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28 November 2013 | Interviews | International Seminar “Food, Water and Energy are not Commodities” | Resisting neoliberalism
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The Puebla-Panama Plan (now called Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project) and the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA) are two spaces of political coordination in Latin America that promote the construction of large infrastructure projects for the transportation of raw materials. Monica Vargas, member of the Observatory on Debt in Globalization (ODG) says the projects are one of the main physical bases for European capital, but also, because of the resistance they cause, their “Achilles heel”.
Vargas participated in the International Seminar “Food, Water and Energy Are Not Commodities”, where she presented a diagnosis of infrastructure megaprojects, by describing them and exposing their main promoters and beneficiaries.
Siemens, Alstom, Areva, Endesa (Enel) are some of the corporations involved in the construction of these millionaire projects in South American countries, according to Vargas. The researcher also outlined as a key feature of these megaprojects the fact that they create more public debt for the countries involved in them. So, she explained that 46% of IIRSA projects are funded with public funds of South American states, i.e. “financial capital is defining where public investment should go”, she said.
Vargas told Real World Radio that she questioned the reach of the current proposals to regulate the financial market, because right now big transnational corporations in the commodities sector participate in that market. These corporations are not viewed as financial actors, but they play a key role there.
In response to these threats, Vargas talked about the need to “take what we care about from the financial market. Take food, infrastructure and debt. Our debt does not have to be part of financial markets”.
Together with some 120 networks and regional and international organizations and social movements, ODG promotes the campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power. The campaign aims to create legally binding rules for transnational corporations to answer for their systematic human rights abuses, besides an International Criminal Court that will try transnational corporations for social and environmental crimes.
Join the campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power here: http://www.stopcorporateimpunity.org/
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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