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“Say No to Plan Mexico, Expanding NAFTA” (Joy Truskowski)

30 September 2007

Joy Truskowski lives part of the year in San Cristobal, and part in the U.S. This was posted on the Oaxaca Action Study Group, which is sometimes worth reading. She publishes her own website,  Chee Chen and produces political videos, mostly about Mexico.


Are you tired of the U.S. economy getting worse? Are you tired of hearing about well-paid U.S. jobs moving overseas? Are you concerned with the immigration problem? Do you want to do something about it?

President Bush recently had talks with the presidents of Canada and Mexico to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is the agreement passed by Clinton in 1994 that allowed transnational corporations to receive subsidies for closing manufacturing plants in the U.S. and setting up sweatshops in Mexico. This act pushed down wages in both the U.S. and Mexico. It also flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized U.S. crops, which put small Mexican farmers out of business and made record profits for only the biggest agribusiness corporations. These things increased the already huge flow of immigrants entering the U.S., since many of them are displaced Mexican farmers.

In addition, President Bush and President Calderón of Mexico are discussing pushing their new “Plan Mexico.” This is a plan to give billions in subsidies to defense contractors to provide helicopters, guns, and training to the Mexican military which they say will fight narco-trafficking.

This is what Clinton’s Plan Colombia proposed to do in 2000. But it was a dismal failure. Colombia has been entrenched in a civil war for decades, and its military has a history of corrupt ties to narco-trafficking paramilitary groups, which terrorize and massacre rural villages with impunity. The U.S. gave this corrupt government 4.8 billion of our tax dollars without forcing it to meet human rights requirements that would protect innocent civilians. In addition, the alternative crop development that received only eight percent of the program funding left poor farmers (which make up about 70% of the population) without crops and resources that they were promised, while their food crops were fumigated along with coca crops. As a result, the aid package displaced more poor Colombian farmers, the modest decrease in coca production has simply moved to Peru, and the availability and price of cocaine in the States has remained constant. Paramilitaries also continue to threaten and murder people in the rural areas. The U.S. is still sending military aid to Colombia.

The Colombia military aid also protects oil pipelines owned by transnational corporations, and defense contractors and big agribusiness companies who produce fumigation chemicals are profiting, which is why the plan wins so much support from politicians. These companies give large campaign donations and can send lobbyists to Washington to push their policies.

Now President Bush and other elected officials want to give billions of your tax dollars to defense contractors to enable Plan Mexico. The Mexican government is also known for having corrupt ties with narco-trafficking paramilitary groups, and is recently responsible for hundreds of human rights violations against its own people (some of which I have witnessed firsthand while living down there). Some examples include soldiers raiding indigenous communities, destroying their homes, robbing their possessions, raping the women, and arresting and torturing people without cause or evidence of wrong-doing. These are the same soldiers who will receive U.S. military equipment and training under Plan Mexico.

Are you alarmed with the immigration problems we already have in the U.S.? With Plan Mexico giving military equipment to a corrupt police force and displacing more poor farmers who are caught in the middle of this “drug war,” it will get worse.

Mexico’s conflict is not a drug war. It is a war over land rights and economic rights that needs to be resolved by respecting Mexico’s huge population of poor farmers, who want to grow food crops and be allowed to live on their land in their country. The Mexican government and transnational corporations have been trying to push them off of their resource-rich land, which is part of what exacerbates the immigration problem. NAFTA is part of what has made it harder for these farmers to sell their crops, because they can’t compete with the heavily subsidized U.S. agribusinesses.

We can more effectively decrease drug consumption and crime in the U.S. by funding treatment programs at home instead of military programs overseas. More than half of those incarcerated in the U.S. who complete treatment programs and aftercare don’t commit new crimes. Many other drug addicts are turned away from treatment centers because the resources aren’t available, so they return to their drug habit.

Expanding NAFTA and passing Plan Mexico will further terrorize poor Mexicans who want to stay on their land – many of them good people who I have met. It will also further increase the immigration problem and damage our already worsening economy.

Congress is expected to discuss and vote on Plan Mexico this September. Please contact your representative, senators, and President Bush. Tell them not to expand NAFTA and to vote against Plan Mexico. Let them know the American people are watching so that they stop selling out American and Mexican workers.

Find your elected officials:
http://www.house.gov
http://www.senate.gov
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

President Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

White House comments: 202-456-1111

Sources:

LaFranci, Howard. “Mexico Seeks Antidrug Aid from the US.” Christian Science Monitor. August 8, 2007. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0808/p01s01-usfp.html

Leech, Garry M. “Killing Peace: Colombia’s Conflict and the Failure of U.S. Intervention.” New York, 2002.

“Plan Mexico.” The Economist. August 16, 2007. http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9660095

“’Plan Mexico’ Pricetag: $1 Billion-Plus.” Join Together web page.
http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2007/plan-mexico-pricetag.html
Join Together is a group that supports effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment.
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together

Roig-Franzia, Manuel and Juan Forero. “U.S. Anti-Drug Aid Would Target Mexican Cartels” Washington Post Foreign Service. August 8, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/07/AR2007080702114.html

Wall, Allan. “Will a ‘Plan Mexico’ be the New ‘Plan Colombia’?” Mexidata website. August 13, 2007. http://www.mexidata.info/id1476.html

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 October 2007 8:05 pm

    I live in NYC and the reality is here is that NAFTA occurred long before it was formalized in law. There appears to exist some agenda for the blurring of borders and more importantly the blurring of cultural differences, so that we are all mashed into some seething stew of ethnic-religious conflict.

    Here I do not mourn for the loss of North American culture, a culture of antoChrist Christianity which wages global jihad for five decades now. No I mourn for the simple less materialistic sensitive cultures of Mexico, and Central America, now forced into some sort of amalgram of Denmark, Holland, and Camrbridge, Mass.

    Sad to see it go.

    ___

    Video-Listen to the testimony, watch the video, the transnational criminal 9/11 syndicate::

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4762034487703351799

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