NACLA Update 09/17/09 - Unions on NAFTA / Showdown in Ecuador

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Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. Unions' Statement on NAFTA
by Mexican Labor News and Analysis

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has, to a significant extent, defined the relationship between the three North American nations over the last fifteen years. NAFTA was sold on the promise that it would bring more and better jobs and faster growth to the region and reduce emigration from Mexico to the United States and Canada. While trade and investment flows did increase, NAFTA did not create more net trade-related jobs and those that it did were very often less stable, with lower wages and fewer benefits. Instead, increased trade largely benefited the corporate elite in all three countries. Income inequality has also grown in the region. We believe that the trade liberalization and investors' rights provisions contained in NAFTA were important contributors to these results.
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The Mapuche Nation Ups the Ante
by Jason Tockman

On August 12, 2009, Mapuche activist Jaime Mendoza Collío, 24, was shot in the back by a police officer during a symbolic land occupation of the San Sebastian ranch outside the town of Angol, Chile. The killing — and the reactions to it — reflects a deepening crisis in the relations between the Chilean state and the 900,000-member Mapuche nation, the largest indigenous group in Chile.
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From the Sep/Oct 2009 NACLA Report:
Correa vs. Social Movements: Showdown in Ecuador

by Paul Dosh and Nicole Kligerman

Although the passing of a new constitution represented a moment of unity between Ecuador's popular movements and the electoral left, these two entities have clashed recently over the question of environmental protection-showing that they are hardly synonymous and sometimes not even allies. After the Constitution was ratified, Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa began a public campaign to pass legislation that would expand the operations of gold-, silver-, and copper-mining corporations in the Amazon and the southern highlands around Cuenca, as well as initiate new mining sites in the northern highlands. Moving away from the firm anti-neoliberal rhetoric he used on the 2006 campaign trail, Correa described his vision of a socially responsible mining sector whose profits would be harnessed to break the country's dependence on extractive industry.
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Film Screening: Our Disappeared
Screening and presentation by Gustavo Moretto, composer of the film's music.Lisa Sullivan, director of the Latin American Office of the SOA Watch, will report on the situation in Honduras after the coup. Sunday, September 20, 2:30 p.m.
Cinema Arts Center, 423 Park Ave, Huntington, NY
Click here to find out more.

Shut Down the School of the Americas!
On November 20-22, 2009, thousands will hold vigil at the gates of Fort Benning in Georgia to stand up for justice, shut down the School of the Americas, and end oppressive U.S. foreign policy.
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