Farmers fight FTA in Ecuador

Farmers Fight FTA in Ecuador

Quito, Nov 28 2005 (Prensa Latina) Representatives of farmer organizations from Andean nations began a meeting in this capital on Monday to define actions and strategies to fight the free trade area with the United States (FTA).

Ecuadorian Federation of Farmer, Indigenous, and Black people Organizations (FENOCIN) President Pedro de la Cruz highlighted this meeting will be attended by more than 150 farmer leaders from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

"We will define during 48 hours the actions to take to oppose, in a coordinated and joint way, the intentions of Bogota, Lima, and Quito governments to sign the FTA behind our peoples’ back," de la Cruz highlighted.

He said they will also analyze other alternatives like the Venezuelan Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA) proposal, which is a true social integration and totally opposes the FTA that Washington is trying to impose on this Andean region.

"The farmers want to strengthen regional unity to defend our rights better," the leader asserted, announcing that a free trade agreement with the United States will damage the agricultural sector to a great extent.

"The high subsidies the US administration grants to its farmers hinder negotiation of the FTA with dignity and independence," he said.

De La Cruz recalled that the farming sector represents between 45 and 47 percent of the national population, and is one of the most affected spheres by neoliberal policies that have been sold to them by large financial institutions, controlled by Washington.

For the FENOCIN top leader, the FTA that the White House wants to impose on Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador "is a death strategy."

Leaders of Brazilian farmer movements were also invited to this meeting, which was organized by the Farmer Organization Coordinator of the Andean Area (CROCA), with headquarters in Peru, and FENOCIN, de la Cruz concluded.

source: Prensa Latina