from Weekly News Update on the Americas
EL SALVADOR: FMLN BACKS ANTI-CAFTA PROTESTS
Thousands of Salvadorans participated in a nationwide day of protest on Nov. 30 against the neoliberal economic policies of President Antonio Saca. The demonstrations, organized by the Popular Social Bloc (BPS) and backed by the leftist Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN), consisted of 17 different actions, including the blocking of major highways, rallies in front of government offices and the distribution of literature on the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), a trade pact set to go into effect on Jan. 1 between five Central American countries, the Dominican Republic and the US.
The protesters used what they called “leaking blockades” on the highways. This consists of “closing and opening, letting a line pass slowly, talking, handing out literature, closing again, and so on,” explained BPS director Roberto Pineda. Blockades were set up on highways in at least eight of the country’s 14 departments: Morazan, Usulutan, La Libertad, San Miguel, San Vicente, Santa Ana, San Salvador and Ahuachapan. There were also protests in front of the Labor Ministry and a gas station belonging to ESSO, the local affiliate of the US-based multinational ExxonMobil. The Movement for the Self-Determination of Peoples (MAP) held a protest outside the building of the Legislative Assembly, which voted that day to allow the US to run a regional police training school, the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), in El Salvador.
The protesters had five demands: aid for communities hurt by Hurricane Stan, rejection of a new law on land leases, reduction of gasoline prices, rejection of the privatization of water services, and a return to the national currency, the colon [replaced by the US dollar in 2001]. (Adital, Dec. 1; Upside Down World, Nov. 30)
Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 4
HONDURAS: WINNER FINALLY DECLARED
On the evening of Dec. 6, Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Council (TSE) announced that Manuel Zelaya of the right-wing Liberal Party (PL) had won the Nov. 27 presidential election with 49.9% of the votes to 46.16% for Porfirio Lobo of the ruling [even more] right-wing National Party (PN). On Dec. 7 Lobo conceded defeat, 10 days after the vote. Also at stake were the 128 deputies’ seats in the National Congress and the 398 municipal governments. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Dec. 8 from AFP)
The PL is projected to have won 63 of the deputies’ seats, two seats short of a majority. The PN followed with 54, the leftist Democratic Unification Party (UD) with five, the Christian Democrats (DC) with five and the social democratic Innovation and Unity Party (PINU) with two. Zelaya is now seeking an alliance with one of the smaller parties in order to get a majority in the Congress. (El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Dec. 11 from AFP)
Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 11
Weekly News Update on the Americas
See also WW4 REPORT #116:
See also our last update on Central America:
Reprinted by WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, Jan. 1, 2006
Reprinting permissible with attribution