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Guatemalan orgs: No US FTA

Guatemalan Orgs: NO US FTA

Guatemala, May 10 2006 (Prensa Latina) — The COS (Social Organizations Group) and the MISPEC (Guatemalan indigenous, farmer and popular movement) have joined the vigil Wednesday in front of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court to reject the free trade agreement with the United States.

"The FTA is an attack on national sovereignty, violates the Constitution, and leaves Guatemalans without rights,” MISPEC director Jose Callejas told Prensa Latina Tuesday.

The MISPEC also denounced US pressure for implementation of the treaty and called on the Court to put the dignity of Guatemala, reason and law, over foreign imposition.

COS leader Orlando Blanco said the pact violates articles related to the State’s obligation to direct the economy toward employment and equal distribution of wealth.

Approval and ratification of the FTA was made without fulfilling the requirement of a national consultative referendum, as the Constitution establishes, he pointed out.

Secil Oswaldo de Leon, member of the same group, stated that if the Constitutional Court gives a green light to the FTA, it will be in direct conflict with international agreements signed by Guatemala, such as agreement 169 with the International Labour Organization.

The Constitutional Court convened a hearing for Thursday to listen to arguments from State representatives supporting the FTA with the US and those of at least 30 organizations that reject it.

 source: Prensa Latina