The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin in front of the FTAA

The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin in front of the FTAA

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By Sebastião Haji Manchineri

The FTAA does not provide us with any benefit, for this reason we cannot continue to allow expansion and profit generation for the ideologues and materializers of the FTAA who present it as an alternative to the poverty created by themselves. We, the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, as heirs and guardians of the heritage that has been bequeathed by our ancestors, despite suffering to date, the different consequences of the imposed economic model, which irrationally harms humanity and the environment, we fully emerge of vitality to affirm through our spirituality, identities, languages, cultures, that we will continue to live as peoples that inhabit and defend our territories.

Our reflection on the FTAA is based on the social context and the globalizing situation in which there have been crises of values, ideologies, an increase in misery and violence, in addition to weakening the sovereignty of our countries.

The FTAA does not provide us any benefit, for these and other reasons we cannot continue to allow expansion and profit generation for the ideologues and materializers of the FTAA who present it as an alternative to the poverty created by themselves.

The FTAA weakens the nation states, mainly eliminating the few guarantees of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the community.

As an example, we cite the States that seek to respond and justify the demands and impositions of the international financial institutions, which are in reality the ones that make the decisions and control the States to demand compliance with the economic and legal requirements established that are conditions required for the implementation of the monopoly and anti-democratic process of which the FTAA is part.

THE FTAA is an attack on our territorial rights, considering that about 90% of them contain natural resources, whose exploitation is already being done by multinationals, to which must be added the looting of our Biodiversity heritage by biopirates , moving from our territories, historically inhabited and that belong to us by justice and by right.

Despite the constitutional guarantees of inalienability, the invasions legitimized by the National State itself continue.

The adverse processes to the dynamics of "integration" are diverse, due to different realities of which we are part.
The affirmation of our identities and the indeclinable will to continue living them is the first of our reactions, although we do not find a sufficient answer within the states. Situations that lead us to orient our demands towards international cooperation, which, being positive, often brings as a collateral effect the establishment of dependency relationships that break with our ideals.

On the other hand we have the uncertainty of how to entrust our destiny in the hands of the State that are incapable of assuming the obligations and responsibilities with their population. Allowing in this way that initiatives such as FTAA are transformed into the modernization of slavery, the legitimation of the occupation of our territories and the continuity of the looting of Biodiversity resources, such as Ayahuasca, Drago's blood, are examples of the impacts of the FTAA. Our concerns regarding the advancement of the FTAA are also about the creation and application of "new rights" imposed by transnational companies that are unaware of part or all of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. We are not against the evolution and sustainability of humanity, but we cannot accept that our children before they are born have their dignity violated and are condemned to pay a debt that we did not contract.


We find that the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, in its current form, implies:

1) A dangerous threat to our continuity as differentiated peoples;
2) Promote the loss of our territories that are the fundamental basis of our existence;
3) The legalization of biopiracy on our natural wealth and ancestral knowledge;
4) The imposition of intellectual property rights favoring the transnational companies of the countries of the North;
5) The elimination of local development, since national companies will not have the same conditions as foreign companies.
6) The loss of national sovereignty, given that the FTAA conflict resolution mechanisms establish instances of jurisdiction superior to the States.
7) The elimination of human rights and in particular ours as Indigenous Peoples, considering that the FTAA will be governed by the norms of international law relating to trade.
8) Threats to our security and integrity because our existence and rights can be considered "technical obstacles" not necessary for commercial interests.
9) That our countries become only suppliers of raw materials with low commercial value and cheap labor.


As a way to contribute to our physical and cultural integrity as peoples in all our diversity, states must:

to. Guarantee, respect and legally ensure the inalienability of our territories;
b. Develop mechanisms for economic, political, social and legal protection that allow us to guarantee our well-being;
c. Establish legislative measures to guarantee our participation in decision-making;
d. Guarantee the rational use and equitable distribution of the benefits of natural resources;
and. To form national instances including all social actors, in order to develop state policies in a democratic and participatory manner;
F. Develop concerted mechanisms for the eradication of poverty, marginalization, violence and our destruction; g. Strengthen regional cooperation initiatives such as the TCA, CAN, MERCOSUR, giving priority to the social components and not only to the mercantile vision of the FTAA.
h. Develop legal instruments that can restore tangible and non-tangible assets, mainly those from our knowledge and territories;
i. Respect the existence and guarantee our continuity as peoples, conserving and strengthening diversity, forms, systems, spirituality, cultures, policies and economies.

Because of the above, COICA consider that the FTAA is not the solution to the problems that affect us, because it will mainly exacerbate poverty. The solutions we require must start from the principle that we are not the object of external interests and that we cannot allow them to take over our heritage.

In the construction of alternatives it is necessary to value, take advantage of our potential, human and environmental resources.

The problems that affect us are not only the FTAA, Plan Colombia, oil or logging operations, but also the policies that aim to eliminate the human population to appropriate existing resources in our countries, particularly in the Amazon. .

Certain strategic resources such as fresh water are certainly one of the great economic interests of transnational companies. A vital element for the survival of all, it cannot be converted into merchandise, destined to increase the wealth of a few and the misery of millions.

We do not want only to improve the quality of life of our children, grandchildren and generations.

We want the earth to live forever! Quito - Ecuador, January 06, 2003

* Sebastião Haji Manchineri Pueblo Yine, Brazil General Coordinator of COICA - Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin

Video: Amazon Watch: Protecting the Amazon by Advancing Indigenous Rights (July 2022).


  1. Storm

    What a sympathetic phrase

  2. Shalkree

    Incredible sentence)

  3. Hanley

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  4. Mufid

    For me it is a very interesting topic. Give with you we will communicate in PM.

  5. Zoloktilar

    and this has the analog?

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