Deja Vu in Peru — 15 Years After NAFTA
For those following the cycle of free trade “reform” and resultant revolutionary upsurge in Latin America, there was a sense of deja vu in this year’s bloody headlines from Peru. In 1993, in preparation for NAFTA, Mexico pushed through constitutional changes allowing privatization of communally held peasant lands. This was the key factor that led to the indigenous Zapatista uprising in Chiapas on New Years Day 1994, the exact moment NAFTA took effect. The Zapatistas anticipated—correctly—that the new policy would mean a massive expropriation of the peasantry from their ancestral lands and a flight to urban shantytowns and ultimately, north of the border. This history now appears to be repeating itself in Peru—where government plans to privatize the communally held indigenous lands of the Amazon rainforest to international oil companies in preparation for a new Free Trade Agreement with Washington has sparked a popular uprising and an unprecedented alliance between Amazonian peoples, highland campesinos and urban workers.
Journalist and World War 4 Report editor Bill Weinberg visited the Peruvian rainforest and met with indigenous resistance leaders in September. His reportage on the struggle appears in the new issue of NACLA Report on the Americas.
Sunday December 6, 10:30 AM
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
6501 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609