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FTAAs/IIRSA, Plan Colombia and the Axis of Western Development
Author : Lusbi Portillo / NGO "Sociedad Homo et Natura"
Freely translated by Anoosha Boralessa (Nov 2015) ; Not reviewed by bilaterals.org or any other organization or person.
The North American Free Trade Treaty (NAFTA, Jan 1994), the Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAAs, December 1994), Plan Colombia (1999), the Regional Integration of Infrastructure in South America (RIISA, September 2000) and the Plan Puebla Panamá (PPP, March 2001) are the building blocks of the US hegemonic policy for the Americas and the Caribbean.
NAFTA and the FTAAs are not expressions of simple tariff agreements – expressions of relaxing legal norms to achieve ingenuous free trade. Nor are the PPP and the RIISA the only axes of integration that have been proposed for Mexico, Central America and South America. Still far further from the truth is it the case that Plan Colombia is exhausted in techno-military advice and anti-narcotic financing, or in actions against subversive activities in Colombia. On the contrary : these are five interlocking and revitalizing blocks that form part of a single reality put in place by an imperial vision to dominate and loot the peoples of the Americas. This complex reality is integration by and from the US. In an era of globalization, this is the US’s new backyard patio. For this reason, the US Government proposes that all 34 countries now begin to conform their legal systems to “the FTAAs’ obligations”.1 This will ensure that once and for all that an “an international liberal order” rules in the Americas.2
This complex reality is the starting point for thinking about the policy and the everyday life of the country and the whole of America, and not simply the following issues : the anguish if Chavez stays or goes ; or, what if more coal is exploited ; or whether, if Carbones del Zulia, S.A. (CARBOZULIA) is hived off to the Corporation for the Development of the Zuliana Region (CORPOZULIA), this will guarantee some extra money to distribute to the people of Zuliana ; or if oil from the Deltana Platform transported through an enormous gasduct to the US will also serve household consumption for the people of Zulia.
The issue is far bigger. It is not confined to whether the Ministry of Energy and Mines will or will not gift the Deltana Platform to multinational corporations ; the heart of the matter is that these corporations and the US, are determined to use the FTAAs and NAFTA, to control all our hydrocardons (overriding arts 153 and 303 of the 1999 Constitution) ; in other words, at issue is the irreversible loss of our national sovereignty over all our natural resources : energy, minerals, waters, woods, grounds, rivers, among others. In truth, these resources have been seiged by owners of multinational corporations, and incidentally, they are the only resources we have that have strategic value for big capital in this new global context.
For imperial states, most notably the United States, social realities are not adopted in isolation. Economic issues cannot be disentangled from military or political ones ; quite the opposite, they work in tandem in complex actions ; for example, when US companies propose to invest in a particular country in Europe, Africa or America, they do not enter with a proposal tied exclusively to economic investment (which is what invariably happens whenever an investor of a non-imperial State, such as Venezuela, enters) ; they have a strategic vision, an imprint of the State’s hegemonic power, which always features its military might. If it is a country in America, the intervention of the US South Commando is without question. Such was the case of the company, Minera MAICCA, C.A., made up of North American capital of the company TransMar Coal and Japanese capital from the business Tomen. On 23 May 1996 in the offices of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Minera MAICCA, C.A. presented a written proposal to representatives of the Government of President Rafael Caldera and CORPOZULIA to exploit coal at the base of the Sierra de Perijá (in the lands of the indigenous people of Barí) and to construct an infrastructural route over Río de Oro so they could also take coal from mines through Venezuela to exploit on the Colombian side. In that same meeting, he also guaranteed his firm commitment and willingness to construct two military bases and to finance the personnel of the Army and the National Guard to thus halt the escalation of subversion and the common criminal underworld in the area bordering the rivers Aricuaizá and Oro.3
The US Ambassy in Venezuela, through its Ambassador Mr Jeffrey Davidow, lobbied the Minister of Defense, General of Division (Ej), Moisés Orozco Graterol, to expedite the permits that would give Minera MAICCA, C.A. the power to occupy the territories requested, in the foothills of Sierra de Perijá. Minister Orozco Graterol promised, through Doc. No. DS-3289 dated 30 April 1996, to grant a permit within four days. On 4 May 1996, the ambassador sent a copy of this official document to the coal company. Two years later, on 12 February 1999, the then Ambassador of the United States in Venezuela, Mr John F. Maisto, was featured in an article in the newspaper El Mundo (p 7). [He appears], with an executive of Transportes Coal-Sea de Venezuela, C.A. (TCSV), that has rented out CORPOZULIA’s coal port, along the banks of Lake Maracaibe. Its shareholders are also shareholders of the coal businesses Minera MAICCA, C.A. and COSILA, under Australian control. [The Ambassador] appeared handing over a cheque for USD$ 275,000.00, a donation from the US Agency for Trade and Development (ATD), to construct a port-mine railway line named by Ambassador Maisto “the Western Railway Line”, and today named “the Western Railway Network” by the Instituto Autónomo de Ferrocarriles del Estado (IAFE) in the National Railway Plan.
In the period 1997 – 1998, this same company applied fierce pressure, (just as they are applying today on members of the new government), on the Ministers for Energy & Mining, and Environment & Defence, as well as on General Ovidio Jesús Poggioli, Head of the Theatre (Theatro) of Operations No. 2. Their aim was for him to give them communication radios with the Army and to allow them to be accompanied by several soldiers so that they can acquire knowledge of the interior of the Sierra de Perijá lest the indigenous people reject them once again. On 16 December 1998, private vigilantes from the business police, Servicio Autónomo de Vigilancia Policial del Estado Zulia (SAVEZ), part of the police structure of the Government of the State of Zulia, carried out violent actions against a group of women, children and men, all of whom were the indigenous people of Barí, when they appeared in the mining base of the company MAICCA located in the premises of the farm Santa Inés. [The indigenous people] requested them to vacate the area and showed themselves to be firmly opposed to allowing access on their lands. 4 This position of the indigenous people on this instance is identical to their position on the mining projects of CORPOZULIA, Tukuko-Aricuaizá and Río de Oro, that cover an area of 125,956.80 hectacres of the foothills of Sierra de Perijá.
Today again, accompanied by other foreign shareholders and officials of CORPOZULIA/CARBOZULIA, they arrange within these same ministries, permits to assess the indigenous territory. They also conspire with the Ministries of Energy and Mining and other elements of the Comisión Nacional de Demarcación del Hábitat y Tierras de Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas, to hedge the risk that these lands and the ones requested by the Wayúu in Cachirí and Socuy fall within the allotments to be granted by the Venezuelan State under Ley de Demarcación y Garantía del Hábitat y Tierras de los Pueblos Indígenas (January 2001), in accordance with the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (December 1999) and international agreements which rank on par with the constitution.
The FTAAs and NAFTA : Flip Sides of the Same Coin
The model of development that the US and multinational corporations seek to negotiate after the FTAAs, called draft agreements of July 3, 2001, November 1, 2002 and November 21, 2003, seeks to gradually eliminate “the barriers to trade and investment” in our countries.5 But not just that. Its overriding interest is to seek to impose on the people, through agreements signed with the Government in force, a foreign model of development where the only beneficiaries will be big multinational corporations that govern capriciously capital and trade in the world.
According to the US intellectual, James Petras, world markets are not competitive. This is because their key components are US and European monopolies that dominate through 238 leading US companies and banks and 153 EU companies. The raw materials they loot (80% of the leading oil and gas companies are of US or European ownership) ; five of the ten leading banks are US, as are six of the leading pharmaceutical and/or biotechnological companies, four of the ten leading telecommunication companies, seven of the leading IT companies, four of the leading oil and gas companies, nine of the ten leading software companies, four of the ten leading insurance companies and nine of the ten leading retail trade companies ; of the ten leading companies in the world, 90% are under US ownership ; of the 25 leading companies, 72% are under US ownership, of the leading 50 companies, 70% are under US ownership and of the leading 100, 57% are under US ownership ; Africa and Latin America are not on the list and the so-called Asian tigers have three companies among the leading 500. This is less than 1%. This is the reality that “defines the imperial nature of the world economy”. 6
The model proposed by the FTAAs was rooted, at the end of the eighties, in the so-called ‘Structural Adjustment’ that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund imposed on the so-called developing countries so they would open up their markets, in conformity to the tenets of the US’s and the TNCs’ interests. This followed the pressure exerted on the terrain of GATT (the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs), which has now converted to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It then moved to the regional setting : NAFTA negotiation (US, Canada, Mexico and Chile) and now the FTAAs.
The United States hounds the governments of each country. Whatever it cannot obtain through the FTAAs negotiations, it then seeks to win in the WTO ; and whatever it cannot obtain from either of these two [channels], it seeks [to obtain] through a regional or bilateral negotiation or through intelligent financing or advice to ministerial executives, diplomats, academics, executives of private companies and banks and representatives of multilateral financial institutions.
In this context, we are able to make sense of the declarations issued by the current Secretary General of the Andean Community, Allan Wagner Tizón, on 3 March 2004 in Washington :
“The objective, as we were saying, is to provide countries with all the materials for these FTA negotiations with the US, especially (...) Now we are visiting friends. By this we mean that we have come to Washington to visit the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the US Government as well as the OEA (...) With the World Bank, we have also focussed our minds closely on studying regional integration processes– in this case, specifically, Andean - (...) with the United States we are negotiating both an FTA and the FTAAs (...) I have had meetings in the White House, with the Department of State and with the administrator of AID (...) We have continued to work through the US Embassy in Peru, with Mr Curt Stubart. Until recently, he was the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs in the US Department and was a good friend of integration” ;
Mr Wagner Tizón in Washington rounds up his press release by thanking the President of IDB, Enrique Iglesias, for having agreed to meet with him and for giving him “lunch with the Bank’s Board of Directors”.7 The current chair of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) was the Chancellor of the Government of the current President of Peru. This fully explains the submissive nature of its submissive position as well as that of the current president of Colombia, to Mr Bush and his administration. These positions force us to consider how this regional integration initiative progresses under the shadow of the FTAAs.
We recall that the US has pledged to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with four Andean Republics. [All these four are] beneficiaries of the ATPA (which expires on 12/06) : Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. It is for this reason that
“the inter-institututional agency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a Public Hearing and will request comments from the public to help the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) expand and clarify the negotiation objectives of the proposed agreement.”
These comments will have to be formulated in writing and submitted by the deadline, “30 March 2004”, given that “The hearing will take place in Washington D.C. from 17 March 2004 and will continue for as many days thereafter as the hearing may require”.8
According to Peter Rosset, Co-Director of the US Food First-Institute of Food and Development Policies, since NAFTA entered into force in 1994,
“the percentage of the Mexican population that lives in poverty has sky rocketed. This has produced a general failure among small- and medium-sized businesses, which in turn has led to massive job losses. As if that were not enough, the market has been overwhelmed with corn imported from the US at prices subsidized by the US government. The result is that hundreds of thousands of peasants can no longer compete in the corn market – the staple diet of the Mexican people – and have had to abandon their lands”.9
According to Oxfam International, the FTAAs is not the [right] response to the [level of] poverty that Latin America presents. On the contrary, it could aggravate the context of inequality and exclusion in the region. This is based on statistics from CEPAL/IICA (Panorama de Agricultura de América Latina y el Caribe 1990-2000, 12/01)
“In Latin America and the Carribean, around 123 million people live in rural areas (25% of the total population). They depend directly or indirectly on agriculture. Out of these, 77 million (63.7%) live in poverty, out of which 47 million live in extreme poverty. There are also a large number of small producers in the US and Canada that live in poverty. In the US, 14.2% of its rural population is poor and more than 500 small agricultural businesses file for bankruptcy every week”. This is on account of the policy that led to subsidize large-scale producers so that the “US$ 180 billion” approved by Agricultural Law (2000) is almost entirely assigned to large agricultural companies, “60% of the direct payments are set aside for only 10% of agricultural business which are the owners of enormous commercial operations (...) the Cotton Barons of West Texas that obtained USD$ 3,600 million worth of subsidies last year, more than what they received selling cotton”.10
NAFTA has destroyed the peasantry and the indigenous peoples : Mexico, one of the biggest agricultural countries in the world, has put a large part of its food supply into foreign hands : it imports 95% of oil prodcuts, 40% of meat, 30% of corn and 50% of rice. Corn, the staple diet of Mexicans, came from the US in 2001 (the quantity imported totalled 6,148,000 tonnes). In the first eight years the Treaty has been in force (1994 - 2002), they have stopped sowing 1.6 million hectacres of corn, beans, wheat, rice, soya and cotton.
In the period 1994 – 2001, Mexico increased its purchases of foreign agricultural products and food by 44%. As for the US, it has significantly increased sales to Mexico ; for example, sales of fresh and dried fruit increased by 205%. Some fruit growers have benefitted from NAFTA : following the entry into force of the treaty, fruit exports to the US have increased by 76%. However, in the period 1994 – 2000, imports of nutritional vegetable preserves increased by 77% and preserved fruits and dried fruits by 300%. This means that there has been a slight increase in Mexican fruit exports but the US sends them back processed.11
According to Oxfam, agricultural dumping in Mexico has slashed, globally, the price of some grains. In Mexico and around the world generally, this has also devastated the peasantry and indigenous people :
“basic grains imports to Mexico while the North American Free Trade Treaty (NAFTA) has been in force, has doubled, increasing in the period 1994 - 2001 by 110 million tonnes, costing USD$ 18,500 million. As for corn, Mexico imports on average six million tonnes per year compared wih 2.5 million tonnes pre-NAFTA. The market price for grains has dropped and the real prices to the producer have fallen between 35% and 60%. Today, the price to the corn producer is US$ 80 per tonne, whereas the cost of production is US$ 120 per tonne”.10
With NAFTA, Mexico has entered a process of buying and selling. This “has produced contracts for sale of railway lines and roads, which has been extending rapidly, through initiatives and formal and/or de facto privitization projects, targeting the banking system, pensions system, ports, airports ; telecommunications ; space satellites ; systems for storing, distributing and treating water and grains ; gas ; electricity and oil etc. In addition to hydrocarbons, it includes other natural resources that, following the signing of the treaty, have been intensely transferred under the “new” logic of international trade at “sociocommercial” prices. I am referring to resources such as wood and cellulose for the production of paper, fibres, chewing gum, latex as well as biodiversity of commercial interest, including its capacity as a “gene bank” for the service of biotechnological multinationals and similar [companies]”.12
For US business leaders, a NAFTA with Mexico was so important that
“the then vice-president of the US, Albert Gore, expressed a little before the treaty was approved by his country’s Congress :
‘NAFTA is as important for us as the purchase of Louisiana and Alaska”.13
The FTAAs and the IIRSA are the flip sides of the same coin
To do business in the Americas, multinational companies and the US need a complex infrastructural system. This is called “Plan Puebla Panamá” (PPP) from Mexico to Panama and in South America, the “Regional Integration of Infrastructure in South America” (RIISA)
“the issues and conceptual frameworks for developing regional infrastructure are being implemented through two important initiatives : the Regional Integration of Infrastructure in South America (RIISA) and the Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP), that binds Mexico and Central America”.14
The FTAAs fleshes out the legal administration in more detail while RIISA deals with the infrastructure. However, the Action Plan does not fail to address these legal issues :
“(iii) to modernize and to update national regulatory and institutional systems that govern the use of infrastructure,
(iv) to harmonize policies, plans and regulatory and institutional frameworks between States”15. “The FTAAs is not only a trade agreement ; it has also held up in a series of parallel projects whose disastrous effect can be illustrated by the highly questioned Plan Puebla Panamá (PPP) (...) and RIISA”.16
Through the FTAAs and the PPP, the United States and its multinationals will “fast track” their control :
“ over Middle America which stretches from Puebla and Panama and its population of 64 million inhabitants and a GDP of USD$143,000 million. The states of South and South-East Mexico cover 503,200 km2, have a GDP per average capita of USD$2,300 and they export US$13,500 million in total. The Central American portion, which includes Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Beliz and Panama, covers an area of 522,900 kilometres2, has a GDP per average capita of US$ 1,900 and exports a total of USD$12,800 million.” 14. This comes to a total area of 1,025,100 kilometres2, total export of USD $ 26,300 million and a population of 140 million inhabitants.
With the FTAAs/RIISA, they will control a further 12 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guayana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) bringing the total to 20. It “covers an area of 18 million square kilometres where more than 300 million inhabitants live and work and which has a GDP of US$ 1.1 billion”. 14
With these legal, administrative agreements, with the human mass and captive natural resources, the democratic, corporate US Government is determined, on the one hand to secure for itself this market, to shut it off from genuine free trade with countries such as Europe and China, and, above all, to neutralize its financial crisis. For this reason, “the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas is an integral part of this strategy : by monopolizing Latin American markets, the US can lower its trade deficits and capture lucrative financial and trade sectors”. 6
It comes as no surprise that the US is facing serious, financial difficulties. According to Pablo Dávalos
“After cutting taxes, reducing welfare expenditure, and increasing military expenditure, the Bush Administration has chosen a spurious strategy for growth : devaluing the dollar (...) probably ending the year with a fiscal deficit of more than 400 billion dollars. Moreover, the current account deficit is currently calculated to be 5% of the country’s GDP. The devaluation of the North American currency vis-à-vis the Euro has already built up to 40%. The way things are going, it is estimated that with the lapse of these months, the North American currency is quoted at USD$1.30 to the Euro (currently it is at 1.19 dollar to the Euro). 17
Under plans for globalization, the US Government, multinationals and financial organizations fail to notice that South America is made up of sovereign, independent nations and governments, with their own life in permanent, cultural, political, economic and social relations. Instead, for these power factors, this region is akin to a cake sliced up into 12 “Axes of Integration”15 - the vehicles for displacing to the United States all their natural resources following the routes of the Pacific and the Atlantic.
Work started on the regional infrastructure in the territories of Panama and Colombia. Here it is claimed to build “the Interoceanic Atrato-Truandó Channel (the Colombian state’s option) and/or Atrato-Cacarica-San Miguel (the US’s preferred option which it put on the table). This new channel is the link in the chain between the PPP and RIISA. This is because it would allow a geographical link between Central America and South America, independent of the old Panama Canal, which today is controlled by China.18
One of these axes proposed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Andean Development Corporation (ADC) is the axis of Andean integration. This joins up the Pacific and the Atlantic through a route that crosses five Andean countries, four of which are beneficiaries of the Agreement for Andean Preferences (ATPA) (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia) and are about to sign a FTA with the United States. So declares Robert B. Zoellick, (the US Trade Representative, who is also the engine driving the FTAA), in the letter of the US Negotiator, 18 November 2003. 19
52% of the total exports from the Andean Community consist of products that generate energy, such as oil, coal and gas.20 They also represent 25% of the world’s biodiversity, 20% (together with Brazil) of the planet’s water, four times the US oil reserves, eight times the oil reserves of Mercosur, 74% of the natural gas reserves in Latin America and 75% of the coal production in Latin America.21
This axis of integration, on entering the Venezuelan territory (the State of Zulia) has been called, since the second Government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, the axis for Western Development. It finishes near the South West of the United States, in the multimodal portal solution “Puerto Venezuela”, baptized “Puerto América” by the Rafael Caldera Government This port is situated in the Gulf of Venezuela, in the municipality Almirante Padilla, on the Isla de San Carlos/San Bernardo, 430 metres from the Canal de Navegación, at the entrance of Lake Maracaibe.
In April 2002, the Dutch Company, Alkyon Hidraulic Consultancy & Research, drew up the General Master Plan. Financed by this same company, the Dutch Government and Government of the state Zulia,22 its first phase is to build a Coal Terminal on the Island of San Bernardo.23 This will serve to facilitate and to raise coal exports from 8 million tonnes per year to more than 36 million. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of this phase was drawn up by the Dutch company, Royal Haskoning and financed with dollars from the World Bank to the aruban business, Inter American Coal. In the General Management Plan, the Dutch Company guarantees that this mega port will only be profitable if the national government or another entity contributes an additional annual subsidy of USD 50 million, on the basis of the 2000 rates (1 US dollar for 650 bolívars) :
“without subsidies/additional resources, whether from the (national) government and/or other sources of funds, the development of the Puerto América is not commercially viable (...) an additional annual subsidy of USD 50 million is required”.24
The study of this axis reveals that it is principally coal, among other minerals, that is the element that structures and invigorates development for the states Zulia, Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo ; the other “rublos” indicated in the agricultural, livestock, fishing or tourism sectors are no more than ornaments to hide the weight of coal when in the introduction of the National Plan, the Western Axis is sold within a conception of endogenous development controlled by the communities. In the Ministry for Planning and Development (MPD)’s National Plan for Regional Development 2001 – 2007, coal is the only parameter for export that has regional, national or international standing. The other economic initiatives are rather proposals, distinct sectors of the population have been making for several years without much success, to governments in power or to regional development corporations such as CORPOZULIA or CORPOANDES. After the MPD, the new government has adopted a critical development model consistent with the benchmarks for development set by the so-called Fourth Republic and the interests of mining multinationals headquartered in the US, between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Coast. This declaration is also valid for the other two Axes of Development :
The Oriental Axis (Venezuela-Brazil-Guyana-Suriname axis) and
The Orinoco-Apure Axis (Multimodal Orinoco-Amazonas-Plata axis).
The most striking feature of the Orinico-Apure axis is sweeping the navigation channel of the River Orinoco in 1950 and closing the Mánamo Channel with a view to increasing the water level of River Orinoco. Thus the boats of the Orinoco Mining C.O. can enter to take iron from State Bolivar. This was a substantial loss for peasant farmers and producers in the area ; but the most serious loss was the death of hundreds of indigenous Guarao in the Orinico Delta. They were forced to abandon their homes dispersed along the channel and they died before reaching some other community ; there are testimonies that many, depleted of energy, were eaten up by tigers in the forests. This impact was picked up by a Venezuelan movie director, Carlos Azpurua, today an MP in the National Assembly, in a video called Caño Mánamo that was shown in Venezuela. Today, his great threat is oil drilling and gas from the Delta Platform.
Although the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) has not been approved, the national government, the Regional and World Bank and big, multinational coal corporations assert as a fact that more than 36 million tonnes of coal annually will be produced from the foothills of the mountain of Sierra de Perijá, Venezuela, from the mines of Cerrejón and the North of Santander, Colombia, by the Puerto América route to the South East of the US and Europe.
The Andean Development Corporation (ADC) guarantees that given its complexity, it will take several decades to build this port :
“it has to be taken into account that its activities and development are still only in the initial phases. This leads us to think that several decades will pass before this portal structure is in working order.”
And that for now only the extension of the highway La Fría-Machiques would be justified :
“if a deep water port is developed in the Gulf of Venezuela (...) the establishment of an intensive mining development along the base of Sierra de Perijá, or the intensification of exploiting minerals located in the state of Táchira, in Venezuela, or in the department of North Santander, in Colombia”. He also specifies that financing the “Ureña-La Mulata-San Faustino-La China-La Fría Highway” and Colombia’s exit through Puerto América “will allow North East Colombia to be connected to West Venezuela, given that it connects the Venezuelan Highway 6, with the Panamericana highway in Colombia. This will allow both regions to be connected by a deep water port that will be situated in the Gulf of Venezuela, or ports of lesser importance situated in the south of Lake Maracaibe”.25
The Ministry for Planning and Development (MPD)’s National Plan for Regional Development (2001-2007) specified existing minerals and the location of new coal mines “important reserves of minerals in the Sierra de Perijá, notably barite, copper, that remain unexploited, as well as important carboniferous deposits from Tokuko-Aricuaizá and the Río de Oro (...) has, moreover, deposits of coal, copper, barium, marble, granite”.26
The railway lines proposed by the Axis of Western Development (the Western Railway System) of the National Railway Plan of the Instituto Autonomo de Ferrocarriles del Estado (IAFE) are in line with these proposals from CAF and MPD. Thus the routes proposed from Colombia and Sierra de Perijá reach the Puerto América “El Tramo : Machiques - Maracaibe - Puerto las Américas (length : 190 km) will connect the Zuliana Region with the Region Sur del Lago and Colombia. This will allow the transport of cargo, notably mining, from the North of State of Táchira and from North Santander (Colombia). 27
In 2002, CORPOZULIA resumed all these proposals and unveiled them. free of the technical, economic language that claimed to hide the true intentions. It is declared that coal from Zulia is competitive compared with coal from South East US because in Venezuela, companies have [access to] cheap labour and benefit from a flexible labour regime.
“Coal produced in West USA is cheaper than coal produced in the East where restrictions on sulphur, higher production costs and legal decisions have reduced the incentive to increase the productive capacity of the East. This decision gives competitive advantages to Colombia and to Venezuela, on account of their proximity to the US East Coast and the quality of coal, to export their production to the Atlantic coast”.28
For CORPOZULIA, the need to develop in “the Macro-Project of the Axis of Western Development (...) a system of railway-port” is related to the success of allowing transnational coal corporations “greater competitivity to substantially reduce transport and loading costs and at the same time, less freight to transport coal to ports abroad”, but at the same time, to satisfy other business needs, it proposes building “barge ports” in el Sur del Lago to take coal from Colombia and “adequate roads” for businesses that do not have license to build railway lines.
Faced with resistance from the indigenous people, “they have not been able to exercise their mining rights in these area due to opposition from some members of the indigenous communities and environmental NGOs.” Furthermore, to guarantee security to private investors, CORPOZULIA considers that an effective manner to diffuse resistance, would be to include them “as potential shareholders of the operating companies”.28
The indigenous communities in Bari and Yukpa have already rejected this proposal several times before. However from this angle, the projects for developing coal production in Zulia would pass on to be in Venezuela, following the closure of the Mánamo Channel, the Second Model of contemporary ethnocide, ecocide and genocide. Except that on this occasion, it would be fired up by a revolutionary humanist Government ; a government that already had its first instalment of ethnocide by militarizing areas where there is indigenous resistence (Pemón, Gran Sabana) before the rejection of constructing power lines to Brazil ; even in Perijá and Guajira (Socuy and Cachirí), apparently there are no international agreeements that justify thrusting on the country power lines to Brazil.
Plan Colombia is working in Perijá
Edgardo Lander, a sociologist, makes it very clear when he declares that with “the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Socialist Bloc, unipolar US hegemony and the claims of the final historical triumph of liberal society with the so-called End of History, the US imposes the logic of its hegemony on international law (picking up again some expressions of Santos Boaventura de Sousa) 29 liberal commercial law of Anglo-Saxon origin”.2
This particular legal perspective, Lander continues, contrasts with important, historical progress within the United Nations, with respect to the “democratic law (human rights, labour rights, group rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, environmental rights, etc.) (...) citizens’ rights (health, education, public services and water)” conquered by humanity following “Second World War”, under the dynamic imposed by the existence of a Socialist Bloc and a Capitalist Bloc and the Third World movement. Accordingly, “the rights of capital, are more important that human rights”. An expansive logic of commercial rights has been imposed, encroaching on all other rights, “it has invaded all these other fields that previously had been treated differently. It has converted them into issues to which commercial logic can be applied”. Any action and human relationship now is measured by the phrase “matters relating to trade”2 (WTO). This commoditizes everything, for example : intellectual property, know-how of indigenous peoples, woods, rivers, lands, animals, water, health, all public services, minerals, oil, gas, road, power lines, science, technology, seeds, prisons, human genes, etc.
From this commercial, Anglo-Saxon perspective, life is subordinate to free market edicts ; no other right, not even the right to life, trumps free market rules. NAFTA rulings have given people first hand experience of this :
Ethyl Corporation (a US subsidiary), made Canada pay it 13 million dollars in damages and lift the prohibition on MMT, an additive for fuels. MMT is a known toxin that attacks the human nervous system.
Ethyl Corporation (a Canadian subsidiary), initiated legal proceedings against the State of California in respect of its prohibition on MBTE, another toxic fuel additive. It claimed the sum of 970 million dollars.
Metalclad Corporation (US) brought legal proceedings against a Mexican State for not allowing it to set up a land fill for toxic materials on its property, claiming that the environmental zoning imposed by the state was equivalent to an expropriation.30
These ideological-legal considerations and the aberration of thought itself are imposed through US economic and military might on all other societies and people in the world, by directors of transnationals that have always turned the US government. This reality is propped up with the help of US allies that include the Governments of Great Britain, Israel or France (such as in the case of Haiti) and well-resourced domestic sectors of several countries in the world. The cases of Afghanistan and Iraq bring once again to the table the idea that civilization, rational thinking of human kind and life itself has no value when the empire does not obtain a docile response from the people or Governments.
According to Petras :
“The military apparatus of the imperial state, specifically of the US, has swelled enormously during the last decade. It is fundamentally important to promoting and protecting corporations, banks and import-export businesses based in the US. (...) the mandate of the US South Comando (USSOUTHCOM) covers the whole of Central America and South America, the Carribean and the surrounding waters, totalling more than 15.6 million square miles and more than 404 million people”.
General Peter Pace, US Commander-in-Chief of the South Comando affirms :
“more than 39% of our trade is in the Western hemisphere. Furthermore, 49 cents of every dollar spent in Latin America is used on goods and services imported from the US. Latin America and the Caribbean provide more oil to the US than all the countries in the Middle East put together”, (Testimony of General Pace before the US Senate Committee for Armed Forces, 27 March 2001). 31
Colin Powell, said,
“our objective with the FTAAs is to guarantee North American businesses control of a territory that stretches from the Artic Pole to the Antartic ; access, unhindered by any obstacle or difficulty, to our products, services, technologies and capital across the entire hemisphere”.32
Foreign investors, especially North American ones, claim the recovery of the lack of governance over woods, mountains, rivers, populated borders and populous districts existing in some American countries where States and Governments do not possess political or military control. The following are prototypes :
“The Atlantic-Orinoco-Meta-Pacific fluvial intergration project. This must be carefully analysed given the insecurity generated by the guerrillas that impacts the area by the River Meta and that causes anarchy and subversion to reign in these territories. This is coupled with the absence of boundaries and problems of allocating the islands between Venezuela and Colombia”.33
The FTAAs, RIISA and PPP give US transnational corporations the legal backing to demand legal or military action to defend their economic and political interests, and to allow them to prosper. Governments that confer on US investors the same privileges or treatment as nationals (Chapter XVII on Investments Articles 4 and 5) and the possibility of them fettering their competition policy (Chapter XIX) 34, are surrendering their sovereignty and self – determination to them. Thus, the empire has all the political and economic “justifications” for imposing its demands through legal or military channels, covered or covert.
Without these legal privileges at hand, the period in history, 1789-2004, is plagued by episodes of conspiracies, wars and the US invading other nations. The first war was six years after England “recognized [the US’s] sovereignty in 1783 (...) it was going to wage war with France to expand its territory (1789-1800)”.35 Its most recent intervention was the kidnapping of the President of Haití, Jean-Bertrand Aristide :
“On 29 February, in the early hours of the morning, between two and three, the US Special Forces invaded the Presidential Palace and announced to Aristide that he would be sent to Miami to be tried for drug trafficking unless he agreed to resign ; if he refused, they would wait for the arrival of Guy Philippe who had been instructed and was going to kill him. Under the threat of M-16 guns and in the presence of James B. Foley, the US Ambassador and Thierry Burkard, the French Ambassador, Aristide signed a declaration of resignation, prepared in advance, « in order to avoid a blood bath ». A little while later, the Special Forces led him inside a white plane, without a registration number, headed for Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic where French agents of French security were waiting for him”. 36
Using the “justification” of defending their property and interests in whichever country of the world they may be, future US governments will utilize the FTAAs, RIISA or PPP as a pretext for US military intervention in the Americas. To this end, all its force, military and communication infrastructures dispersed throughout these territories will facilitate control without any great effort. This is why we can no longer declare that the marines will not invade us, given that they are already within [our borders].
Today in the Americas, as in the rest of the world, there is a correlation between the location of deposits of fossil fuels, sources of water, genetic banks of woods and coral reefs, the axes of development, airports, roads, multimodal ports with military bases and lines of military displacement of the US South Commando, headquartered in Miami :
Texas : the radar ROTHR of Corpus Christi,
Ecuador : Manta,
Colombia : in Leticia and Tres Esquinas,
Peru : Iquitos and Santa Lucia,
Bolivia : Chapare and an anti-terrorist unit in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,
Aruba : Reina Beatriz,
Curasao : Hato Rey,
Salvador : Comalapa, as well as the Regional Centre for Drugs and the biggest ambassador type “bunker” in Central America,
Puerto Rico : the naval station Roosevelt Rose and Fort Buchanan,
Cuba : Guantánamo,
Honduras : the radar-bases Soto de Cano and Palmerola,
Panama : the US military airport in the city of Panama,
Paraguay : camps to train green berets.
The US is even claiming to build military bases in Bolivia (Villa Tunari, Chimoré and Ichoa), in Argentina (the base of Tolhuin in Tierra del Fuego) and to control the base of Alcántara in Brazil. To these military bases we must add the 34 existing bases in Colombia, under Plan Colombia and those bases or facilities for military training that are unbeknown to the peoples of Latin America. “Sitios de Operaciones de Avanzada” (FOS) are also in Costa Rica, Beliz, Honduras, the Cayman Islands and Panama.6, 12, 37, 38 and 39
As for fossil fuels, we find, among several examples, the following relationships : opposite Puerto América, the Gulf of Venezuela and Canal de Navigacion, there were, in March 2000, US military bases in Reina Beatriz (Aruba) and Hato Rey (Curazao), in the modern refinery of Iquitos “with the capacity to process 10.5 million barrels daily”, “approximately 1,600 km from the city of Manaos”, on the banks of the River Amazon, the US military base is situated Iquitos (Peru). “Currently, this refinery would have the capacity to purchase 200,000 barrels of crude with a 32 API and low sulphur and gasoline to export from PDVSA (95 ron) 10,000 barrels” and in this same river, in Leticia, Colombia, where the military base is located which bears the same name, by the 35 military bases in Colombia, under Plan Colombia the only Colombian port is located “1,150 kilometres from Manaos. Here it would be possible to place 5,000 barrels of gasoline, exported from the PDVSA (95 ron)”40.
The main problems that the US economic – military policy faces today, are not at the Governmental level (other than certain economic or political positions with some “non – cooperative” presidents such Chavez, Lula or some others). The principal problem lies with the peasantry, African Americans, indigenous communities and the guerrilla movements that are laying down their rooting in areas where strategic natural resources are located (biodiversity, energy, water and minerals), agriculture, power lines, the so-called axes for integration, axes for development, dry corridors between oceans, or biological corridors, airports, multimodal or barge ports, waterways, etc. This is the context in which is established police and military cooperation between the governments of the region or of paramilitaries, farmers or mining companies with the United States “increasingly coordinated with the US Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through its diplomatic/civil arm : the US Agency for International Cooperation (USAID). But, look, the foregoing does not exclude direct US intervention from [one of] its many bases and other military positions through military “support” programmes (such as Plan Colombia) or covert operations, on large and small scales, to cleanse the population (of groups or key persons of the social movements that contradict the US imperial interests).” 12
The state of Zulia, its agricultural ground and its border with Colombia, is a test tube in which all elements of the Colombian war are shaken up. The interests of the war of all sectors of Colombian, Venezuelan and US power, and, most notably, the US mining companies are extended as far as Sierra de Perijá and Guajira.
Following an analysis of the dispute over the power lines from Venezuela to Brasil, which triggered a national mobilization against the power lines, the knocking down of several electrical towers by the indigenous people of the Pemón ethnic group and the National Government’s militarization of the indigenous territories to quell the resistence, the National Government, Governments and the municipalites decided they needed to maintain with the indigenous people a permanent dialogue and material assistance to be able to attract them and count on their support to implement the FTAAs/RIISA proposals.
“The interconnection with Brazil reveals the importance of having more public consultation. If we fail to do so, we run the risk of paralyzing projects and generating more damage to the ecosystem than that attributed to the project itself (we only need to recall how the posts of EDELCA in the state of Bolivar were knocked down and to weigh up the procedure (by helipcopters) used by business for erecting them. In addition, there are economic and international consequences that would imply the eventual breach of the agreements acquired. This test is only an attempt to reflect on new scenarios that are taking shape in Latin America, the interconnection and the main roads represent a pastiche of interests in and actors that can change and affect the decision-making process”.33
The indigenous people are like a tough bone that the US and Multinational Governments are gnawing away at. This is so even though Venezuela confers on its indigenous people constitutional rights, such as title to territory and when it recognizes them, not simply as communities but distinct people ; this is perhaps the reason for all the manoeuvring within The Comisión Nacional de Demarcación del Hábitat y Tierras de los Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas : to avoid acknowledging proposals for the boundaries to their lands to be drawn up by each one of the indigenous communities or peoples themselves.
Plan Colombia has used war to displace the indigenous people, particularly those that live on the border that is rich in biodiversity, water, oil, mineral, to other countries. War has also been used for infrastructure proposals imposed by the FTAAs/RIISA agreements. These people are peasants, indigenous people and black communities, not only in Colombia, but also in neighbouring countries such as Venezuela. The paramilitary, the contract killers, the spraying of chemicals to eradicate plantations of narcotics, the actions of the Colombian army itself, the guerrillas are located in Colombia, in the third country with the most displaced people in the world. It is thought that there are more than two million displaced persons, the majority of which are poor people of the countryside. No less than “79 trade unionists in 2000 were murdered, on top of the 4,000 activists on the opposition and 3,000 trade union members murdered during the 14 years of violence”. Those recently displaced persons and those murdered must be added to the toll of the previous war, known as "La Violencia". Between
“1948 and 1958, around two million peasants were displaced and 200,000 murdered. During this period, the big sugar cane plantations expanded. So too did cotton production, which increased by 500%. This stopped cocoa-production being the only profitable crop that the peasant farmers produced.” 41
Today, these are linked to explorations and exploitation of cheap raw materials and oil products and infrastructure conceived by the bank since FTAAs/RIISA.
Today these lands pass to the hands of the landowners, oil companies, mining companies and the agro-industry. Many of those that came to live in Venezuela are once again involved in some military operations and deported to Colombia. This was announced in the regional press, in the Northeast of the State of Zulia. Carlos Augusto Briceño, General of División (Ej), the Commander of the 11th Brigade of the Infantry after several operations had been carried out (August, September, December 2003 and February 2004) in the foothills of Sierra de Perijá in the municipality on the border, Jesús Enrique Lossada, in the state of Zulia, near the Represa El Diluvio and coal mines (Las Carmelitas) of the multinational companies Tomen, TransMar Coal and Excel :
“he said that during journeys in 2003, 104 Colombians, not carrying identity documents, were detained on the grounds they might be collaborating with insurgents of the neighbouring country. “Until recently, we detained 11 and sent them to DAS so that they could search for them in their information systems and decide if they were part of any criminal group” 42
Many of the displaced that were deported, soon after, appeared murdered in Colombia. Those who defended them in Venezuela were charged by intelligence organizations of collaborating with guerrilla or murderers. This is what happened to a lawyer, Joel Castillo, who defended the human rights of Vicariato Apostólico de Machiques. Furthermore, the same regional press announced days before, that protests could take place in favour of defending human rights in the city of Maracaibe for alleged activities linked to Colombian guerrillas :
“Guerrilla plans protests agains Venezuelan soldiers (...) "A protest is being planned (perhaps in Maracaibe) to disqualify military action, arguing that it is obstructing food supply and preventing them from taking their harvest. This is unfair. We want you to brief you in advance, because it is coming soon."
Traditionally, the area was qualified a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. In this sector live peasant farmers and producers linked to them, who have secured survival as informants and providers for the guerrillas and paramilitaries. Many producers have emigrated to other areas, given that they cannot maintain themselves on the site” 43. But the source is never revealed. The New York Times did the same thing with the journalists Jayson Blair and Judith Millar, before the Afghanistan or Iraq invasions.44
It has extended war and political instability to the neighbouring countries that border Colombia ; often times this is exploited by those opposed to Governments, or by the Governments themselves to cleanse the area of social leaders ; or on many occasions, they become involved on account of the sluggishness of the governments in bordering states, by having a vision of a traditional military court, they fall into the trap set by the US Government or Colombian Government. For example, it is said that the Venezuelan army and government has been slow in maintaining the impact of Plan Colombia on the population living on the border. They got involved by giving the response of a military court when it should have produced a social policy, assistance and direction to the peasant population, the displaced, landowners in the area and the indigenous people. The responses have not been adequate because it is merely a military court and there have been human rights violations by the Venezuelan army, forces of the National Guard’s Anti Extorsion and Kidnapping Group (GAES) and the Body for Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigations (CICPC). Such bodies have been dedicated to torturing, terrorizing and pilfering the area, to wounding and murdering field workers. These actions took place this year and the year before in the coal fields of Diluvio, Socuy and Cachirí. This was in response to the actions of those who promoted the war, a synchronized network following the political groups of Plan Colombia set up from Washington, Bogota, Caracas and Maracaibe, initiating a media campaign announcing, on the one hand, the presence of guerrillas in Sierra de Perijá, the alleged provision of logistical resources and food to the guerrillas by the peasant farmers and producers, and the complacency of the Chavez Government and Army with this irregular situation on the border.
The Government’s military response to this media network campaign was to violate the human rights of Venezuelan and Colombian peasants, some of whom had been settled for some years in the area and had Venezuelan children. The military did by this by suppressing them, looting, torturing, threatening and burning their food and killing 15 of their mules. [This was carried out on] 31 December 2003 by GAES and the CICPC.45 Mule slaughtering and wearing hoods are the repressive templates used by paramiliary groups. During Army action in August and September 2003, in the area of El Diluvio, Venezuelan forces also went about hooded.
This reality is not encapsulated in these military actions. It is complemented with government officials, of various entities involved in driving the Axis of Western Development in Guajira and Perijá, taking peasants and indigenous people hostages. In addition to this, members of the Government, mixed companies of CARBOZULIA/CORPOZULIA, multinational coal companies (Inter-American Coal, Anglo American Coal and RAG Coal International), and the businesses Excel Coal, Minera MAICCA, Carbonífera Caño Seco and KTK Minería de Venezuela. The objective was for [the indigenous people and peasants] to abandon their lands in exchange for ridiculous payments for their properties. Then the Venezuelan State granted them concessions or lease agreements for exploitation, even when exploitation of coal in open mines began the following year. The Instituto Nacional de Tierra (INTI) from Jan 2004 refuses to grant to peasants, the indigenous Wayuu and the settlers of the municipalities of Páez, Mara y Almirante Padilla, the necessary agragrian charters (“Cartas Agrarias”). These are needed to regularize the land holdings, protecting thus the cultural-physical spaces where new mines will be opened, ports will be constructed, railway lines, new roads on which coal and other minerals will be transported from Venezuela and Colombia abroad. Also the Comisión de Demarcación del Hábitat y Tierras de los Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas does not stop by assuming the proposal presented by the indigenous leadership.
In this region, the energetic mining projects will be accompanied by militarization of the countryside, murders, human rights violations, degradation of natural resources, political manoeuvring and governmental indifference.
This experience of violation of both human dignity and the permanence of life on the planet in the state of Zulia, is repeated nowadays in different ecosystems and populations in the Americas for the sake of realizing exogenous development projects conceived by the Regional and World Bank called projects FTAAs/PPP and FTAAs /IIRSA : in Colombia/Panamá :
“Atrato, River Meta, Putumayo, the future highway Urabá-Venezuela, hydroelectric projects and oil–rich areas, (...) the inter-ocean channel Atrato-Truandó (the variant chosen by the State of Colombia) and/or Atrato- Cacarica-San Miguel (the variant and preferred choice of the US) connect the PPP and the IIRSA. It is a high-quality strategic project and around it, violence strikes those of Afro-descent, the indigenous people, the peoples of Chocó and now the indigenous people Kuna (Tule) on the territory on the border of Panama : mid-January 2003, 150 Colombian paramilitaries attacked two towns in the region of Darien, Paya and Pucuro, torturing and massacring five indigenous local leaders, kidnapping two US reporters and a Candian (La Prensa, Panama, 21/1/2003). The river Meta plays a key role in a project of Japanese origin that now has been integrated into the RIISA and that seeks to carry cargo from Bogota to Orinoco and from there to the Atlantic Ocean and to the Amazons. Official plans are proposed to privitize the river and to plan the port in the indigenous safeguard, Achagua, one of the few lots that the big owners have not brought under their control. The departament of Putumayo, with its high percentage of indigenous population, whose territory is gridded by oil allotments, is the northwest exit of fluvial axis Amazonas- Río de la Plata, which will link this department through channels and drains (drenados) with Buenos Aires, Montevideo and the opening of the Amazon and through a motorway with the Pacific Coast. It is RIISA’s most ambitious project. In the department of Arauca, where there is currently in force a state of emergency, the town Uwa denounces the reintroduction of oil exploitation without their consent on its ancestral lands.46
Navigation in the rivers Paraguay-Paraná-Plata (the Orinoco-Amazonas-Plata axis) will affect basins of these rivers. This is why the ecologists in Paraguay command "No to the waterway in the Pantanal",
“the works for a waterway are provided in the plan for South American Regional Integration of Infrastructure (IIRSA). This plan forms part of the Lula Government’s Multi-year Plan 2004-2007 (...) The waterway stretches for 3,442 km from the city of Caceres, in Mato Grosso. (...) it is an important channel for Mercosur integration because it crosses five Latin American countries : Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina”.47
In Peru the impact of FTAAs/RIISA is also observed :
“the Technical Commission responsible for studying the environmental impact generated by the companies that work in the Camisea concluded that damages in Cuzco would increase to more than 20 million dollars. The Working Group’s report, presented by the Regional President Carlos Cuaresma, explains that the works carried out by the consortium Transportadora del Gas del Perú (TGP) and various sub-contracting companies such as Techint and Pluspetrol, would impact agriculture, health, flora and fauna and hydrobiological resources of the province La Convención, Departament of Cuzco”.48
1 CUMBRE DE LAS AMÉRICAS, Cuarta Reunión Ministerial del Comercio, Declaración Conjunta, San José de Costa Rica, 19 March 1998. http://www.ftaa-alca.org/alca_e.asp
2 LANDER Edgardo, OMC, ALCA y política petrolera en Venezuela, Question, No. 13, Año 2, Caracas, July 2003 : pp. 33 and 35, 48.
3 TCSV, TRANSPORTE COAL-SEA DE VENEZUELA C.A, "Informe : Reunión Especial del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Proyectos Carboníferos". [Signed by Joseph L. Kulbeth, William J. Humm, Tatsuro Moriya, Richard Dougherty and Ernesto Machado] Caracas, 25 May 1996, pp 6 + 1 mapa.
4 MARÍN, Alexander, Indígenas Barí de Perijá. “Temen enfrentamientos armados con explotadores de carbón”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 20 August 1998 : D 8. Diario. PRIETO L, Gerardo, “Carbonera MAICCA no renunciará a las concesiones en la Sierra de Perijá”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 22 December 1998 : C 1. Diario. MARÍN, José, “Dos indígenas desaparecidos por incidentes en Perijá”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 22 December 1998 : D 8. MARÍN L, Gerardo, “Denuncian detención y maltratos contra indígenas barí”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 23 December 1998 : D 1. Diario. VENPRES, “Desaparecidos dos indígenas barí en enfrentamiento con grupos armados”, Panorama, Maracaibe, 23 December 1998 : 2-3. Diario. DUARTE, Carolina, “Pretenden desalojar a indígenas de la Sierra de Perijá”, Panorama, Maracaibe, 23 December 1998 : 2-6. Diario. RINCÓN, Arminda, “Aseguró una de las agraviadas. ”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 29 December 1998 : D 7. Diario. PRIETO L, Gerardo, “Libertados los indígenas barí que protestaron contra la carbonera Maycca”, La Verdad, Maracaibe, 31 December 1998 : D 7. Diario. DUARTE, Carolina, “Con el apoyo del Gobierno. Las empresas extranjeras insisten en explotar carbón en la Sierra de Perijá”, Panorama, Maracaibe, 2 January 1999 : 2-4. Diario. DUARTE, Carolina, “La asociación Barí tratan hoy la explotación del carbón en la Sierra”, Panorama, Maracaibe, 26 January 1999 : 2-4. Diario. ZAMBRANO, Alonso, “Protección militar solicitan inversionistas del carbón”, El Nacional, Caracas, 4 February 1999 : D/6. Diario.
5 FTAA-ALCA, Antecedentes del proceso de FTAA, http://www.ftaa-alca.org/alca_e.asp
6 PETRAS, James, ¿Quién gobierna el mundo ?, La Fogata,http://www.lafogata.org.
7 CAN, Conferencia de prensa ofrecida por el Secretario General de la Comunidad Andina, Allan Wagner Tizón, al término de su visita oficial a Estados Unidos. Washington, 3 March 2004. pp 5. http://www.comunidadandina.org/pren....
8 REGISTRO FEDERAL, Volumen 69, No. 31 Tuesday 17 February 2004,
9 REBELIÓN, TLCAN, ALCA y OMC : Un solo frente, Rebelión, 21 May 2003, www.rebelion.org.
10 AMAT, Patricia, Mark Fried, Catherine Daniels, Simon Ticehurst y Katia Maia, Comercio con Justicia para las Américas, Oxfam International, January 2003, www.oxfam.org.
11 QUINTANA, Víctor, El círculo vicioso del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América de Norte, Profesor Universidad Autónoma de ciudad Juárez y vocero oficial del movimiento "El campo no aguanta más". http://www.alainet.org/active/show_....
12 DELGADO RAMOS, Gian Carlo. Geopolítica Imperial y Recursos Naturales. Memoria No 171, May 2003. Revista mensual de Política y Cultura,
13 SAXE-FERNÁNDEZ, John. La Compra-Venta de México. Plaza y Janes. México, 2002 : 45.
14 BID, Infraestructura regional, Capítulo 6 : 150.http://www.iadb.org.
15 BID, Plan de Acción, http://www.iirsa.org/esp/index.html.
16 REBELIÓN, Las venas del ALCA. Integración (Silenciosa) de la Infraestructura Regional Sudamericana (IIRSA). 17 September 2003,
17 DÁVALOS, Pablo, FMI y Banco Mundial : La estrategia perfecta,
18 QUINTELA, Sandra, IIRSA : Nuevas rutas del saqueo,
19 ZOELLICK, Robert B, Carta del Negociador de los Estados Unidos, 18 November 2003,
20 FERNÁNDEZ DE SOTO, Guillermo Secretario General de la CAN, Bogota 03/12/03,
21 WAGNER TIZÓN, Allan Secretary-General of CAN, 29/01/04,
22 FERNÁNDEZ URDANETA, Jainelly, “Puerto de Aguas Profundas costará $ 767 millones”, Panorama, Maracaibe, 27 April 2002:2-6. Diario.
23 TRANS-COAL DE VENEZUELA, C.A. Proyecto Terminal Portuario Carbonero de la Isla San Bernardo. (Puerto Príncipe). Propuesta de Términos de Referencia. Mimeografiado. Maracaibe, June 2000. pp 51.
TRANS-COAL DE VENEZUELA, C.A. Propuesta de Términos de Referencia para la Realización del Estudio de Impacto ambiental del Proyecto Terminal Carbonero de la Isla San Bernardo. Estado Zulia. Mimeografiado. Zulia. June 2001. pp 86.
24 ALKYON, Plan Maestro General para Puerto América, April 2002, 226 p.
25 CAF, Red vial de Venezuela. Orden de prioridades de los proyectos viales de integración andina : 1-2,http://www.caf.com/espanol_old/05d0....
26 MPD, Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Regional 2001-2007 : 71-73,
27 IAFE, Plan Ferroviario Nacional, http://www.iafe.gov.ve.
28 CORPOZULIA, Hacia la minería del futuro. Maracaibe, 2002, 34 pp.
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30 REBELIÓN, ALCA en síntesis, 29 March 2001,www.rebelión.org.
31 PETRA James, Construcción del Imperio en América Latina : La Estrategia Militar de EEUU, Rebelión, Traducción A. Santos,http://www.eurosur.org/rebelion/pet....
32 GANDÁSEGUI Marco H. (h), El ALCA y sus difíciles combinaciones. Nueva Sociedad 183 : 117 (see O. León, who cites a lecture given Colin Powell : “Put Trade on the Fast Track”, The Wall Street Journal, New York, 16/10/01).
33 AROCHA, Magali, Ambiente, proyectos de integración física en América Latina y desarrollo sustentable en Venezuela, Wednesday, 1 August 2001, Venezuela Analítica.com,
34 ALCA, Segundo Borrador de Acuerdo, 21 November 2003, Error ! Hyperlink reference not valid.
35 IMC-CHILESUR, Prontuario de EEUU en América. Política sistemática de intervención y expansión en el mundo, 2 April 2003, http://chile.indymedia.org/news/200....
36 MEYSSAN, Thierry, La trama del Golpe de Estado imperial. El papel de Francia y de Régis Debray en el derrocamiento de Aristide, Thursday, 4 March 2004, http://www.iarnoticias.com.
37 COPLEY, Florencia, La militarización avanza en América Latina, Fundación Pacificar,
38 MENÉNDEZ QUINTERO, Marina, Hegemonía dos EUA en América Latina, www.alcaabajo.cu,http://www.jubileubrasil.org.br/not....
39 MONTIEL FERNANDO, Radiografía geopolítica de la contienda, Question, No. 21, March 2004 : 16, Año 2, 40 pp.
40 SOSA VEGAS, José Félix. 2002 “PDVSA y la cuenca amazónica” 34-35 Petróleo YV No.8. Año 4, 48 p.
41 SANTOS Ginny, Plan Colombia : intervención militar de manos del ALCA,
42 SEMPRÚN, Raúl, “Intenso rastreo de irregulares en el municipio Jesús Enrique Lossada. Ejército instaló cuatro batallones en la frontera”, Panorama Digital, 6 February 2004,
43 MEZA, José Gregorio, “Guerrilla planifica protesta contra militares venezolanos”, La Vedad, Maracaibe, 4 February 2004. Diario.
44 CASON James and David Brooks, Boquete en la credibilidad de la prensa estadounidense, Question, No. 13, Año 2, Caracas, Julu 2003 : 4, 48 pp.
45 ANPA, Agencia de Noticias del Pueblo-afiliada al ANMCLA, “Venezolanos y colombianos desplazados de la Sierra de Perijá por la Guardia Nacional”, Aporrea, Caracas, Sunday, 18/01/04 10:41 am, http://www.aporrea.org,http://www.aporrea.org/dameverbo.ph....
ANPA, Agencia de Noticias del Pueblo-afiliada al ANMCLA, “Un herido y cuatro detenidos. Militarizada la Sierra de Perijá en el ramal de los Montes de Oca”, Aporrea, Caracas, Wednesday 21/01/04 : 10:51 pm http://www.aporrea.org/dameverbo.ph....
ANPA, “Se calienta la frontera y Militarizada la Sierra de Perijá en el ramal de Montes de Oca”, Qué Pasa, Maracaibe, 23 - 29 January 2004 : 19 and 20.
46 CETIM y AAJ, Amenazas sobre los derechos fundamentales de los pueblos indígenas de Colombia, ONU símbolo E/CN.4/2003/NGO/175, Intervención al tema 15 : Cuestiones indígenas. Exposición escrita conjunta presentada por el CETIM y la AAJ, Comisión de derechos humanos 2003,http://www.cetim.ch/2003/03ec15r4.htm.
47 PORTAL DE MEDIO AMBIENTE, Obras de la Paraguay- Paraná no tiene Estudios de Impacto Ambiental, Boletín 8, 15/12/03, http://WWW.portaldelmedioambiente.org.
48 PORTAL DE MEDIO AMBIENTE, Camisea causará daños ambientales y financieros en Cuzco, Boletín 81, 15/03/03, http://WWW.portaldelmedioambiente.org.
Source : ALCA/IIRSA, Plan Colombia y el Eje de Desarrollo Occidental