Economic Colonialism: Free Trade, the Obama Administration & the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal by Matt Remle
Twenty years ago, the Zapatista’s burst onto the global stage with their January 1st, 1994 uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. Central to the Zapatista uprising was deep poverty amongst the regions indigenous populations, continued incursion on remaining lands and resources and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA, which went into effect on January 1st, 1994, was viewed as a serious threat to Indian farmers who worried it would lead to a land grab of their few remain lands by multinational corporations and lead to a flooding of the Mexican market of cheap U.S. imports.
Prior to NAFTA, plots of land had been permanently deeded to Mexico’s Indian farmers, one of the victories of the Mexican revolution led by Emiliano Zapata. NAFTA required that Mexico change its constitution to allow for foreign ownership of these lands, as well as, for the plots to be able to be seized and sold by creditors. Additionally, NAFTA opened the flood gates for heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural products to be dumped into the Mexican market.