Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
TODAYS TOPIC(S): The assassination of Hector Antonio Ventura Vasquez, one of the Suchitoto 14 in El Salvador; Reflections on International Worker’s Day, May 1st, in San Salvador; the Salvadoran social movement opposes the Association Agreement (ADA), a free trade agreement currently being negotiated with the European Union and Central America
Salvadoran organizations call on the Attorney General to investigate the assassination of Hector Ventura, who, was recently dismissed of terrorism charges along with 13 others after they were arrested prior to an anti water privatization forum in July. They also call for the investigation of a number of other assassinations classified political in the last 3 years. There is fear violence could escalate leading up to the presidential elections in March 2009.
Though government representatives currently negotiating the Association Agreement (ADA) between the European Union and Central America, say human rights and political dialogue are important components of the free trade agreement, they are backing off requiring the ratification of the Rome Statutes, which created the International Criminal Court. Central American countries allege this would overturn amnesty laws which block the prosecution of anyone for war crimes during the civil wars in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
The social movement networks through out Central America say the negative impacts that have resulted from CAFTA, will be amplified in the ADA, particularly in the areas of intellectual property rights and services. They say, European companies have the strongest interest in the privatization of water and energy.
Hector Antonio Ventura Vasquez, Suchitoto 14;
Liga Guevara, the Foundation of Studies for the application of Law (FESPAD); Rosa Santana, CRIPDES (the Association for the Development of El Salvador; Pedro Juan Hernandez, the MPR-12 (the October 12th Popular Resistance Movement)