PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL – Today thousands of people marched through Porto Alegre to protest the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), one day before the end of the 3rd World Social Forum (1) here.

Civil society groups are speeding up their mobilization against the controversial FTAA (ALCA in Spanish), a corporate-driven project that might get started as early as 2005, with massive potential consequences on the Latin American people and environment.

“Under the FTAA companies would be able to bring States to court if environmental and social laws go against their interests,” warned Ricardo Navarro, Salvadorean chair of Friends of the Earth International, today. (2)

‘The establishement of the FTAA would grant to transnational corporations monopolistic rights on territory, services and life itself,’ said Karin Nansen of REDES – Friends of the Earth Uruguay.

Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest international grassroots environmental network representing one million people in 68 countries is one among hundreds of organisations represented at today’s rally.

please call in Porto Alegre (until January 29):
Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth International Chair (English, Spanish): +55-51-92138163 (Brazilian mobile).

Karin Nansen, REDES – Friends of the Earth Uruguay (Spanish, English): +55-51-92137595 (Brazilian mobile).

Or Niccolo Sarno, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) media coordinator (English, French, Spanish, Italian): +55-51-92138116 (Brazilian mobile).