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Dissenting Voices

Source: Radiomundoreal.fm

December 13, 2012

European Parliament Passed Trade Agreements with Latin American Countries: Interview with Friends of the Earth Coordinator

Download: MP3 (2.2 Mb)

Social and environmental organizations reacted to the European Parliament’s passing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia and Peru, and an Association Agreement with Central America, with a public statement that warns about the negative impacts of these agreements on the people and the environment.

The Parliament’s vote took place after the celebration of the international Human Rights Day. The civil society organizations warn that these trade agreements will worsen human rights abuses in Latin America, especially in Colombia and Peru.

The public statement was signed by Friends of the Earth International, the Transnational Institute, Linking Alternatives, Ecologistas en Accion, the Inter-American Platform for Human Rights, Democracy and Development (PIDHDD), Attac France, Mexican Network for Action Against Free Trade (RMALC), Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and tens of other organizations as part of a global campaign against transnational corporations is available here: http://www.foei.org/en/media/comunicado-tlc-y-ada/view

“The FTA and the Association Agreement passed today require Latin American governments to establish certain guarantees and to reform their laws in order to favour European investment, i.e., to be open to investments from European corporations with no conditions or requirements that may limit their profits. This will cause even more damage to the Latin American peoples and environment”, said Grace Garcia of Friends of the Earth Costa Rica (COECOCEIBA), cited in the Friends of the Earth press release.

Meanwhile, Lucia Ortiz, coordinator of the program Economic Justice, Resisting Neoliberalism of Friends of the Earth International said: “The FTA and the Association Agreement will allow European corporations to operate in Latin America with greater impunity. They will secure favourable conditions for their investments, leading to the loss of peoples’ rights, especially workers, the displacement of local communities and environmental degradation”.

Real World Radio interviewed Lucia Ortiz on Thursday about FoEI point of view about these trade agreements passed by the European Parliament, which the environmental federation accuses of having devastating effects for the people and the environment.
From November 13 to 19, Friends of the Earth International organized a solidarity mission in Guatemala and El Salvador, that verified systematic human rights abuses and criminalization of environmental activists and communities resisting mining and dams.

Friends of the Earth chair, Jagoda Munic, as well as many other activists participated in the mission. “European corporations should comply with the standards set up by the European Union, including human rights laws when they operate outside Europe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as the Friends of the Earth international delegation could verify”, said Jagoda Munic, also cited in the press release.

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