In a letter to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), a global network of 177 NGOs, expresses strong support for the Peace Accord signed by the Colombian government and the FARC, while also expressing deep concern regarding intensified, and increasingly militarized, forced coca eradication efforts, especially in areas where communities have already signed crop substitution agreements.
Getting to the Briceño region in the heart of Antioquia requires an excellent vehicle, and a lot of time and luck. The week before our journey there in mid-July, heavy rains wiped out part of the road between Briceño and Pueblo Nuevo, stranding folks on one side or the other. We were lucky on the day of our journey – no rain. But it took a six-hour drive to get from Medellín to Briceño, and another three hours of sometimes harrowing curves to Pueblo Nuevo. The dirt-road drive itself was a stark reminder of the challenges Colombia faces as it seeks to eliminate 50,000 hectares of coca this year through the crop substitution program, Programa Nacional Integral de Sustitución de Cultivos de Uso Ilícito (National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops), known by the acronym PNIS.
Hyderabad/Amsterdam, July 20. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Hyderabad, India this week (July 22). If signed, RCEP would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue States at international tribunals whenever they feel government regulation can limit their profits. India is already the target of 40% of all cases filed against RCEP countries. The country also tops the ranking with regard to financial claims: India has been sued for at least 12.3 billion USD by foreign investors since 1994.
Puerto Rican intellectual Enrique Toledo responds to Edgardo Lander's comments on the (Latin American) left's unconditional support of Chavismo and its lack of critical analysis (Original interview in English here). This response was originally published in Spanish by La Diaria. The article was translated into English by TNI with the author's consent. Please find the original Spanish article on La Diaria here.
Trade talks between Mexico and the EU commenced this week as efforts intensify to update a free trade agreement signed in 2000. Serious concerns about transparency, human rights, and investor obligations saw more than fifty civil society organisations from Mexico and the EU articulate their concerns in a letter demanding a halt to negotiations until certain criteria are met.
The Praful Bidwai Memorial Award is intended to honour and highlight courageous and independent voices in journalism. This years recipient of the award is Andhashradha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS, Maharashtra Blind Faith Eradication Committee)
Four Water Protectors who were active in the NoDaPL Standing Rock protests visited the Netherlands as part of a European tour from May 28th to June 2nd. Rachel Heaton, Nataanii Means, Wašté Win Young, and Rafael Gonzales aka Tufawon travelled to all corners of the Netherlands in just under a week.
On 16 May, Ecuador became the fifth country to terminate all its Bilateral investment treaties (BIT). Why did it make this decision? TNI researcher Cecilia Olivet, and president of the Ecuadorian Citizens Commission that audited the country’s investment protection treaties, shares her insider perspective.
ERPI is starting a Working Paper series, supported by a limited number of small grants, to allow for the writing up of original research. In parallel they are inviting short contributions in a variety of media that help to map out responses and alternatives. The Initiative will hold a major international conference, bringing this work together, with the aim of thinking together about new directions, both for academic research and practical action.