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12/30: AmericasWatch - Looking Back 2002 to Look Forward 2003
by Lee Siu Hin (siuhin [at]
Tuesday Dec 31st, 2002 3:56 AM
Occational News Services from

**2002 PeaceNoWar/ActionLA Suggests Holiday Reading/Film/Music Lists
December 30, 2002 News

2002 was the year that FAST TRACK passed, also Chile and the United States wrapped up negotiations early this month-- though not without a dose of suspense -- on a bilateral free trade accord, which experts say will give Washington a boost as leader of the hemisphere-wide talks to create the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The human rights and economic situation in many central and south American countries are getting worse. According from Amnesty International, Guatemala's human rights condition has deteriorated alarmingly over 2002, Amnesty International said today, referring to a string of human rights violations and the apparent inability of the justice system to respond to them, not least because of the victimization of legal personnel working on human rights cases.

While US is playing war drum against 'terrorists' and 'Iraq' in the Gulf region and southwestern Asia, another form of terrorisms--economy collapse, poverty, hungers, child labor, kidnaping. American corporations stealing oil from areas where Bolivian's unique ecosystems and indigenous communities lives; they funding "Plan Colombia" to support right-wing/military regimes in Bogota to fight FARC rebels, resulting thousands of deaths, for the benefits of US oil corporations; and they repeatedly behind Venezuela's business and military circle to launch coup against President Hugo Chavez, is no doubt a grave violations of economic and social rights in south and central Americas!

For full news reports please check:
1) A Brief Look toward 2003 (Communications Workers of America)
2) Coffee Price Collapse Pushes Growers into Poverty (IPS)
3) Unstoppable Poverty (IPS)
4) 8.6 Million Central Americans Face Hunger (Tierramérica)
5) Every Day More Children Go to Work (IPS)
6) Poverty Fuels Trafficking of Children (IPS)
7) Grave Violations of Economic and Social Rights (IPS)
8) Lula's Tour - Preparing for New Regional Leadership Role (IPS)
9) Common Voice in UN Security Council (IPS)

Free Trade Areas of Americas:
1) New Accord a Boon to US Leadership in FTAA (IPS)
2) NAFTA Equals Death, Say Peasant Farmers (IPS)
3) Huge Demonstration in Argentina Demands Political, Economic Change (IPS)
4) Anti-FTAA Sentiment, Protests at Presidential Summit (IPS)

1) Indigenous Movement Grows in Strength (IPS)
2) Indigenous Assembly Condemns FTAA (IPS)
3) Strong Indigenous Presence in Future Government (IPS)

1) Guatemala, 2002: The human rights toll (Amnesty International)
2) Guatemala: Attack against Attorney General (Amnesty International)

1) Bank Clears Enron-Linked Yabog Gas Pipeline (IPS)
2) Pipelines Threaten Ancient Strains of Peanuts (IPS)

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