Israel and Guatemala on Thursday signed a free trade agreement that will include industry, food and agriculture goods, the Israeli Economy Ministry said.
However, locals feel latent tension that the imminent consultation process or the arbitration suit could revive earlier threats, violence, and legal persecution from company employees and contractors.
An attempted assassination, criminalization, and violent eviction in 2014 didn’t stop the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya in Guatemala, which won legal action suspending harmful mining activities.
South Korea’s trade ministry said it is currently under negotiations with Guatemala to invite the Central American country to a multilateral trade pact that fully went into effect this year.
El Tambor is a controversial gold mining project in Guatemala. After years of local protests and litigation, it was halted in 2016 for lack of prior consultation with Indigenous people.
The hard work of protecting water and land from the long-term harms associated with gold and silver mining takes place daily on the frontlines of tenacious struggles throughout Latin America and around the world.
In December of 2018, KCA filed a $300 million-dollar arbitration claim against the government of Guatemala under CAFTA-DR.
The company filed the suit in December 2018 for alleged violations of the Central America–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).
Exmingua is planning to launch arbitration proceedings against Guatemala following the suspension of its Tambor gold project.
A chapter on labor issues within CAFTA was to provide an improved environment for labor rights. But the Guatemalan state has consistently failed to implement these protections.
This decision drives home the fact that U.S. trade deals do not protect workers. In truth, this failure is by design—labor chapters were not meant to work efficiently or effectively.
“The panel’s decision flies in the face of common sense. Guatemala’s failure to protect its workers and enforce its own laws is apparent to nearly everyone except the arbitrators.”
The U.S., for the most part, lost its first challenge of another country’s adherence to the labor rules under a trade deal.
Guatemala has agreed to eliminate its 12.5 percent tariff on U.S. fresh, frozen and chilled poultry products under the U.S.-DR-CAFTA free trade agreement
A long-running dispute over Guatemala’s compliance with the labor provisions in the Central American Free Trade Agreement won’t be resolved soon.
The long-running struggle of rural communities in Guatemala against the United States-based mining firm Kappes, Cassiday, and Associates (KCA) continues in Guatemala’s national courts.
The Guatemala Mining Explorations (Exmingua) threatens with filing a lawsuit against Guatemala after being forced to suspend operations by decree of the Constitutional Court .
Today’s migrations, as macro international displacements of hundreds of thousands of people with or without documents — in many cases in precarious conditions of transit — have been and are one of the social processes that characterize what is happening in different latitudes of the earth since in the new century, in the global context of neoliberal economic restructuring directed by transnational enterprises and the capitalist countries of the first world.
When Guatemala joined CAFTA in 2006, proponents of the deal said it would improve conditions for workers. Seven years later, Guatemala was named the most dangerous country for trade unionists. Supporters of the TPP are making many of the same promises.
The Obama administration promotes the TPP as “the most progressive trade bill in history,” with the highest labor standards yet but similar promises have been trotted out to justify every free-trade agreement from NAFTA on.