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How fair is “Free Trade”?

In Guatemala the violence has increased dramatically in the past sever months since Cafta was ratified. Suggestions have been made that maybe the Guatemalan government may be to blame for some of the violence. This year alone there has been 8 murders, 2 drive by shootings, and the kidnapping and rape of top union officials daughter.

Cafta is supposed to help the small local farmers and so far all it has done is bring fear to the little man.

"Guatemalan workers are being targeted for their union activity," AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said. "Without the freedom from fear to join unions and bargain collectively, how can we expect any workers to benefit from a trade agreement?"

Violence for this country is very common. There was a coup that started in 1954 and lasted until a peace accord was signed in 1966. The coup was started on behalf of the United Fruit Company to overthrow the democratic government. The coup is what started a 36 year civil war which started military dictatorship, death squads, and genocide. Even though the peace accord was signed it did not stop the violence. The ongoing violence against workers in Guatemala makes it clear that talk of free trade improving human rights in developing countries is far from reality. Free trade has done nothing but increased poverty, while rewarding the government and take away any hope for the poor indiginous.