Grassroots International

Mesoamerica | Page 12 of 12

  • Congresswoman Seeks to Revamp NAFTA

    In a promising development for North American workers, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, recently introduced legislation that would require the U.S. to renegotiate NAFTA. The goal of the legislation is to address the environmental harm, decrease in jobs and wages, and other social and economic problems caused by the failed trade agreement.

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Accountability Act (H.R. 4329) would require the Executive Branch of the U.S. government to certify that certain benchmarks have been met by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (the countries covered under the agreement). Such benchmarks include increased U.S. domestic manufacturing, stronger health and environmental standards, and the guarantee of Mexican democracy.

  • We Need a Democracy that Can Speak our Language

    In a few weeks, Guatemalans will cast their votes in the final round of the Presidential elections. They will choose between two candidates, the impresario Alvaro Colom and the army general Otto Perez Molina. So far, it seems that the next president will be elected with a small margin of votes with the two candidates disputing every vote in the capital of Guatemala City, where the election is expect to be decided.

    Far in the mountains, the votes of Mayan peasants will have almost no impact on the final outcome of the election. This lack of impact is evident in both political platforms, which fail to address the main issues and concerns of the Mayan population, including landlessness and the dire agrarian situation in the country.

  • Agrarian Reform and Peasant and Women’s Leadership Strengthened at the Francisco Morazan Central America Peasant School

    It is my seventh day traveling around Central America and I have filled many, many pages with notes. As much as I want to know, it is impossible to absorb so much information and history in a week. Conversations here are a rich experience often sprinkled with bountiful details of local and Latin American history.

    Over the last two days, I have been participating as an observer in the Central American Regional Conference on Agrarian Reform of the Via Campesina at the Francisco Morazan Central American Peasant School, named after the 19th century Central American leader who tried to create a united, progressive Central America.

  • Central America’s Women Fighting Oppression

    [In September 2007, Saulo Araujo, our Global Programs Assistant, is visiting our partners in Mesoamerica. He'll be reporting back about resource rights and food sovereignty issues in the region. This is the first of a series of three articles. --Ed.]

    As I waited for my flight to El Salvador on Tuesday, I decided to browse the newspapers for news about the election in Guatemala and saw a small blurb about the defeat of Rigoberta Menchu. The newspaper article reads that Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, received only 3% of the valid ballots in last Sunday's presidential election in Guatemala.

  • El Salvador’s Anti-terrorism Legislation Targets Water Activists

    The tiny Central American nation of El Salvador has long been out of sight, out of mind to most U.S. residents. Once the guns of the 12 year civil war went silent in 1992, the country signed peace accords, disbanded the famously repressive National Guard, modernized the police force incorporating ex-combatants from both sides into its ranks and embarked upon a somewhat haphazard process of healing.