Central America Theater

CENTRAL AMERICA: ANTI-CAFTA RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION

from Weekly News Update on the Americas

NOTE: Nearly a year has passed since the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica met in Washington DC May 28, 2004 to sign the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Since then, the national legislatures of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have approved the treaty, and the Dominican Republic is now also slated to join. But the treaty has been met with militant protest--often put down with bloody repression--throughout the region. As the treaty goes before Nicaragua's National Assembly, that country is the latest to see the streets of its capital filled with angry farmers, workers and students. Meanwhile, protests continue even in those countries which have already approved the treaty--over its terms, as well as related economic issues, with fresh violence reported in April from El Salvador and Honduras. The treaty is returning instability to the isthmus before it has even taken effect--and the U.S. media are paying little note. Our colleagues at Weekly News Update on the Americas provide details.--WW4 REPORT

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