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Declaration of Andean and Latin American social movements on the EU-CAN Association Agreement

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La Paz, Bolivia | 31 May 2007

Declaration of Andean and Latin American Social movements of the EU-CAN Association agreement

The movements and social organizations of Bolivia, countries of the Andean region and of Latin America feel deeply concerned about the consequences that an Association Agreement between the Community of Andean Nations (CAN) and the European Union (EU) could have for our peoples, which in its trade component includes a Free Trade Agreement, very similar to the FTAA (ALCA) that we buried only recently.

For us, new proposals that aim to deepen free trade can only be a backward step in countries where there are proposals to change the rules and the model in order to guarantee dignity to our peoples and a right to sovereignty. Free Trade can lead to profound negative impacts, as we experienced in the application of an economic model that only benefited multinational companies. In the Andean region, a broad range of social sectors and even some governments have categorically rejected FTAA, Andean Free Trade Agreement and other proposals which grant huge benefits for multinationals and enormous damages for our peoples. We have already lived these economic recipes and we know about their consequences. We don’t want them any more!

We regret that the European Union’s strategy called “A Global Europe: Competing in the World” will be the basis for the negotiation, and that its core aim is to seek to establish an “ambitious” Free Trade Area, and which whilst speaking of respecting human rights, in practice proposes deepening the WTO agenda privileging competition and not taking into account the different, distinct and totally different realities in Andean countries from those of European models. The basic logic of the European proposal, just like in all Free Trade Agreements, is based on the circulation of capital and goods and the restriction of free movements of human beings.

We reject policies that propose privatization of health, education, public services, agriculture, knowledge, the culture and traditions of indigenous communities. The experience in countries like Mexico, who signed an Association Agreement with the European Union seven years ago, demonstrates that alliances with Europe benefit multinational companies, transnational banks, and harm the people.

We want an integration between our peoples, but a solidarity-based integration which contributes towards creating fraternity amongst our nations respecting human rights, rights of indigenous communities, rights of migrants; protecting the balance with nature and which respect above all the differences and the national processes which we are living in our region.

Some of our countries are undergoing processes to revise constitutions in which social organizations are seeking to enact principles which protect our nations from the consequences of free trade agreements. Therefore we do not want to sign agreements which create a “constitution” for multinational companies, which is put above the rights of our peoples. The Constituent delegates must include safeguards in our constitution so that these agreements do not only benefit companies and big economic powers.

We are not against constructing trade relations with Europe, but only if it is based on balance and reciprocity. We demand that the voices and proposals of our peoples are considered at the point of establishing new rules for integration and trade. We believe that an agreement must be inspired by principles of solidarity, justice, complementarity and harmony with Pachamama (Mother Earth), nature.

We want to be sure that any agreement strengthens the struggle to recover control of our natural resources, truly benefits sectors of small-scale farmers and small producers, and seriously faces up to the issue of migration. We reject immigration policies which the EU is pushing which demonstrate a lack of respect for human rights and a racist and discriminatory attitude towards Latin Americans.

Our countries and communities are not for sale. We want trade between nations, but a solidarity-based and just trade by and between peoples. We want a true integration, which based on cooperation and solidarity, aims to change the models which up to now have only served to destroy nature and life in collectivity. We want unions of peoples to serve the construction of a better world and not just to benefit a small few.

We promote and call for a big mobilization of all the social movements of the Continent at the Summit of Heads of State of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union which will take place in Lima in May 2008.

NO to FTAs! ¡For the sovereignty of our peoples! Another integration is possible!

No to a new Free Trade Agreement with the European Union!

Yes to an agreement of true integration of the peoples!

Yes to a Just and Solidarity-Based Trade!

- Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia. CSUTCB
- Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas “Bartolina Sisa”. Bolivia
- Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qollasuyu. QONAMAQ. Bolivia
- Confederación de Indígenas del Oriente Boliviano. CIDOB
- Confederación Sindical de Colonizadores de Bolivia. CSCB
- Confederación de Trabajadores en Salud de Bolivia
- Coordinadora Integral de Organizaciones Económicas Campesinas. CIOEC. Bolivia
- Asociación Nacional de Regantes y Sistemas Comunitarios de Agua Potable. Bolivia.
- Federación Departamental de Trabajadores Desocupados. Tarija
- Federación Regional de Trabajadores Campesinos del Altiplano Sud. FRUTCAS. Bolivia
- Federación Sindical de Mujeres Campesinas del Altiplano Sud. FSUMCAS. Bolivia
- Federación de Estudiantes de Secundaria. Tarija
- Central Obrera Departamental. Tarija
- Central Obrera Departamental. Oruro
- Consejo Educativo de la Nación Quechua
- Movimiento Grito de los Excluidos. Bolivia
- Encuentro Social Alternativo. Bolivia
- AIS Acción Internacional para la Salud. Bolivia
- Plataforma de Propiedad Intelectual y Acceso a los Medicamentos. Bolivia
- Cámara de Industria Farmacéutica Boliviana. CIFABOL
- Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local. CEADL. Bolivia
- Capítulo Boliviano de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo. CBDHDD
- APDDHH Bolivia
- Colectivo Rebeldía
- Organización de Trabajadores Libres. Tarija
- Mujeres Líderes Tarijeñas
- TIJARAIPA. La Paz
- Indymedia. Sucre
- Comité Diversidades Sexuales y Genéricas. Cochabamba
- Plataforma por las Diversidades. Cochabamba
- Colectivo GLBT Divergencia. Sucre
- Movimiento Boliviano por la Soberanía y la Integración Solidaria de los Pueblos- Contra el TLC y el ALCA
- Campaña Andina contra el TLC y el ALCA
- Parlamento Indígena de América
- Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas. CAOI
- Red Bi-Regional Europa América Latina y el Caribe “Enlazando Alternativas”
- Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio. RMALC
- Red Colombiana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio y el ALCA - RECALCA
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 source: Movimiento Boliviano por la Soberanía y la Integración solidaria de los pueblos: Contra el TLC y el ALCA