Trade Free Zones and more!

Skye skye at
Fri Feb 4 02:29:59 EST 2000

Hola Vidda Chan

Thank you for your response to some of my comments in the PC Activist.
It's always great to get feedback. Sometimes the permaculture community
can be a little slack in that regard - although hopefully most of them
are not slack, just too busy in their own gardens!!!

Obviously, your response and the issues raised are deep and delicate
ones. If I recall properly, part of my comments were in response to a
claim that slavery had been abolished in USA - I responded by saying it
had not been abolished, only shifted off-shore.

That there are many people now totally dependant for a miserable life
(if you can call it that) on transnational corporations who can maximise
their profits by using corruption and extortion to set up these trade
free zones is a latentable fact. That the cost of this survival
(starvation level diet) includes continual sexual harassment, no
work-place security or safety mechanisms, the constant threat of instant
dismissal, environmental and health risks, repeated pregnancy testing,
physical abuse and submission to organised corruption is, to my mind,
criminal. And for what, so United States citizens can have the choice of
six different brands of electric nose-hair trimmers!!!!

And lets not forget that this trend is continuing and accelerating.
Thanks to the "Washington Concensus" the gap between rich and poor is
widening, poverty is not being addressed, almost all social services are
being curtailed, military expenditure is up and environmental issues are
not only not considered, but under recent "Free Trade Agreements" any
national effort to address them can be declared illegal by an
international tribunal of three "not-to-be-named" beaurocrats. 

For three or four decades the "Washington Concensus" mentality has been
advocating the trickle-down effect - at least the poor will get
something at the end. And its true - the garbage!!!! Come with me to
visit the people who live ON the garbage dump here in Mexico City, and
then lets talk about cultural integrity and the economic benefits of
free trade (in our case NAFTA).

Yes!, I live and work in Mexico, with the campesinos, in the pueblos, in
the barrios. And yes, my work is teaching permaculture and
sustainability to anyone who will listen. Yes, I have sat in the dust
and drawn diagrams with a stick. Yes, I have listened to their stories,
and then had to find a place to cry at the pain, cruelty and harshness
of their lives.

My words are not empty, but yes, they are angry at the greed,
corruption, ignorance and outright criminality that puts these people
into such dire circumstances. 

"...after you've lived with them.." - I still do!!!!

Thank you again. And if you get a chance, read "Stop, Think", by Paul
Hellyer (ex deputy Prime Minister of Canada) - definitely a must for
anyone interested in what is really happening in terms of economics -
from a man who was on the inside!!!


Skye - Sevilla #312, Col. Portales, CP 03300, DF México. 5539 0716
Profesor y diseñador en Permacultura
Director del Instituto de Permacultura de México A.C.
Talleres de desarrollo humano, planeación participativa y economía

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