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Fwd: En;CIEPAC,Chiapas al Dia 272,Analysis PPP/San Andres,Feb 27

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  • jack brown
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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2002
      >From: owner-chiapas95-lite@... (Chiapas95-Lite)
      >Reply-To: chiapas-i@...
      >To: chiapas95-lite@...
      >Subject: En;CIEPAC,Chiapas al Dia 272,Analysis PPP/San Andres,Feb 27
      >Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 20:55:13 -0600 (CST)
      >This message is forwarded to you by the editors of the Chiapas95
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      >to: <chiapas-i@...>.
      >---------- Forwarded message ----------
      >Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 11:20:17 -0600
      >From: CIEPAC <ciepac@...>
      >To: ciepac@...
      >Subject: [Ciepac-b] English Chiapas al Dia 272 B
      > BULLETIN� "CHIAPAS AL DIA", No. 272
      > (January 9, 2002)
      >Our understanding of the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) grows as new events
      >unfold in the region and in the world.� On one hand, the worlds economic
      >recession continues, and particularly that of the United States, the
      >European Union and Japan, coupled with the markets need to search for new
      >trade routes and greater comparative advantages.� On the other hand the
      >situation in Argentina is deepening the credibility crisis of the
      >International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) and their
      >Structural Adjustment Policies.� The banks, neoliberalisms circulatory
      >system, have also lost credibility.� Argentinas debt is a preview of
      >crises in Latin America and the Caribbean.� The PPP is established
      >precisely on this debt of the very poor countries.�
      >In this Bulletin we discuss the "opportunities" of the Strengths,
      >Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats (FODA by its Spanish acronym-
      >Fortelezas, Oportunidades, Debilidades y Amenazas) analysis of the PPP,
      >as outlined in this Plans Principal Document, which mainly refers to
      >boosting investment profits.� Among the underlying themes are the
      >following: integration of the Mexico-Central American market; investment
      >in infrastructure for companies; cheap labor, especially of women and
      >young people; privatization of strategic resources; appropriation of
      >energy sources (water and gas); possibly greater government debt; better
      >access to foreign markets; extraction of raw materials; commercial
      >exploitation of cultures and the environment; lower costs for production,
      >transportation and marketing; land appropriation and the expulsion of the
      >rural population; and an alliance between governments and entrepreneurs
      >aided by international bodies.
      >THE PUEBLA-PANAMA REGION: One of the "opportunities" according to the
      >FODA analysis is the population of the region which, "could climb to
      >around 92 million inhabitants by 2025" and become an "interesting market"
      >with "increasing levels of education".� Yet despite these optimistic
      >scenarios, the situation is getting worse.� According to the figures of
      >same people who are design the policies enshrined in the PPP (the WB and
      >the UNs Economic Commission for Latin AmericaECLA), five years ago in
      >1997 there were 78 million poor people living in rural areas, and in 2001
      >the figure reached more than 90 million, just one result of the
      >neoliberal policies implemented by the regions governments.
      >Therefore, it is no coincidence that the San Andres Accords signed by the
      >EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) and the federal government
      >on February 16, 1996, six years ago, reminded the government of its
      >social obligations: "The state should guarantee the conditions to permit
      >the indigenous peoples to obtain food, health and housing in a
      >satisfactory manner and at least an acceptable level of welfare".
      >The PPP takes pains to underscore as an "opportunity" the "growing
      >participation of women in all spheres, particularly in labor markets".�
      >Several key points are not mentioned about this increased womens
      >participation:� it will be through jobs at maquilas, and it is also
      >directly related to the large scale migration of Mexican and Central
      >American men to the north due to the economic disaster in the
      >countryside.� The San Andres Accords recognizes that women should have
      >new roles through.� The accords call for, "The establishment of
      >indigenous womens right and means to participate on equal footing with
      >men, in all aspects having to do with indigenous peoples governance and
      >development", and "placing emphasis on womens participation" in economic,
      >political, social, cultural, educational and health programs.
      >Within the framework of the San Andres Accords, the maquiladoras,
      >established specifically to attract the labor of poor and indigenous
      >people, should not exist.� In the Accords, the government committed
      >itself to "incorporate political rights into existing legislation, as
      >well as respect for indigenous traditions and customs, respecting
      >indigenous womens dignity and human rights".� And specifically regarding
      >labor, the government committed itself to "guarantee the labor rights of
      >indigenous women, especially those in vulnerable conditions, such as
      >part-time workers".� Yet neoliberal maquiladoras are intrinsically
      >exploitative of women and childrens labor.� For the PPP women are only
      >"human capital" that guarantee greater profits for large corporations,
      >precisely the raison de^tre of the maquiladoras.� Women working in the
      >maquiladoras in Mexico and Central America commonly work under poor
      >conditions, earn lower salaries than men in spite of equal work hours,
      >lack pregnancy leave, suffer from constant sexual harassment, and live
      >under dreadful health and housing conditions in the maquila "barrios."��
      >The San Andres Accords included the governments commitment to "assure the
      >right to health, education, culture, food, adequate housing, basic
      >services for indigenous women and children of Chiapas, as well as their
      >participation in productive programs, with dignified integral development
      >for indigenous women that is designed according to their needs".� The
      >Accords also stipulate the "fulfillment of international treaties and
      >agreements that the Mexican government has signed.� Special reference is
      >made to Agreement 169 of the ILO (International Labor Organization), the
      >Vienna Declaration on Human Rights, regarding the elimination of all
      >forms of discrimination against women, and to the World Conference on
      >Population and Development Treaty in matters of womens health and
      >reproductive rights."
      >Another "opportunity" is the so-called "genuine interest among the
      >countries of the region to strengthen their ties of cooperation and
      >increase their level of integration and possibilities of achieving
      >complementary development among countries...increasing foreign trade in
      >the region through free trade agreements".� Yet the effects of the Free
      >Trade Agreement between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada are well known:
      >poverty, migration, unemployment, food dependency, disloyal competition
      >and the dismantling of national sovereignty, among others.� Based on this
      >experience, we can predict the disastrous effects of a free trade
      >agreement between the United States and the Central American countries,
      >that president George Bush began pushing for in January 2002.
      >The "opportunities" for large multinational corporations (MNCs) consist
      >of "increasing the level of industrialization in the region, in
      >particular in areas linked to agricultural activities", that is, the
      >extraction of raw materials and the establishment of many monoculture
      >plantations producing for export.� The regions industrialization will be
      >achieved after local producing firms are dismantled or wind up in the
      >hands of large multinational corporations.
      >The "opportunities to attract important foreign direct investment" will
      >be realized through governments privatizing their companies, goods and
      >resources.� This privatization will include local biodiversity, since
      >"the region contains significant biological� resources and is one of the
      >most genetically diverse regions in the world." This biodiversity is
      >being appropriated through free trade agreements, and is being
      >concentrated in the hands of a shrinking number of some of the most
      >powerful pharmaceutical MNCs in the world, through the granting of
      >patents.� Thus investment has come to mean the merging of companies and
      >that everything can be bought: biodiversity, water or tangible and
      >intangible goods.� This type of investment does not necessarily create
      >jobs.� The PPP identifies Mexico and Central America as a region that
      >contains 10% of the worlds biodiversity.
      >The environment will be integrated into the market as well.� The PPPs
      >principal document identifies as an "opportunity" the fact that "a market
      >exists for cultural and environmental tourism, with a potential for 5
      >million tourists annually, a segment with the fastest growth rate of the
      >world tourism market".
      >TRANSPORTATION (South-Southeast Mexico): The most important
      >"opportunities" for large companies will result from lower transportation
      >costs, through efficient and inexpensive connections of the region to
      >world markets. This will be achieved through investment in
      >infrastructure, which will require further government debt.� Thus the PPP
      >sees "opportunities" in the "development of the Pacific and Gulf
      >corridors of Mexicos south-southeast and Central America (financed with
      >15-year credits)", as well as the "creation of transportation
      >infrastructure" that uses local, inexpensive temporary labor; or the
      >"development of an integral subsystem of transportation in the Isthmus of
      >Tehuantepec."� This development has already encountered strong opposition
      >among the indigenous and campesino organizations of Oaxaca and Veracruz.�
      >The Plan in this region would privatize large extensions of crop land,
      >leading to the displacement and migration of many rural communities.�
      >Private companies would also manage airports, trains and the "Ports of
      >Altamira, Veracruz and Progreso; the ports of Coatzacoalcos (Veracruz)
      >and Salina Cruz (Oaxaca)" that "are suitable for global links with the
      >markets of the United States, Europe and Asia".� Thus emphasis is placed
      >on the "opportunity" of "joining the public and private spheres" and on
      >credit from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).� For poor people,
      >the IDB provides programs that supposedly alleviate the poverty brought
      >by capital expansion policies, but these programs are actually loans that
      >increase countries foreign debt.� For example, some sources affirm that
      >Mexico really has a debt of US$300 billion, a situation which undermines
      >sustainable development and which could lead to a crisis similar to
      >The San Andres Accords, rather than referring to the relationship between
      >state and business, proposed a "new relationship between indigenous
      >peoples, the state and the rest of society", based on pluralism, free
      >determination, sustainability, consultations and agreements, and the
      >autonomy of indigenous peoples.
      >TOURISM (South Southeast Mexico).� These "opportunities" are defined as
      >the "low cost of tourism tariffs; growth of alternative tourism;
      >integration of regional communities in the tourist industry, job and
      >income generation for the population in the areas of trade and
      >services".� In other words, campesinos and indigenous will sell
      >handicrafts or work as bricklayers at construction sites, waiters,
      >gardeners, dishwashers, and window washers, within a "potential market of
      >regional visitors (North, Central and South America) who will arrive by
      >air, for short or midterm stays; a potential market of visitors from far
      >away with strong purchasing power".
      >Yet the indigenous peoples are not demanding to incorporate their culture
      >into the market.� In the San Andres Accords the state made a commitment
      >to "promote the cultural manifestations of the indigenous peoples.� The
      >state should encourage national and local cultural policies of
      >recognition and deepening of the possibilities of indigenous peoples for
      >the production, re-creation and dissemination of their cultures, with the
      >active participation of the indigenous peoples themselves; and the
      >incorporation of the knowledge of their diverse cultural practices in
      >plans and programs of public and private educational institutions".
      >ENERGY (South Southeast Mexico): The opening of ports, maquiladoras,
      >airports and industrial corridors, among other infrastructure, will
      >require greater generation of energy, also covering U.S. demand.� Not
      >only roads, but energy sources will also be connected northward from
      >Panama to the United States through the "Central American electrical
      >interconnection".� Thus "opportunities" lie in the "construction of eight
      >energy plants that will cover the growing demand for electrical energy in
      >the region, and that will provide surpluses to cover the demand in the
      >rest of the country".� Opportunities are also found in the "opening of a
      >large number of micro-hydroelectric generators in the region", given that
      >the hydroelectric projects in the South Southeast "have good development
      >potential".� Yet there is a tendency towards the generation of electrical
      >energy with gas, and therefore "planning of the Minatitlan-Coatzacoalcos
      >Energy Center is considered favorable as it is based on petrochemicals
      >and the generation of electricity".
      >However, all of this wealth is found in indigenous and campesino lands,
      >and this is a serious problem for the PPP.� Thus the government has not
      >complied with the San Andres Accords, because they stipulate that "the
      >rights of the indigenous peoples to the sustainable use and all benefits
      >derived from natural resources should be recognized by the federal and
      >state Mexican judicial system..." This is wealth that the large MNCs do
      >not want to share.� Millions of indigenous and peasants have been
      >displaced throughout the world from their places of origin due to the
      >construction of large hydroelectric dams.� Now in Chiapas communities are
      >being threatened in the municipalities of Huitiupan, Simojovel, Ocosingo,
      >Tila, Sabanilla, El Bosque, Chicomuselo and Comalapa, among others, due
      >to the planned construction of these electric energy projects that will
      >satisfy market and industry demands within the PPP.
      >TELECOMMUNICATIONS (South Southeast Mexico): Among the outstanding
      >"opportunities" of this sector are the "market of 25 million inhabitants
      >of the Mexican South Southeast; support for the development of
      >productive, tourism, educational and social activities of the region;
      >strengthening of COFETEL (Federal Telecommunications Commission) through
      >structural changes, responsibilities and its purview to evaluate and
      >sanction; possibilities of linking most towns in the region by cellular
      >telephone at low cost; strengthening and widening the tele-education
      >services (EDUSAT Network); development of administrative and
      >implementation systems for municipalities (National Municipal Network);
      >development of tele-medicine services (National Tele-medicine Network)".�
      >So what we can foresee is a future when indigenous people will have
      >cellular phones, health care through internet, and more tele-high schools
      >that will continue to fail.
      >Information is power.� And the communications media is in the hands of
      >several companies that arent willing to share.� What the San Andres
      >Accords have to say on the matter is not being carried out, and that is:
      >"a new legal framework in matters of the media that would cover the
      >following aspects: the countrys multi-cultural nature; the right to use
      >indigenous languages in the media; the right to respond; guarantees for
      >the rights of expression, information and communication; democratic
      >participation in communities and indigenous peoples within the
      >decision-making mechanisms in matters of the media.� Participation of
      >those interested in greater citizen participation in the medias
      >decision-making bodies, by means of an ombudsman or a citizens council
      >for communications".� Although the government is not fulfilling its word,
      >many indigenous communities are carrying out different and autonomous
      >methods of appropriating the communication and information media.� The
      >same goes for economic, educational and health matters.
      >TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT (South Southeast Mexico):� The logic of the
      >supposed free market makes it necessary to modify space or territory.�
      >Yet the free market faces a dilemma with regards to the extraction of
      >wealth and the building of infrastructure: lands are in the hands of
      >communal land owners (ejidatarios), of campesinos, of indigenous people.�
      >In addition, these people are needed as cheap labor for this system.�
      >Therefore the PPP plans to gather all of these people together, or
      >create, "concentrating nodes of population that today live in remote and
      >disperse locales...in order to create national or regional development
      >nodes".� To achieve this goal, the PPP proposes to "create the necessary
      >services to make the Coatzacoalcos-Minatitlan area into a national energy
      >center; make Tuxtla, Tapachula and Chetumal into national development
      >nodes and trades centers for Central America; consolidate Puebla,
      >Veracruz, Salina Cruz, Villahermosa, Merida and Cancun into national
      >development centers with differentiated services; (and) consolidate
      >Coatzacoalcos as a center of the countrys petrochemical industry".� To do
      >all this and more, the PPP states that "plans are needed for
      >environmental and territorial ordinances as planning instruments", in a
      >way that has never been done: "by wide-scale citizen participation".
      >Spaces for negotiation, lobbying and electoral pressure have been
      >postponed for the time being.� State structures and political parties
      >have not been responsive to the needs of most citizens, and have, in
      >turn, approved high taxes and debt.� Land, territory and locales have
      >become the sites of struggle for citizens against neoliberalism.� This is
      >why the San Andres Accords are an obstacle to the advancement of the
      >PPP.� The government agreed in the Accords that indigenous peoples
      >autonomy implies that "every indigenous people (group) exists in a
      >territory that includes the total habitat that the indigenous people
      >occupy or use in any way.� Territory is the material basis of their
      >survival as a people and expresses the unbreakable unity between people,
      >land and nature".� To impede the survival of indigenous economies and
      >cultures, it is necessary to uproot the indigenous from their lands.� And
      >this is one of the PPPs main objectives.
      >AGRICULTURAL WATER INFRASTRUTURE (South Southeast Mexico): The location
      >of underground water sources provide an "opportunity" to locate
      >irrigation systems that "increase the yield of corn from 1.7 tons per
      >hectare to 4.5 on average; to double the yield of beans, cacao, sorghum
      >and soybeans".� Therefore, the PPP proposes providing resources to the
      >countryside through programs such as the Alliance for the Countryside
      >and, "granting preference to cattle-raising programs by means of TEG
      >(Technological Exchange Groups) schemes".� What is not clearly stated is
      >that irrigation systems will be for large agro-export companies, that
      >will impose conditions on the small farmers (campesinos) regarding types
      >of crops, credits, types of improved and patented seeds, as well as the
      >privatization of land holdings as collateral for loans.� In addition,
      >most basic grains are now being imported into Mexico from the United
      >States, which has meant a loss of food sovereignty for Mexico.� For
      >example, 80% of Mexicos agricultural commerce is with the United States.�
      >Mexico brings in from the US 60% of its food.� In 1999 Mexico imported
      >from the US 43% of the sorghum consumed by Mexicans, 97% of the soybeans
      >(almost all genetically modified), 40% of the cotton seed (also
      >genetically modified), 27% of sesame seed, 50% of wheat, 50% of corn
      >(modified), 60% of rice and 30% of boneless meat.� This has all meant a
      >loss of food sovereignty.� Thus the challenge for the indigenous and
      >campesino communities is to increase their ability to produce their own
      >food because, in an open market, they suffer great losses.
      >ECONOMY (South Southeast Mexico): Again the "opportunity" to "integrate
      >markets" throughout the PPP region will make it "an attractive market for
      >internal and external investors", with, "a young, working age population
      >that will make the region dynamic".� Privatization of strategic resources
      >are for the PPP "opportunities to attract important amounts of direct
      >foreign investment"; and development will follow as long as there are
      >"improvements in the transportation systems (ports and highway corridors
      >in particular)", thus "attracting to the region important investments in
      >maquiladoras".� The PPP also claims that "some resources in the region
      >are still insufficiently exploited" and that the "region has interesting
      >potential for rapid development and consolidation of fish hatcheries,
      >fishing, forestry, mining and tourism".
      >WHO HAS PARTICIPATED IN DRAWING UP THE PPP?: In the Mexican government
      >document, the General Office for the Plan Puebla Panama says that the
      >following Presidential offices participated: Strategic Planning and
      >Regional Development; Governmental Innovation; Growth with Quality; and
      >the Office of the Development of the Indigenous Peoples.� The following
      >Secretaries were involved: the Secretaries of State, Foreign Relations,
      >Defense, Navy, Treasury and Credit, Social Development, Environment and
      >Natural Resources, Energy, Economy, Agriculture, Cattle and Rural
      >Development, Fishing and Food, Communications and Transportation,
      >Education, Health, Labor, and Tourism.� The state governments of
      >Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco,
      >Veracruz and Yucatan are also involved.
      >The public-sector businesses and decentralized offices involved were
      >PEMEX (Mexican Petroleum), Federal Electricity Commission, National
      >Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics (INEGI), National Bank
      >for Foreign Trade (Bancomext), National Bank of Public Works and Services
      >(Banobras), Nacional Financiera (Nafinsa), National Water Commission and
      >the National Population Council.
      >The international organizations were the Inter-American Development Bank;
      >Economic Commission for Latin America, Central American Integration
      >System; Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation, and the
      >Central American Bank for Economic Integration.
      >Public officials and governments have stated that the PPP carried out
      >public consultations.� But these consultations were never held nor will
      >they be held.� The list of those who have been involved in drawing up the
      >proposals does not include any social, campesino.� Only governmental
      >officials and corporate representatives have been involved.� Many
      >alternative forums have been held in the past year on the PPP, but which
      >have gone unnoticed by the government and corporations.� Two "People
      >Before Globalization" Forums have been held with the presence of hundreds
      >of organizations, resulting in the declarations of Tapachula and Xela
      >(Guatemala), as well as other regional forums such as the Declaration of
      >Jaltipan or Huehuetenango (see www.ciepac.org under the "?que es PPP?"
      >The San Andres Accords place emphasis on citizen participation.� In the
      >Accords the government recognized that "it is the communities and
      >indigenous peoples themselves who must chose their development projects
      >and programs.� Thus it is appropriate to include in local and federal law
      >the best mechanisms possible to encourage indigenous peoples
      >participation in development planning at all levels, so that development
      >takes into consideration their aspirations, needs and priorities".
      > Gustavo Castro Soto
      >Sources: CIEPAC; IDB; the Mexican Governments official website on the
      >PPP; the San Andres Accords (see the original text at www.ciepac.org
      >under the peace process chapter, "proceso de paz").
      >Center for Economic and Political Investigations of Community Action,�
      >CIEPAC is a member of the Movement for Democracy and Life (MDV) of
      >Chiapas, the Mexican Network of Action Against Free Trade (RMALC)
      >www.rmalc.org.mx, Convergence of Movements of the Peoples of the
      >Americas� (COMPA www.sitiocompa.org ),� Network for Peace in Chiapas,
      >Week for Biological and Cultural Diversity����
      >www.laneta.apc.org/biodiversidad���� and� of� the� International�� Forum�
      >�People Before Globalization", Alternatives to the PPP
      >Translated by Miguel Pickard, for CIEPAC, A.C.
      >Note: If you use this information, cite the source and our email address.
      >We are grateful to the persons and institutions who have given us their
      >comments on these Bulletins. CIEPAC, A.C. is a non-government and
      >non-profit organization, and your support is necessary for us to be able
      >to continue offering you this news and analysis service. If you would
      >like to contribute, in any amount, we would infinitely appreciate your
      >remittance to the bank account in the name of:
      >CIEPAC, A.C
      >Bank: Banamex
      >Account number: 7049672
      >Sucursal 386
      >San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
      >You will also need to use an ABA number:� BNMXMXMM
      >Thank you! CIEPAC
      >Note:� If you wish to be placed on a list to receive this English version
      >of the Bulletin, or the Spanish, or both, please direct a request to the
      >e-mail address shown below.� Indicate whether you wish to receive the
      >email or the "attached file" (Word 7 for Windows 95) version.
      >Email:��������� ciepac@...
      >Web page:�� http://www.ciepac.org/%ef%bf%bd (Visit us:� We have new maps on the
      >situation in Chiapas, and a chapter with more information on the PPP)
      > __________
      > CIEPAC, A.C.
      > Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politicas de Accion
      > Eje Vial Uno Numero 11
      > Col. Jardines de Vista Hermosa
      > 29297 San Cristobal, Chiapas, MEXICO
      > Tel/Fax: en Mexico 01 967 678-5832
      > era de Mexico��� +52 967 678-5832
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