A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

“As Native peoples. we still know the difference between the reality of freedom and the illusion of freedom.” John Trudell, Aboriginal Youth Network

Dear All – This morning I went to a talk by Vice President Santos of Colombia. He was addressing a room full of investors about why the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Colombia would bring prosperity to both countries.

He talked a lot about how U.S. companies could benefit from partnering with Colombia mapping out the popular free trade theme…decreased cost and increased profit.

What he did not mention was that the U.S. Embassy stated that if the Free Trade Agreement was passed, displacement in Colombia would increase exponentially. Colombia has the highest level of displacement in the world beating out both Iraq and Sudan.

What he did not mention was that 49% of the Colombian population exists below the poverty line already and free trade agreements to date have never raised wages for anybody.

What he did not mention was that Colombia has the highest rate of union members killed annually in the entire world.  All of the other countries  of the world totalled together is still fewer then the number killed in Colombia.  A free trade agreement could destroy the few worker protections that are enforced in Colombia.

What he did not mention is that the people of Colombia have spoken out again and again that a Free Trade Agreement would be disaster just as it has been in Mexico.

Is the best we can offer trade agreements that line the pockets of a few at the expense of the environment and human dignity?  Are we still  unaware that the current global economic crisis happened because of economic principles like  free trade?

As they would say in Spanish…Basta! Enough!

The Colombian administration is lobbying hard to get this agreement passed. Join with the people of Latin America and contact your members of Congress and Senators and let them know that you are opposed to a free trade agrreement.

Much Peace Liz


Comments on: "“As Native peoples, we still know the difference between the reality of freedom and the illusion of freedom…”" (2)

  1. Leanne Spacek said:

    Liz- but how do we make people understand about free-trade? I go to Haiti every year, and ‘free-trade’ coffee has not helped the little guys (and gals. The free trade folks come through and offer a price, take-or-leave-it, just as it was before. Individuals have no bargaining power anywhere. If you need rice to feed your kids today, you take what you can get. Leanne

  2. lizdeligio said:

    Dear Leanne – I think you are right many folks do not connect a cheap price on goods with a lowered quality of life for someone else somewhere else. However, I do think we have a small opening because of our current economic crisis. People are more open then I think ever before to the idea that how we spend money can have deep consequences. Perhaps connecting what we see falling apart all around us with free trade might help shape the conversation. I am curious what others might think or offer to Leanne’s important question? Peace Liz

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