How fair is the investment arbitration system in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries? Are investor-state disputes balanced between national and corporate interests? LAC countries are among the most affected by the investment arbitration system, representing 28.6% of all known investor-state disputes around the world. In particular, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru account for 77.3% of the total number of claims against LAC countries. Analysis shows that the system so far heavily favours corporate interests. Investors have won in 70% of the cases brought against LAC countries. As a result, LAC States have already had to pay foreign companies 20.6 billion USD, which could cover Bolivia’s budget for health and education for four whole years.
Call on your MEP to oppose EU's proposed Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Peru and Central America because they will undermine human rights, increase unemployment and put corporate profits above human needs.
Dr. Pedro Paez talks about the creation of a new financial architecture in Latin America, based on principles of redistribution, environmental sustainability and social cohesion rather than market principles that dominated the old architecture.
The neoliberal FTAs pursued by the EU with Colombia and Peru threaten to exacerbate human rights abuses - which include killings of trade unionists, forced expropriations of indigenous people from land, and environmental destruction - for the sake of corporate profit.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission is hoping to boost EU-Latin American relations with the creation of a joint forum that will bring together the two sides on a permanent basis and launch of a new investment fund. But civil society organisations and some Latin American officials believe Europe is steadily abandoning its support for regional integration on the EU model on the continent.
Alberto Arroyo Picard, Graciela Rodríguez, Norma Castañeda Bustamante
13 April 2009
An examination of the contrast between the EU‘s professed aims for supporting regional integration in Latin America with the actual experiences of the different regions in LA with which the EU is seeking to sign Association Agreements.