Prensa Latina, Cuba
FTA Sanction Betrays Peru Farming
28 June 2006
Lima, Jun 28 (Prensa Latina) Antolin Huascar, president of the National Coordination Office against the Free Trade Agreement, branded the ratification of that deal with the US as treason to the Peruvian farming world.
Peruvians farmers feel betrayed because the government, in the back of people, signed a free trade agreement overnight, asserted Huascar before heading a march across downtown Lima to condemn the government decision.
"The whim of President Alejandro Toledo, who since the very start of talks said the FTA with the US would be signed no matter what, came true. He imposed his whim without thinking about the people who elected him," he noted.
Huascar, also leader of the National Confederation of Farmers, said that organization does not recognize the deal because it only benefits a minority.
He asserted the 79 lawmakers who voted for ratifying the document were traitors.
"They have yielded to the economic and political interests that control them," he contended.
The farmers’ leader said they will stage an indefinite agrarian strike on July 4, and the government will be responsible for any violence stemming from it.
He also said President Alan Garcia, of the APRA Party, will have to respond for events to come, as farmers will not just sit there.
The Peruvian Congress sanctioned the free trade agreement with the US on a 79-14 majority, plus six abstentions, on a 15-hour session closing Wednesday amid protests.
A group of people led by congressmen of Union por el Peru Party, which campaigned for Ollanta Humala in the past general elections, shouted against the deal ratification.
The document entitled Peru-US Trade Promotion Agreement included reports by the Foreign Trade and the Foreign Affairs commissions of the Peruvian Parliament.