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Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC)

Statement on the Feb. 27-28 Tri-national Ministerial Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico

SPP: Stop The Privatization Of Public Policy And Our Nation

The agenda for the heads of state meeting that will be taking place in New Orleans on April 21-22, 2008, is being scripted in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico, by the wealthy heads of transnational corporations and government bureaucrats whom, it seems, have never read or properly understood the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico.

Just before this preparatory meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) which begins today in Los Cabos, the Executive Branches of the three governments held a consultation with well-heeled corporate executives belonging to the Competitive Council for North America (CCNA), to receive their input on the points to be addressed in the Ministerial agenda. Incredibly, the Mexican government has continued to present what is a corporatist agenda as if it represented the interests of Mexican society.

As members of the campesino, indigenous, union and civil society organizations that signed the ‘Political Pact for Food and Energy Sovereignty and the Rights of Workers, and Democratic Freedoms’, we reject the Security and Prosperity Partnership and the Merida Initiative (that forms part of this alliance) because they promote militarization and a state of exception in our country.

The citizens of the United States and Canada have also been speaking out against the SPP as well as its precursor, NAFTA. The Mexican bureaucrats that are scripting the agreements in Los Cabos should realize that beyond just being campaign promises, the anti-NAFTA and SPP positions being expressed by the presidential pre-candidates in the United States are driven by a profound discontent among U.S. citizens against the irresponsible economic policies coming from the neo-liberal politicians and the dominant interests in all three countries.

The five key points for the April heads-of-state SPP agenda being currently scripted in the meeting in Los Cabos are: 1) “Tri-national energy security”; 2) The so-called “integration of smart and safe borders”; 3) Technological cooperation; 4) Management of emergencies in the region, and avian influenza; 5) Human influenza pandemic.

The first three points on this agenda do not respond to the demands for political and economic change coming from the societies in the three North American countries. Rather, they represent priorities being pushed by the business elite: it’s all about promoting private enterprise while using public resources. And of course, this does not favour Mexico, or the North American region, and even less, the citizenry directly affected.

The Mexican government representatives cannot ignore the public clamor coming from citizens, experts and legislators who have all recently demonstrated against the Mexican portion of the repressive transnational security component built into the SPP.

Mexican security should not to be equated with the Pentagon’s security, nor should it be held hostage to the narrow and egotistical interests of transnational companies and the Mexican corporate elite. When talking about a policy of global and regional security, we should be addressing sustainable human security. We need to confront the real threats to our existence that are being generated by climate change, profound social inequality, the destruction of decent jobs and livelihoods, and the eradication of the cultural and spiritual heritage of the indigenous peoples.

Instead of spending multi million amounts on constructing pseudo “smart borders” to criminalize and detain thousands and thousands of citizens who desperately seek elsewhere what retrograde government and transnational policies deny them in our country, it is now an urgent priority to invest in human security, and in the building of national capacity.

The Mexican delegation currently meeting in Los Cabos cannot continue offering up ‘energy integration’ which equates to forms of privatization of PEMEX (Mexican Petroleum company), CFE ( Federal Electricity Commission), CLyFC (Central Light and Power Commission) – which beyond the question of whether or not shares get sold, will privatize the earnings that would be generated by resources that belong to all Mexicans – when those officials know well that more than 69% of Mexicans reject this policy that comes from a corrupt, greedy, insatiable minority.

The State policy and public policy that the government should be defending and promoting with our Northern neighbours cannot be substituted by the private agenda of the real promoters of the SPP – the corporatist North American Competitive Council (NACC). Public policy is being hijacked by private interests that represent a minuscule transnational elite and a complicit government that has renounced its responsibilities, and has abandoned its defense of the interests of Mexico as a nation.

We call on citizens’ organizations and progressive legislators to add their voices to this denunciation of the privatization of public policy, and to the handing over of this country to private interests.

Mexico City
February 28, 2008

Translated by Rick Arnold, Common Frontiers-Canada