Quito, November 1, 2002 – Friends of the Earth groups in Central America announce the initiation of the regional trade and environment campaign “Central America Is Not For Sale!” in our protest to the seventh Ministerial Meeting of the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), in Quito, Ecuador, where Latin American government and business officials will further negotiate trade liberalization policies which prioritize corporate rights over social and ecological rights.
This week, and for the rest of the month of November, Friends of the Earth groups in Costa Rica (COECOCEIBA), El Salvador (CESTA), Nicaragua (Centro Humboldt) and Honduras (Madre Tierra) will organize press conferences and other activities announcing their national campaign activities as part of the regional coalition and campaign “Central America is Not For Sale!”
Friends of the Earth groups in Central America are unified in their struggle for a more socially just and ecologically friendly development model, and demand a halt to further FTAA negotiations for the following reasons:
– The FTAA pushes for trade liberalization -and subsequent privatization – in the services sector. Services such as health, education, and water should remain in public hands, accessible to the more economically marginalized sectors of society.
– The FTAA threatens food security in Central America by pushing for a more competitive system of agricultural production. Food production should remain in the hands of small to medium sized farmers and not in the hands of transnational agri-businesses.
– The FTAA calls for the privatization of the energy sector, advancing the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the region.
– The FTAA threatens local and national environmental and labour laws, in favour of the interests of transnational corporations.
The “Central America Is Not For Sale!” coalition proposes that politicians in the Central American region advance an alternative trade agenda which is based on more sustainable production and consumption practices.
Friends of the Earth International is the largest grassroots network in the world campaigning to protect the environment firstname.lastname@example.org to create sustainable societies.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ACTIVITIES OF EACH FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GROUP, CONTACT
Costa Rica: COECOCEIBA (FoE Costa Rica): Manuel López
El Salvador: CESTA (FoE El Salvador): Dr. Ricardo Navarro and Soledad Quintilla:
Honduras: Madre Tierra (FoE Honduras): Dr. Juan Almendares
Nicaragua: Centro Humboldt (FoE Nicaragua): Bianca Ruiz
Ambika Chawla email@example.com