it important to give the word and voice of those who resist from below, of those who understand and yearn for a different world. Position of the women of Chiapas.

At the State Meeting on the FTAA, PPP and Women's Rights, held on May 16, 2003 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the women concluded with a statement that we now reproduce verbatim: "The more than 400 women Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Choles, Tojolabales and mestizas gathered in the forum: "The FTAA, the PPP and the Rights of Women", convened by the CODIMUJ (Diocesan Coordination of Women). After having worked in eight different tables whose topics were : health, education and culture, economy, migration, social relations, militarization, work and having analyzed the situation in which the communities find ourselves, we pronounce ourselves on the following:

  • A social medicine that respects our traditional medicine and we demand that the government increase public spending for clinics, hospitals and medicines.
  • We demand a free, public education that respects our cultures, our language and our beliefs and to which our boys and girls, men and women can reach.
  • We speak out for a food policy that benefits communities.
  • That NAFTA be reviewed in its agricultural section to stop the entry of foreign products tax-free.
  • We demand fair prices for our products, have decent jobs that respect our land and rights.
  • No to the maquilas and to become cheap labor.
  • Stop and punish the polleros who enrich themselves with human trafficking, just as we oppose the mistreatment that occurs in the immigration offices of Mexicans and Central Americans.
  • We demand that the government not provoke further divisions with its programs such as: Opportunities, Scope Package, Pro-field among others. That community agreements are respected.
  • We demand true information about the social projects it offers, we do not want handouts.
  • We demand that the government conduct studies on the ecological impacts that the PPP works and the interference of foreign investment in our communities are causing.
  • We say a resounding NO to the FTAA and the PPP as well as to any treaty that brings us more poverty.
  • We demand the immediate withdrawal of the army from our communities and the concentration of their barracks, respect for our human rights, our lands and crops, as well as the restoration of free transit in Chiapas since their presence only sows fear and terror as well as a deterioration in the daily life of our communities, due to alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution, drug trafficking and rapes of women.
  • We demand that the San Andrés Accords be respected and complied with as signed in February 1996.
  • We women are committed to supporting the No to FTAA campaign that is being carried out in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
  • We pronounce ourselves not to consume products from transnational companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sabritas, Maseca.
  • We are in favor of the organization of groups to produce healthy and chemical-free food and not GMOs.
  • All the women gathered here speak out against these projects of death and commit ourselves to working for projects that improve our quality of life, knowing that unity will be our strength. "

Posture of a Tzeltal Indian from Chiapas Mario, a young Tzeltal Indian from Chiapas, a high school student, also makes his own analysis and reflection after a series of workshops that we carry out. For Mario "the globalization of the economy is the stage of the transition of capitalism, perhaps it is the consolidation of this ideology of the powerful (sic), it is perhaps the maturation of this economic model, where only a few want to rule and reign For the entire globe, it is the interest of a few, of minority groups (sic), of the richest and most powerful countries on our planet, of people who want to control absolutely everything: governments, territories, borders, armies, resources characteristic of a nation, cheap labor, its laws. " For Mario, neoliberalism "is where discrimination (sic), racism, absolute power, centralist power, free competition, the accumulation of wealth in a few hands exist and abound, where they have cutting-edge, modern and advanced technologies. , where they are making and manufacturing thousands and millions of poor people.

They are those of thought, of getting richer, being very rich, it is where they think and want to create a single world market, a single single currency, an army and a single army and with advanced and sophisticated technologies, to have control over the Other countries are the ones that have multinational companies, and their subsidiaries distributed in different key points of our world, they are what people have working and distributed throughout different parts of the planet and they have the luxury of exploiting cheap labor, they are the that have money in many multiple banks, they are the ones that daily have collaborators betting and taking juicy profits, in the strongest and largest stock exchanges, which they have in different key and strategic points. "For Mario, the strategy of the promoters neoliberalism is clear: "They are those who are ending the lives of popular organizations, with their unions, environmental ecology, religions, culture, the economy, politics, and they are breaking with all the societies of poor countries, due to their ambitions and follies of power, through their political and military interventions, they are the ones that interfere and impose their conditions and their political and economic terms throughout the world. world, are those whose objectives are to achieve maximum military, political, economic, technological and territorial power, completely ignoring all other countries and their general society; They are the ones who want to destroy us, they are the ones who want to keep us always in oblivion and ignominy, satisfying their ambitions for glory and worldly wealth ".

"Other of its objectives is the creation of a common and strong market in which the financial capitals, which are productive and commercial, circulate freely and easily. It is therefore about manipulating, imposing their own laws to eliminate the barriers that some countries put up for The free movement of the three types of capital, coming from abroad, they want to have all the facilities, control, mobility, in the commercial exchange that if it suits them. They are the capitalists despots and exploiters in every sense of the word, they are these are businessmen, multinational banks, very powerful countries, neoliberal governments, international technocrats with international organizations, who want to end us and they want to have a strong, stable, healthy and consolidated economy. "

The young indigenous person has his own analysis and vision of what is happening: "Because of globalization and the globalization of the economy they have not achieved 100%. Since they have not managed to build a single, strong and common world market. Since they have not succeeded in constructing or abolishing tariffs, there is not, nor is there free mobility of the producing people, there is no free entry of workers, workers to their countries. They have not been able, nor will they be able to remove barriers or boundaries. of the states and territories of the poor countries, they still do not have a single currency. All of them are stubborn, killing each other to achieve their ends, purposes and objectives. They have little to go before they achieve it, but it seems to me that they never will to achieve, since it is the responsibility of all the people in general and all of society, and it will be very difficult for them to achieve it, since first they have to destroy us, with what remains, our sovereignty, our territory, our society. So that i did it in first they have to kill or assassinate all the inhabitants of each nation so that they can globalize it. "

He lives in the municipality of Chilon, in the northern region of Chiapas, where transnationals are very close to planting large tracts of Eucalyptus monocultures and the state government is putting pressure on them not to plant corn and sell their land. Also very close to where the government intends to build large hydroelectric dams.

It is in these communities where they struggle to survive and combat low coffee prices. Entire families look for work in other places to receive 15 to 20 pesos a day for their day. Faced with this situation, Mario states: "I agree that the currencies of each country are the symbol of national sovereignty, and that it should not be lost for any reason, in that globalization can be largely beneficial, since everything the world has or we have problems that it is incumbent on us to solve them all together, for example in the question of global and environmental ecology, everyone must agree to provide a solution.

I also agree that popular organizations, workers, workers at the local, regional, national and international levels, must join forces to counteract the onslaught of globalization and many other problems, I also think and agree that workers must have free mobility, so that they can work without rejection of any kind. I more than agree that the popular organizations of each country that the popular organizations of each country should organize more and unify to make a single world force, in which they develop a new policy of reason and social justice, a new policy economic that favors all the working mass, that a new thought and ideology is built for the defense of the popular workers, for the defense of the poorest, neediest and most humble people ".

Mario understands more what the globalization of neoliberalism is than many ordinary people. For him the most important thing "is that we realize that the globalization of the economy does not suit us at all, since we are a poor society, that we cannot compete with them in the same circumstances, due to the insignificant value of our national currency. , due to the low yields of our products.

That we realize that they are countries, powerful and rich people, who want to suck all our blood, that they are exploiters, imposing, authoritarian, who take advantage of the ignorance and simplicity of humble people, who are the ones who take advantage of cheap labor, which are people who have very large banks such as the world bank, the international monetary fund and who only lend their money with very large interest and with the purpose of indebting the poor more and thus making use of them at will. . And that these banks is a form of globalization since they only look at the interests of powerful countries. "

For Mario, the important thing for him is "that we realize that the globalization of the economy is destroying different sectors of society, the small economies of poor countries. That we realize that they are the main destroyers of the world environment. , through their factories and products they sell. " The young Tzeltal does not agree that "powerful countries are those that say and set conditions to trade in other countries, in which only they can agree to handle a single currency, such as the US dollar, which It circulates throughout the world, while the currencies of the different poor countries have no value or economic weight after their territories.

That workers do not have free mobility or access to these powerful countries and those who pass illegally do not have the protection of the state, and that there is no law that protects their integrity and their free transit through those countries. "

In the end, Mario concludes: "What I do not understand and cannot understand, because all the other rich and not rich (poor and industrialized countries) obey him almost blindly and are the instruments of the North Americans, in any action or thing that the gringos do, as for example in the wars in Afghanistan, or the US war against Iraq.
The vast majority of countries agree with the gringos or the US government. Why are organizations like NATO the instruments of the United States? It will be because of this, that we owe him a lot of money, or because we want or rather our leaders want to be on the side of the powerful and social injustice, or outright because we fear that they will wage war on us, where we know in advance that we have war. to lose.
I don't know why the United States is as if it were the pope of all, where we all have to obey, because perhaps we no longer have dignity, are our organizations fragile? … .What is happening to us as nations? ".

Position of Organizations of Peten, Guatemala. Now let's go beyond Mexico and see the struggle of our indigenous brothers and sisters in Guatemala, to give just one example.

In an urgent press release from the Alliance for Life and Peace in Peten, and addressed to public opinion on the International Day Against Globalization earlier this year, they stated, among other things, that the "disagreement and rejection of the Neoliberal policies masked in trade agreements such as the FTAA and NAFTA, since the latter mainly intends to deliver the little wealth that our department and our country has, to strong economic capital from the United States, which will only strengthen the economic power of large companies. Americans, and for us it will bring more than poverty and destruction.

We alert the communities of the presence of groups of strangers who are already coming to make water measurements in the Pasión, Salinas and Usumacinta rivers, they are also arriving with the intention of buying the land on the margins of these rivers since they want to build 5 dams that would flood a large territory in the municipalities of Sayaxche and La Libertad.

Recently, groups of foreigners traveling in 13 vehicles guarded by the army and the National Civil Police settled in the Corozal community of San Andrés Peten under the pretext of building a well, when the real intention is to start with the construction of a highway in the Maya Biosphere Reserve ".

They also stated that "The neoliberal policies of the developed countries, mainly the United States, have only managed to exacerbate the crises of our peoples, bringing more poverty and death, as can be seen in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and in our country. in Jocotan and Camotan, Chiquimula. Given this, the responses of the people are made to wait by going out to the streets to demonstrate, as was demonstrated in the World Social Forum held this year in Brazil and more recently what happened in Bolivia, where The people continue to reject and massively fight against the government that imposes more taxes, demanded by the World Bank, the IMF and the IDB. " And we are not few, we are many more than the governments and we ourselves imagine.

The Alliance for Life and Peace is made up of the Mayan Association for Peace (AOMAPADES), the Development Association for Central America (ADEPAC), the Ecological Committee of La Libertad (CEL), the Elías Manuel Association, the Maya Peten Health Program, National Association of Guatemalan Women IXMUCANE, Popular Communities in Resistance (CPR Peten), Movement December 29, San Andrés, Association of Rural Teachers of Guatemala (AMERG), Cooperativa Nuevo Horizonte, Association of Community Health Services (ASECSA), Magisterial Assembly de Peten, Sayaxche subsidiary, Association of Forest Communities of Peten (ACOFOP), Community Network of Central America for Risk Management, Peten Solidarity Action and Proposal Group (GSAPP), Petenero Front Against Dams FPCR, Center for Research and Popular Education (CIEP); Committee for the Uprooted, Nueva Concepción, San Francisco; Cooperativa La Técnica, La Libertad; Cooperativa Unión Maya Itza, La Libertad; Cooperativa Bonanza, La Libertad; New Hope, Freedom; Vista Hermosa, La Libertad; Peasant Association, Nuevo San Francisco, San Francisco; La Guadalupe, Dolores; Radio Ut an Kaj, Poptun; Catholic Church, Poptun; Presbyterian Church, San Benito; and the Peten Tourist Guides Association.

The Posture of the Caribbean Even beyond Chiapas, alliances of resistance are also intertwined. Recently, the Papaye Peasant Movement -MPP- of Haiti released the resolutions of its Congress in commemoration of its 30th anniversary of its movement, in which it resolved, among other agreements, to join with organizations "in the Caribbean, Central, South and South America. North to commit to the fight against the Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas (FTAA) ".

This fight against the FTAA will take place in several ways: against all kinds of imported products that destroy national production or attack customs; National consumption and production will be promoted and Creole culture will be promoted at all levels.

The MPP promised to "work closely with the CLOC, Via Campesina, COMPA, the Caribbean People's Assembly, of which we are members, and all the other groups or platforms that support the struggle."

They also demanded that the Aristide government "inform the people of all the commitments it makes in the negotiations on the FTAA because Aristide has no mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Haitian people." (full text of the resolutions at: Finally, this entire process of struggle, resistance and search for alternatives converges on many continental social agendas.

The First Social Forum of the Americas will be held from March 8 to 13, 2004 in Quito, Ecuador. Among its objectives will be: to stimulate critical reflection on the dominant neoliberal project and its expressions in our continent; promote a more detailed and profound exchange between experiences and resistance struggles; collect alternative proposals and strategies in the face of neoliberal globalization and militarism, seeking coherence between current practices and visions of the future; strengthen the articulation and actions of social movements. Among its thematic axes are: The economic order, The violent face of the neoliberal project; Power, democracy and the State; Cultures and communication

Between July 17 and 25, 2003, the Day of Resistance will be held in Honduras, where the III Week for Biological and Cultural Diversity, the II Mesoamerican Forum against Dams and the IV Mesoamerican Forum against the Plan will be held. Puebla Panama: However, the most important world social agenda for this year will be the Day of Resistance against the World Trade Organization (WTO) during its V Ministerial Meeting that will take place in Cancun on 10 to September 14 of this year ¡¡ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE !!!!

* Gustavo Castro SotoCIEPAC; CHIAPAS, MEXICO June 05, 2003 -

Video: African Continental Free Trade Area (July 2021).