Transparency and democracy in the ftaa:

One of the more startling observations of the FTAA is its claim for transparency and democracy in its decision making. Negotiations on the agreement have taken place in private since their birth in 1994. Records as to what goes on at those meetings are entirely classified - restricted from the public. "The FTAA's most prominent policy makers have made it clear that what is valued in the FTAA process is obedience, homogenization and assimilation NOT democracy and diversity" (6).

Over 200 Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) have campaigned for the "liberation of the text" in the FTAA with no success. Trade Negotiations Chair, Dr. Adalberto Rodriguez Giavarini asserts that, "It is impossible for us to engage in a serious dialogue on the FTAA when we do not know the actual content of the negotiations" (6). Even if the records were open to the public, the documents would be released in only four different languages - Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English. FTAA negotiators therefore exclude the indigenous peoples of Central America - those who will be most affected by the agreement.

"FTAA negotiators have no intention on establishing a dialogue with indigenous people throughout the hemisphere. Just as the Zapatistas, have stated that NAFTA is the death sentence for indigenous people in Mexico, the FTAA is likely to be a death sentence for native people throughout the Western Hemisphere" (6).