Protesters Tell Colombian President Santos "You Are Not Welcome in NYC!"
On Thursday, September 22nd, 2011, TradeJustice and Mingas New York confronted Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as he entered the Plaza Hotel to speak at a reception organized by The Council of the Americas, a coalition of multi-national corporations allied to promote free trade agreements. Sponsors included corporations notorious for human rights abuses, corruption and environmental destruction, including Barrick Gold, Citigroup, and Chevron. Santos is notorious for his involvement in covering up the ongoing "False Postives" scandal in Colombia, where Colombian military personnel seeking bonuses murdered civilians and dressed their corpses as guerillas to create "photographic evidence" that they were succeeding in killing guerillas. In addition to holding signs exposing the humanitarian and environmental consequences of the Colombia FTA, protesters handed out flyers and encouraged passersby to sign petition cards against the FTA.
In a surprise encounter, protesters were also able to heckle former Clinton aide James Carville, calling him out for his dirty political campaign against Evo Morales in the 2002 Bolivian presidential race documented in the film Our Brand Is Crisis. Building on his tradition of helping elect blood-soaked presidents, Carville was Santos' senior advisor in the his successful bid for the Colombia presidency, as documented in this article in Counterpunch.
A statement by Mingas NY articulated the demands of our protest:
President Santos: You are not welcome in NYC!
The FTA Colombia-USA
The politics of Large Mines for the Multinationals
The sale of land
Impunity and Militarization
We stand for:
Sovereignty, Democracy and Progress for Colombia and its people!
Colombia is Not for Sale! Look there they are one that want to sell the nation!
The punishment of the authors of False Positives!
Colombians do not want, we donít care, to be an american colony!
Decent jobs, with benefits, stable jobs and collective labor bargaining!
Defense of Social Security! Medicaid! And Medicare!
End to layoffs in government jobs and in the private sector!
No more NAFTAS! End to Corporate Greed and Domination!
No more benefits for the untouchable corporations!
Taxes and regulations for the Corporations!
NY workers demand jobs now!
With NAFTA we lost 5 million jobs!
We call on all Congressmembers to Vote No to the FTA with Colombia, Korea and Panama!