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Real World Radio interviewed Costa Rican activist Jorge Coronado at the Peoples’ Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, who warned that “The Colombian people is the reflection of Central America, where the FTA with the United States is neither beneficial for the peoples, nor for the national economies”.
Coronado is a member of the Hemispheric Social Alliance. He made an assessment of the Free Trade Agreement between Dominican Republic, Central America and the US (CAFTA), which entered into force in 2006.
Jorge analyzed the Free Trade Agreement (a very important issue at the Summit of the Americas) and the process for the building of the Peoples’ Summit political agenda.
“They have not fulfilled any of the promises. Employment has not increased, the economy has not improved and the inequality between Central America and the US increased”, he said.
Far from the promises of better times, labor rights violations increased and there was a flagrant loss of food sovereignty, to the point that predominantly agriculture- based economies began to “depend on imports”, for example of basic crops.
Coronado also spoke about the plans made in meeting spaces like the Peoples’ Summit: “We should not work too hard in making a document to deliver to the presidents, but we should focus instead on improving our organization”.
Some of the issues analyzed in Cartagena include the impacts of extractivist projects (like mining, oil and gas) on rural and indigenous communities; the fight against free trade agreements, world governance in the G20 and the promotion of ’green economy’ at the Rio+20 summit.
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