The backlash from business and the opposition against Bolivia's trade policy with the EU was shrill enough to suggest that Bolivia had announced the end of external trade. Yet the Bolivian government's position is based on experience of the heavy costs of free trade for the majority of its citizens.
"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.
This year's Madrid summit marks a key milestone in the ongoing development of the Enlazando Alternativas network for both highlighting EU complicity with human rights and environmental abuses and highlighting the real alternatives offered by social movements of integration and development that respect the rights of people, communities, and protect the environment.
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.
The structural adjustment policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions [the World Bank and the IMF] have for decades caused untold harm to people and nature. Their implicit or explicit cooperation with the TNCs cannot be denied. For all these reasons, we demand that European governments take responsibility for their corporations and cease their support for their predatory activities in Latin America.
This documentary aims to present the state of the debate on alternatives for regional integration as this is unfolding among social movements and civil society organizations throughout the Latin American 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.
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.