News Updates (2005)

November 5, 2005

The III People's Summit wrapped up Saturday with the publication of the Final Declaration.
-Read the Final Declaration in English
-Read the Final Declaration en Francais

October 28, 2005

A CALENDAR FOR SOME OF THE KEY EVENTS, roundtables and rallies taking place during the III Peoples Summit Nov. 1-5 in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
-Go to the Summit information site to view the Calendar of Events

October 19, 2005

UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE OVERALL PROGRAMME for the III Peoples' Summit released by the Argentine organizing committee. Also contains special information for the press."
-Read the translation of this article in our Summit information site

September 21, 2005

The Americas Policy Group, a working group of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and a member of Common Frontiers, has been monitoring the negotiations of the Canada-Central America Four Free Trade Agreement (CA4FTA) between Canada and Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. There are widespread concerns regarding the content of the agreement and its consequences for democracy and the social and economic well-being of those who will be affected by the CA4FTA (for more info, see the APG briefing note.)

Furthermore, there has been no public or parliamentary debate on the agreement, and the Canadian government has refused to release the text of the agreement for public scrutiny. The Canadian government intends to complete the negotiations this fall, so now is the time for Canadians and Central Americans to take action and voice their concerns about this fundamentally flawed trade deal.

We need your help! We are asking for organizations to sign on to the attached Open Letter by October 4th by emailing your organization's endorsement to Please also disseminate the attached Open Letter (French and Spanish versions available) to others.
Read the Open Letter

Please note that individuals who also want to have their voice heard on this trade deal are invited to sign the attached petition being circulated by the Release the CA4FTA Text Coalition
Read and sign the petition

Signed petitions can be sent to:
Release the CA4FTA Text Coalition
c/o René M. Guerra Salazar
2219A Queen Street East
Toronto ON  M4E 1E8

August 12, 2005

CANADA'S HIDDEN FREE-TRADE DEAL Just after midnight on July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives voted
217-215 to approve the United States-Central American Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA), ending a lengthy and often stormy debate. Canada is on
the verge of signing a similar controversial agreement, yet most Canadians
know nothing about it.
-Read the complete op-ed piece by Rusa Jeremic from the Ottawwa Citizen

June 27 , 2005

"MEXICAN CIVIL SOCIETY denounces their government's participation in the June 27 Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting in Ottawa. They point out that under the Mexican Constitution, Congress not the Executive has the final right to negotiate changes in foreign trade statutes."
-Read the RMALC Press Release in English

June 20 , 2005

Argentina's Autoconvocatoria along with the Hemispheric Social Alliance and the Continental Campaign against the FTAA have issued a call for a general popular sector movement to participate in the III Peoples' Summit in Mar del Plata, November 1-5, 2005.
It will be an opportunity to discuss alternatives to the dominant neo-liberal agenda in the Americas. On November 4 there will be a massive march in MdelP to protest the presence of George W Bush. The II Peoples' Summit was held in 2001 in Quebec City.
Read the full text of the "call" (English)

May 12 , 2005

BROAD COALITIONS IN GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS warn the U.S. Congress and Senate of the devastating impact on their nations if the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) is ratified by Washington.
The U.S. Congress is expected to vote soon on whether or not to ratify the DR-CAFTA. With the vote in Congress appearing to tilt against ratification, civil society organizations both in Honduras and in Guatemala have sent signed letters to the U.S, legislators to point out the negative impact that ratifying DR-CAFTA would have not only for their respective countries, but also for the U.S. itself.
Read the Guatemalan letter (English)
Read the Honduran letter (English)
For information relevant to Canada's 'free trade' negotiations with 4 Central American countries, please visit the site for the Canadian Council for International Cooperation - Americas Policy Group.

April 19, 2005

Canadian church leaders' delegation to Mexico, March 11-19, 2005

"The Canadian government does not connect its international human rights commitments and obligations with its approach to trade. Rather than promoting these obligations with trading partners and ensuring they take precedence, the government chooses to de-link trade and human rights.
In Mexico, the free trade model that our government supports has resulted in conditions of poor pay, massive migration, desperate conditions and human rights violations that continue with impunity".
Quote from the Delegation Report.
-Read the full report (Adobe Reader required)
-Visit the KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives - Trade Page

April 17, 2005

The Global Week of Action against 'free trade
- Notes for an address by John Foster as part of the April 13 public event - Trading away Mexico: Nafta tightens its grip.

"Nothing could better describe the way in which the advocates of so-called "deep integration" in North America approach their agenda. It is put forward as essentially a problem of economic management, the sort of thing that top managers and CEOs can handle, with a little help from their political allies. As for anyone else, citizens, you and me...imaginary! Just not there." - J. Foster

-Read the complete text

April 13, 2005

The Global Week of Action against 'free trade
By Mathew Kennis (NISGUA)

Although the Guatemalan Congress ratified CAFTA on March 10, movement leaders have announced that resistance will continue until CAFTA is subjected to a national referendum. A Gallup poll conducted in Guatemala March 14-23 found that, when asked the question "Do you think that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) will help or hurt the country?" 65% of those polled responded that CAFTA would hurt the country.
-Read the complete article

April 12, 2005

The Global Week of Action against 'free trade
Honduran Farmer says "The FTA is a monster"

Small farmers in Honduras say cheap U.S. imports and GM crops have already slashed local market prices to unprofitable levels. With the Honduran government's recent decision to sign the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the U.S., things can only get worse.
-View WEB video clip - to hear from Honduran farmers

PS - Canadians need to take note since Canada is getting ready to kick-start 'free trade' negotiations with Honduras and three other Central American countries (CA4) immediately following a CAFTA ratification vote by U.S. legislators that is expected to be taken in May.

April 11, 2005

The Global Week of Action against 'free trade
OXFAM STUDY: Rice - Kicking down the Door

Millions of poor farmers can't sell what they grow because rich countries are forcing poor countries to accept imports of cheap, often heavily subsidized food. Canada may not dump its agricultural produce like the U.S. and European Union do, but it is a prime supporter of the push by weathly nations to have underdeveloped nations accelerate the removal of mechanisms that have allowed them some control over imports.  
Rice provides a good example of the threats that poor farmers face.
-Read the OXFAM study

March 22, 2005

Press Statement on Bush-Martin-Fox Summitt
In a joint news conference today, Common Frontiers and the Quebec Network on Continental Integration (RQIC) have joined forces with civil society networks in the United States and Mexico to fight the three leaders’ deep integration plans for North America. They adopted a common statement that has been sent to the leaders, meeting in Texas on Tuesday.
-Read the rest of the News Release.
-Read the text of the full statement.






Current Activity Updates (archives)

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Nov 15, 2005

Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada

Canadian government approach to the IV Summit of the Americas

Both leading up to and during the IV Summit of the Americas the Canadian government appeared preoccupied with promoting trade liberalization and missed the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the theme for this Summit - Creating jobs to confront poverty and strengthen democratic governance. Following the IV Summit, Common Frontiers wrote a letter to Prime Minister Martin outlining some of the areas where Canada's leadership could have made a difference.
-Read the full text of the letter.

Nov 2, 2005

3rd Peoples' Summit Underway

CF Executive Director Rick Arnold is in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Read his on-the-ground reports in Rick Arnold's Summit Journal

-Read Rick's Summit Journal

-See some pictures from the Summit

October 28, 2005

3rd Peoples' Summit

Soccer star Maradona and Nobel Prize recipient Esquivel to march against ‘free trade’ and Bush’s presence in Argentina as part of the 3rd Peoples’ Summit November 1-5:
“Another Americas is possible”

Things are heating up in Argentina...

-Read the full text of the Media Advisory

-See all the details of the 3rd Peoples' Summit


September 22, 2005

Rebel Music Americas Tour
Comes to Peterborough

The Rebel Music Americas tour with a full length documentary, speakers and musicians brought the voices of the 'other Americas' to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The evening was co-sponsored by Common Frontiers, and coordinator Rick Arnold also spoke about the next gathering of people from the 'other Americas', the III Peoples' Summit of the Americas, November 1-5 in Argentina.

Also helping host this event were OPIRG and IDST from Trent University, Horizons of Friendship, and CUPE-Peterborough. Special thanks to CAW Local 222 for their generous support.

-For more information on the RMA Tour, visit the website.

-Check out some pictures from the event, along with more detailed commentary.


September 5, 2005

Workers PicA ‘popular’ brochure on the 3rd Peoples’ Summit of the Americas

What it’s about

The III Peoples’ Summit is taking place in Mar del Plata, Argentina from November 1-5 - parallel to the IV Summit of the Presidents of the Americas. With Canada’s tacit approval, the Bush administration has signaled its intent to push ‘free trade’ to the top of the Presidents’ agenda.

What’s in the brochure?

The 4-page brochure outlines in clear language what’s at stake, with a focus on the agendas at play and the main actors involved. The text combines with graphics by ArtWork to illustrate key moments in recent ‘free trade’ struggles. The brochure also begins a discussion on what we can do to make our voices heard in the building of an Americas that is different from what the corporations have in mind.

How can you use it?

The brochure can be downloaded, ready for printing. Use it to:

  • Inform your members - Distribute at a conference or meeting; post it on your bulletin board;
  • Educate - Include it in a workshop to update current material on free trade and to talk about the 3rd People’s Summit;
  • Publicize – Refer to it for talking points with local media;
  • Mobilize – Discuss the section on ‘how you can get involved’ to plan a local action; give it to anyone interested in attending the Peoples’ Summit from your organization.

Note about viewing and printing these files

The brochure is made up of two .pdf files. They are designed to be printed on 11"x17" paper, on two sides.

Download these two large, high-resolution .pdf files for printing:

If you prefer to view the pages in your browser, use these files:


August 23, 2005

What you need to know, whether you go to Argentina or make your voice heard here at home

The 3rd Peoples’ Summit of the Americas is taking place in Mar del Plata, Argentina from November 1st to 5th. The 2nd Peoples’ Summit took place just over four years ago in Quebec City, at which over 60,000 people marched to show their opposition to the ‘free trade’ agenda being promoted by the Presidents of the Americas.

Now all the Presidents are meeting on Nov. 4 & 5 in Mar del Plata, and the Bush administration (with a nod from Canada) is once again pushing the ‘free trade’ agenda as the solution to widespread poverty and growing unemployment. However, four years after Quebec City, there is strong opposition to this corporate trade model in every country of the Americas. Now there are also several new governments in our hemisphere that question Washington’s trade crusade, and want to put the social agenda in top spot again, where it belongs.

Common Frontiers has designed a clear language page dedicated to the issues and actors at the 3rd Peoples Summit of the Americas. You’ll find information on Argentina’s history, background on the country, a glance back at the previous two Peoples’ Summits, and a focus on the 3rd Peoples’ Summit – who’s organizing it; how to register your own educational session; marches and protests; how to get to Mar del Plata and etc. We also provide a link to the official III Peoples' Summit site (which has an English language option).

-Visit our 3rd People's Summit information site

August 09 , 2005

The III Peoples' Summit of the Americas was launched at an August 2nd press conference in Buenos Aires with a call to participate in this Nov. 1-5 gathering to be held in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Present at this press conference were representatives from the various national organizations involved in sponsoring this international event.
-Read the full text of the Call to Participate
(Click on photo for larger image and cutline)

June 27, 2005
Press Statement

OTTAWA and MONTREAL – Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and Ministers from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. met in Ottawa on Monday, June 27 to discuss progress on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The SPP was originally launched on March 23 following a meeting of the ‘three amigos’, Martin, Bush, and Fox in Waco, Texas. This Partnership is a key component of the push by large corporate interests to press forward on deep integration plans for North America.
-Read the full text of the Press Statement

June 3-5, 2005

Common Frontiers is sending coordinator Rick Arnold to join others from the Americas to work with the Argentinian Planning Committee in preparation for the Peoples' Summit events happening from November 1-5, in Mar del Plata.

Following this meeting, Common Frontiers will be establishing a dedicated web page that will be constantly updated with the latest information regarding the lead up to the Peoples' Summit. WATCH FOR IT AT THIS SITE!

April 25, 2005

The meeting has been designed to create a space for collaboration and exchange of ideas among parliamentarians from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, who are committed to working towards creating an environment for more fair trade practices among the three countries. It is an undeniable fact that the Executive Branches of each government have been continuing to negotiate these types of 'free trade' agreements behind closed doors without consulting with Parliament or civil society.

This meeting will be looking at how the Legislatures in the three countries can play a more pro-active role, not only in examining the most critical impacts of NAFTA, but also looking ahead to the push for Nafta-plus being promoted for North America by Bush/Martin/Fox in close collaboration with corporations.

The legislators will also be meeting with civil society organizations from all three countries at various points during these two days, including Common Frontiers -Canada and the Reseau Quebecois sur l'Integracion Continentale (RQIC).
-Read the agenda for the May 4-5 Washington meeting

April 18 , 2005
IN LA HABANA, APRIL 27-30, 2005.

Meeting announcement (in English) (in Spanish)
Read the political rationale behind this meeting
Registration Form (in English)
Guide to filling out the Registration Form

For more information from the organizers see coordinates below:
José Miguel Hernández Mederos
Dpto. RR.II - CTC Nacional
Encuentros Hemisféricos contra el ALCA
Capítulo Cubano ASC
Tel: (537) 877-5312
Fax: (537) 873-5408

Global Week of Action on Trade – April 10-17

Trading away Mexico: NAFTA tightens its grip

Where: National Press Club, 165 Sparks Street, Ottawa
When: Wednesday April 13th, starting at 6:30 p.m.

  • Ana Maria Alvarado Garcia, a Mexican community activist will speak about resisting the Canadian mining company Metallica Resources
  • John Foster, a Common Frontiers supporter, speaks about what really is behind the push for deeper integration (NAFTA plus) recently promoted by the ‘three amigos’ during their conclave at the Bush ranch in Texas
  • Anglican Bishop Sue Moxley, just back from a KAIROS sponsored fact finding mission to Mexico, will describe the impact of ‘free trade’ that she witnessed first hand
  • Gerry Barr, President and CEO ofthe Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) will moderate this discussion

Sponsored by: Common Frontiers, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, and CCIC

For more information on other activities during the Global Week of Action on Trade:

In Canada go to

International go to

Fed up with NAFTA? Send a letter to Bernard Patry, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) urging SCFAIT to move ahead on carrying out a comprehensive review of NAFTA Chapter 11 as requested by SCFAIT’s own Sub committee on International Trade (SINT) last February. Write to MP Patry at: 

(PS for more information see the item on SINT motion on NAFTA below)

March 23, 2005
Paul Martin's Big Texas Adventure

Dung Rocket Flash Movie

Click the photo for an animated commentary!

The three amigos of NAFTA - George Bush, Vicente Fox and Paul Martin - will be getting together in Texas on March 23. What's the big idea on their agenda? Deeper integration: how to harmonize energy and security policies, set up a North American security perimeter and try again to get "secure" access to US markets!

Want an even bigger, better idea?
How about:
- Eradicating poverty and reducing inequality in North America.
- Protecting and restoring our environment.
- Guaranteeing universal access to health services for all.
- Ratifying and implementing international human rights as the foundation for democratic governance.

Now that's an agenda people could get excited about. Click here for better ideas.

March 22, 2005
Statement By North American Social Networks on the Future of NAFTA

On March 23rd NAFTA's three amigos will be meeting at the Bush ranch in Texas. Paul Martin, George Bush and Vicente Fox will take this opportunity to have a private discussion about actively promoting a deeper integration agenda for North America.

However, some 11 years after the implementation of NAFTA, it is possible to measure the impact that this accord has had on the people in each of the three countries. These citizens have the right to expect that their political leadership will now prioritize tackling problems affecting social, cultural, environmental and economic rights that accompany economic integration. Before thinking about deepening the process of integration for the three North American countries, it is imperative that the experience under NAFTA be opened up to public debate.

Read the Full Statement here

February 16, 2005

On February 16, 2005 Common Frontiers, RMALC, RQIC, KAIROS, CLC and CUPW, presented briefs as part of a "panel of witnesses on NAFTA Chapter 11" at a session of the Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment(SINT). This Subcommittee unanimously passed a motion which will now go to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade(SCFAIT) for that Committee to carry out a thorough review of NAFTA Ch. 11. They also included Ch. 19 in that motion.

The motion reads; "The Subcommittee recommends to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade that it undertake a complete review of NAFTA Chapters 11 and 19."

For Rick Arnold's intoductory comments before the SINT click here
For Rusa Jeremic's SINT Brief click here
Update: Mar30/05 -- Minutes of Motion passed posted

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