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Ecuador Free Trade, Oil, and Globalization

Sunday, October 13, 2002
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Kien Chou
Location Details:
New College, 777 Valencia, Room 4, San Francisco

ECUADOR: FREE TRADE, OIL, AND GLOBALIZATION Sunday, October 13, 7pm New College, 777 Valencia, Room 4, San Francisco At the end of this month, thousands of people from the Andes to the Amazon, will be flooding the streets of Quito, Ecuador to protest the closed door meetings between governments and corporate officials to negotiate the "Free Trade Area of the Americas" (FTAA), what Ecuadorian’s and people all over Latin America are calling the next wave of colonization of the Americas. We are honored to hear from three people on the frontlines of resistance to the FTAA, and other forms of neoliberal economic policies. They are Willam Trujillo, Santiago Karawim, and Efrain Toapanta. The speakers will explain the roots of Ecuadorian resistance to the "free trade" agenda and discuss how "free trade" policies and the mandates of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have helped wreck Ecuador's economy, fuel a second oil boom in the Amazon, and push indigenous and campesino communities to the brink of collapse—all of which is inciting a powerful citizen backlash from one of the strongest indigenous and civil society movements in the hemisphere. ($5-25 donation. Proceeds directly benefit FTAA mobilization in Quito, Ecuador). Willam Trujillo, is with the Ecuadorian farmers' federation CONFEUNASSC-CNC (the National Confederation of Affiliates for Farmer Security) the most powerful national campesino federation in Ecuador and one of the leading voices in the effort to stop the proposed FTAA. Willam is touring the United States to talk about Indigenous Rights, Campesino/Farmer Rights, Ecuador's failed economy under IMF/World Bank plans, resistance efforts in Latin America against corporate globalization, and Ecuador's National Campaign Against the FTAA. In addition to working with CONFEUNASSC-CNC, he has also organized student campaigns to democratize education, and done theater and puppet work and traditional dance with youth in poor barrios. Santiago Karawim, is president of FINAE, the governing federation for the Achuar people of the southern Ecuadorian Amazon. The Achuar inhabit some two million acres of primary old growth rainforest and have been leading an unwavering campaign of opposition to all oil, mining, and logging in their territory. The Achuar, who had remained isolated until their first contacts with missionaries in the 1970s, now face the greatest threat to their existence with plans by multinational oil companies to drill for oil on their sacred homeland. Efrain Toapanta, is with Acción Por la Vida (Action for Life), a grassroots environmental group formed by residents of the town of Mindo. They have been fighting the construction of Ecuador’s new heavy crude pipeline, or OCP, through the Mindo Nambillo Cloudforest Reserve and the surrounding ecologically sensitive forests of northwest Ecuador for over a year. Their determined resistance led to a peaceful three-month long occupation of the treetops and cloudforest ridgeline of this protected forest to physically halt construction. Their resistance has been met with violent repression at the hands of the Ecuadorian military. Contact: Kien Chou, Global Exchange, 415-558-9486 x350 or Kevin Koenig, Amazon Watch, 510-419-0617 ___________________________________________
Added to the calendar on Tue, Feb 3, 2004 10:24AM
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