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    Dear colleague: You may already be aware of the Americas Program at the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC, online at www.irc-online.org). If so, you know
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 17, 2003
      Dear colleague:

      You may already be aware of the Americas Program at the Interhemispheric
      Resource Center (IRC, online at www.irc-online.org). If so, you know that
      the IRC's Americas Program brings together area specialists and other
      experts from across the hemisphere to produce high-caliber, cutting-edge
      analysis on inter-American affairs and U.S. policy in Latin America. And
      many of you may already be receiving notices about new Americas materials
      related to your particular area of interest, such as environment, trade, or
      border issues.

      However, you may not be aware of another component of the Americas Program
      that will likely interest you. Every week, we produce our CrossBorder
      UPDATER ezine, that includes a column called Americas This Week, examining
      latest developments in the region. The UPDATER also includes summaries of
      the latest reports, citizen action profiles, and news analysis from our

      A sample issue of the CrossBorder UPDATER is included here. We encourage
      you to subscribe. Simply reply to this message, putting Subscribe in the
      subject line, or follow the subscribe directions at the end of the UPDATER.

      There are many more articles in the works, including a critical analysis of
      the IMF package in Argentina, a report on Mexico's anti-war movement, a
      profile of recent border organizing, a policy brief on the agricultural
      agreement of the upcoming WTO meeting in Cancun, and a report on how
      small-scale coffee growers are confronting the crisis in international prices.

      In a world of increasing inter-connectedness, informed citizen
      participation in foreign policy is vital to hemispheric peace and justice.
      The Americas Program offers serious analysis from throughout the hemisphere
      that goes far beyond what's available in the mainstream media.

      We appreciate your interest, and apologize for any duplicate mailings.

      Tom Barry Laura Carlsen
      IRC's Americas Program IRC's Americas Program
      www.americaspolicy.org www.americaspolicy.org


      c o n t e n t s :
      Anti-Yanqui Revival | English-language introduction by Laura Carlsen
      Sustainability Assessments: Tools for Effective Trade Policy in the
      Hemisphere | English-language policy report by Kevin P. Gallagher & Hernán
      Rumors of the PPP's Death--Greatly Exaggerated? | English-language PPP
      Spotlight by Wendy Call
      Foreign Debt: Fifty Years of Forgetting London | English-language column by
      Eduardo Gudynas
      Outcome of Mexican Dirty War Investigations Up In Air | English-language
      citizen action feature by Kent Paterson

      Distributed by the IRC's Americas Program ~ "A New World of Ideas,
      Analysis, and Policy Options." Note that this service includes
      announcements of new content in both Spanish and English. For more
      information, visit www.americaspolicy.org or read the footer of this
      message. To report problems, email americas@....

      The Americas This Week

      (“The Americas This Week” is a weekly column written by associates of the
      IRC’s America’s Program. Please send your responses to this column or
      comments about other Americas Program’s analysis and activities to

      The Anti-Yanqui Revival In Latin America

      Ten thousand Argentines burned American flags and threw rocks at the U.S.
      Embassy. In El Salvador, antiwar protesters shredded flags and shouted
      anti-American slogans at a luxury hotel where Central American free trade
      negotiations were being held. In major cities, McDonald’s concessions have
      been sprayed with “Don’t finance the war!” and in Sao Paulo the Brazilian
      Minister of Culture, singer Gilberto Gil, took to the stage to repudiate
      the U.S.-led invasion. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico stands permanently
      barricaded with twenty feet of steel crossbars, which daily protests have
      bedecked with bloodied shirts, paper roses, peace poetry, and angry
      epithets. George W. Bush has been called everything from the polite
      “assassin” to the unprintable.

      The protests reflect Latin America’s indignation over the U.S. invasion of
      Iraq and disregard for international law. But increasingly the anger is
      spilling over into a revival of “anti-yanqui” sentiment throughout the
      hemisphere. In nations where generally upwards of 80% of the population is
      against the war, as the war has continued and occupation deepened so has
      the impetus to denounce U.S. aggression continued. While many organizations
      fix the blame squarely on the Bush administration, expressions aimed at the
      U.S. as a whole have become more common.

      Such an interpretation would be both a factual and a strategic mistake for
      the growing antiwar movement in Latin America.

      To extend animosity to the American public at large is a factual mistake
      because the Bush administration acts radically on an exceedingly narrow
      base of representation. The president was elected with a minority of the
      popular vote--154 million adults did not vote for him. True, polls show
      that over 70% of the U.S. public supports the war. But this “rallying
      effect” at battle time is something that both psychologists and
      philosophers have commented on throughout history and often has little to
      do with the issues at hand or even the expressed justifications for the
      war. Recent polls show that beyond “supporting our troops,” U.S. public
      opinion actually diverges substantially from the neoconservative
      unilateralist agenda--over 70% support a strong role for the UN in the
      future, only half of supporters of the attack believe “war was the best
      option,” and 52% would like to see the UN participate in governing postwar
      Iraq. (See http://www.presentdanger.org/commentary/2003/0304pipa.html.)

      The foreign policy making group in the White House today has perhaps never
      been as cliquish or as ideologically driven. The neoconservatives hold
      impressive sway over the president, but their views do not even extend to
      the whole cabinet. Inside voices for a more multilateral approach have been
      emboldened by allies’ concerns and citizens’ movements. The hawkish view
      that treats Iraq as the spoils of war--exclusively administering
      reconstruction funds and self-assigning lucrative oil and infrastructure
      restoration contracts--confronts a growing call for UN involvement. Designs
      on Syria and Iran face strong resistance from many policymakers who wince
      at the prospect of becoming mired in the politically and financially costly
      business of occupying Middle Eastern states.

      At the same time, the movement that emerged to prevent the war is
      historically unprecedented in the United States. In less than six months,
      this movement surged from nothing to millions. These citizens support
      peace, not by paying lip service to the opposition, but by marching in the
      streets, signing petitions, writing poetry, calling Congress, performing
      Lysistrata, getting arrested, and going to jail. Although the movement
      failed at its first proposed task--to prevent the war--the momentum has
      continued into efforts to stop the war, contain the warmongers, and restore
      international law. United for Peace and Justice, a national umbrella group
      against the war, has over seventy member organizations; 161 cities have
      signed resolutions against the war; and 2 million people have signed on to
      MOVEON.org petitions against the attack on Iraq.

      Some Latin American groups have recognized the U.S. antiwar movement as a
      fundamental ally. In signing on to the Z magazine petition “I stand for
      peace and justice” Sub-Comandante Marcos notes: ”The declaration fails to
      make a clear distinction between the North American government and the
      people of the United States of America. Since many people in the U.S. have
      mobilized and promoted acts of civil disobedience against the war, we think
      this distinction is necessary. The public statements of academics,
      intellectuals, artists, religious leaders, alternative media, students, and
      U.S. citizens against the war--in spite of the bellicose handling of
      information by the large communications corporations--show us clearly that
      this is a war of the Bush government and not the U.S. public.”

      The Zapatistas are not alone in making this distinction. But the links
      between the U.S. movement and movements in Latin America should go deeper
      and broader and feed on common interests that extend beyond the war itself.

      So far in Latin America there have been no reports of signs in restaurants
      saying “Americans not welcome” like in Russia. But the region has a thick
      vein of anti-imperialist, anti-gringo sentiment dating from the sixties and
      seventies. Central America and Mexico solidarity work, as well as
      grassroots globalization efforts, served to dissipate hostility over the
      past couple of decades, but it may still be latent.

      The message of the “Not in our Name” movement launched by U.S. citizens and
      later translated into the “No en nuestro nombre” campaigns in
      Spanish-speaking countries carries an implicit subtext to antiwar movements
      across the globe: “They are not us.”

      - Laura Carlsen <laura@...>


      New from the IRC's Americas Program:

      Sustainability Assessments: Tools for Effective Trade Policy in the Hemisphere
      Kevin P. Gallagher & Hernán Blanco | April 2003

      Sustainability assessments are defined as analyses of the potential social
      and environmental benefits and costs of proposed trade agreements. In this
      new Policy Brief from the Americas Program, the authors argue for an
      official effort to incorporate sustainability assessments into the Free
      Trade Area of the Americas negotiations to increase transparency and reveal
      possible negative impacts.

      (Kevin P. Gallagher is with the Global Development and Environment
      Institute, Tufts University (USA) and writes regularly for the Americas
      Program; Hernan Blanco is with Research and Resources for Sustainable
      Development in Santiago, Chile.)

      Available online at http://www.americaspolicy.org/briefs/2003/0304sa.html

      PPP Spotlight #2:
      Rumors of the PPP's Death--Greatly Exaggerated?
      Wendy Call, Americas Program PPP Specialist | April 10, 2003

      2003 is expected to be a key year in the development and implementation of
      the Plan Puebla-Panama. Although some experts have declared the Plan dead
      in the water, one of its major components--road construction--continues
      unabated. The highways under construction have caused local conflicts along
      their routes as communities struggle to get information about the work and
      protect the local resources and environment from negative impacts. Some
      groups have even carried their cases to the International Labor
      Organization, claiming violation of indigenous rights. For these
      communities at least, the PPP continues to be a very real threat.

      (Wendy Call is a freelance writer who divides her time between
      Massachusetts and Oaxaca. She is working on a book entitled No Word for
      Welcome: Mexican Villages Face the Future, about indigenous communities in
      Oaxaca and globalization. She can be reached at <wendycall@...>.)

      Available online at

      Foreign Debt: Fifty Years of Forgetting London
      Eduardo Gudynas | April 10, 2003

      The foreign debt of southern countries has grown and is becoming a major
      problem again. The debt for 2002 in Latin America was over 725 billion
      dollars and Latin American countries registered a net transference of
      resources abroad, largely due to debt payments and servicing.

      In 1953 the United States, Great Britain, and other nations signed the
      London Agreement on the German foreign debt. The agreement set forth the
      conditions for reviving the German economy, assuring internal stability,
      and promoting economic development. It allowed for a 50% reduction in the
      debt, suspension of payments, low interest rates, and a ceiling of 5% of
      export earnings dedicated to debt payment. The author argues that today,
      when many citizens' organizations are demanding similar terms, we should
      remember the precedents established in the London Agreement.

      (Eduardo Gudynas is senior analyst at D3E (Development, Economy, Ecology
      and Equity Latin America), a research and advocacy center based in
      Montevideo, Uruguay.)

      Available online at

      Outcome of Mexican Dirty War Investigations Up In Air
      Kent Paterson | April 9, 2003

      Then-candidate Vicente Fox promised a truth commission to clear the
      historical record of past human rights abuses ranging from the 1968
      massacre of students in Mexico City's Tlatelolco Square to the 1995 Aguas
      Blancas slaughter of peasants in Guerrero state. Once in office, what Fox
      delivered was very different: a special prosecutor to investigate the
      culprits of those and other crimes, plus a military tribunal to try two
      Mexican generals on homicide charges.

      Human rights advocates, who have been pushing for decades to get to the
      bottom of the truth in these and other cases, voice a mixture of hope and
      doubt on the possibilities of attaining justice with the Fox
      administration's approach. Many groups still demand that the government
      establish a truth commission like the one in South Africa. But without
      sustained pressure from a united front, it's unlikely that the Fox
      administration will shift its human rights policy from a special prosecutor
      to a truth commission.

      (Kent Paterson is a freelance journalist based in Albuquerque and a
      frequent contributor to the Americas Program.)

      Available online at

      The crossborder UPDATER is a weekly bulletin announcing new reports,
      commentaries and analysis from the Americas Program of the Interhemispheric
      Resource Center (IRC). For a free subscription send a blank email to
      Because our audience is largely international and bilingual, we often
      include announcements of new Spanish-only content or Spanish translations
      in the English-language Crossborder UPDATER. To subscribe to the
      Spanish-language UPDATER Transfronterizo send a blank email to:
      "A New World of Ideas, Analysis and Policy Options"
      For more information about the Americas Program and the Interhemispheric
      Resource Center (IRC), visit http://www.americaspolicy.org/.
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