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Indigenous resolution on the CAN-EU FTA

ALAINET 2008-11-21

Indigenous Resolution on the CAN-EU FTA


Open Letter

To the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia
To the Andean Community (CAN)
The European Union: Parliament, Commission and current Presidency
To the UN and ILO
To international public opinion

Put a stop to the divisiveness of the EU in the CAN
The FTAs with the U.S. and EU are destroying the Andean world and the CAN
Integration by the Peoples for Good Living and Plurinational States

Organizations of indigenous and original peoples, farmers, trade union and people’s movements in the Andean countries, convened by the Coordination of Andean Indigenous Organizations, CAOI [Spanish acronym] for an emergency meeting in the city of Lima on 17-11-08, to analyze the crisis in the Andean Community and the intent to impose an FTA with the European Union, declare the following:


 The Andean Community is in crisis as a result of the attitude of the European Union and the governments of Colombia and Peru, who in a meeting of foreign ministers held in Europe proposed to negotiate the FTA bilaterally, breaking with the Guayaquil Agreement, which ratified block by block negotiation. This attitude undermines Andean integration.

 Andean indigenous peoples and social movements in the region are pushing for an alternative process of integration. A vision that goes beyond the purely commercial and upholds good living for all, based on the principles and practices of complementarity, reciprocity and equality among peoples and Mother Nature.

 The true face of the FTAs is being seen in Peru, where the FTA with the United States has imposed 102 legislative decrees that violate indigenous rights and social rights, by facilitating the expropriation of supposedly uncultivated land, as well as the protection of invasions of communal territory with over 4 years duration, increasing the instability and insecurity of communal areas, the fragmentation, the privatization and re-concentration of land, the imposition of easements for extractive industries, the privatization of forests under pretext of being agricultural lands, the privatization of sea and river ports and cutting labor rights by reclassifying medium businesses as small ones.

 The FTAs do not hesitate to destroy the CAN, as demonstrated by the Peruvian government when they issued the DL 1075, which breaks with Decision 486 of the CAN, and gives privileges to industrial patents, makes for more expensive medicines and opens the way for intellectual property concerning biogenetic resources. A second blow to the CAN is that the amendment to 486 is imposed by Peru and Colombia, with the complicity of Ecuador, through a vote and not by consensus, transgressing the Cartagena Agreement.

 The FTA with the European Union is disguised as a Partnership Agreement yet it denies the specific national status claimed by Bolivia and imposes strategic issues concerning investment, competition, patents, government procurement and trade facilitation. The EU changes the negotiation with the CAN for bilateral agreements with each country, and does not care about destroying the CAN itself on the way. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has more financial power than the World Bank, and is more authoritarian and interventionist. It directly supports European national companies; gives secret loans to investment projects in infrastructure such as those of IIRSA and others, which translates as "debt" for our peoples and states.

We resolve to:

AFFIRM the need for the integration of our peoples, initiated in the CAN process, so as to prevent the conquest of our societies and national economies.

REJECT any form of division or disintegration of the CAN under pressure from the U.S. and the EU, with the complicity of the governments of Alan García and Álvaro Uribe who represent the neoliberal model.

REJECT any FTA with the EU, either by regional arrangements or by bilateral negotiations, because it threatens the sovereignty of our countries, represents the plundering of the natural resources of our people and creates a new form of colonization through transnational companies and financial capital.

DEMAND that the Andean governments call a referendum or national consultations so the people can speak out about any form of FTA or international trade agreement.

REQUIRE the EU to recognize historic, social and environmental debt they have with our people through five centuries of colonization of Abya Yala.

SUPPORT the dignity and sovereignty of the Bolivian people and government, and its president Evo Morales for not giving in to the transnational corporations and for not negotiating strategic issues with the EU such as the national control of foreign investment, government procurement and competition regulations and industrial patents. We also support their struggle to make sure that any kind of international integration will contribute to Good living for Peoples and Communities.

BUILD a CAN that is anti-neoliberal and promotes alternative and regional integration by and for the people and communities, including:

Social, cultural and political life of peoples.

Harmony with Mother Earth and Good Living.

Priority to strengthening the economies of local communities.

The consultation and prior consent —that is public, informed and in good faith— concerning any policy or investment that will affect the communities.

International trade, but one that that complements local efforts, with social and environmental justice, and respecting the diversity of visions of development.

A CALL TO ACTIVE SOLIDARITY with the struggles of indigenous peoples: in Colombia, with the historic Indian and Popular Minga, that includes the rejection of the FTA with the U.S. and EU; in Peru with the uprising of communities against the 102 legislative decrees of the FTA with the U.S.; in Ecuador with the rejection of territorial encroachment by transnational mining companies; and with the struggle in Bolivia, which rejects U.S. interventionism (by the DEA, the Embassy) and defends the construction of its plurinational state.

Lima, November 17, 2008

• Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas, CAOI
• Confederación de Pueblos de la Nacionalidad Kichwa en Ecuador, ECUARUNARI
• Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia, ONIC
• Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qollasuyu, CONAMAQ
• Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia Bartolina Sisa
• Confederación Sindical de Colonizadores de Bolivia, CSCB
• Confederación Nacional de Comunidades del Perú Afectados por la Minería, CONACAMI
• Central Obrera de Bolivia, COB
• Federación del Trópico de Bolivia
• Central Obrera Regional- El Alto
• Movimiento Cumbre de los Pueblos del Perú
• Confederación Campesina del Perú, CCP
• Asociación Nacional de Maestros en Educación Bilingüe del Perú, ANAMEBI
• Sindicato Único de Choferes Cobradores del Perú, SUCHOCOP
• Grupo de Iniciativas Urbanas de Lima

Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina

(Traducción: ALAI)

 source: ALAINET