Christina Fetterhoff

Christina Fetterhoff (Center for Economic and Social Rights, Ecuador): Christina was involved with human rights in Latin America long before she undertook her AP fellowship. She lived and studied for six months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she researched the role of Argentine human rights organizations during the 1976-1982 military dictatorship. She also traveled to Cuba as a delegate for MADRE, a women’s rights and humanitarian aid organization. Christina graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2003 with a B.A. in Political Science. At the time of her fellowship, she was studying for an M.A. in Latin American Studies through Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido

28 Jul

“El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!!!!!” (“The people united will never be defeated!”) These immortal words have constructed the history and the essence of every type of Latin American revolution, from the very traditional and obvious Cuban and Nicaraguan Socialist revolutions, to the more subtle, but equally important human rights-oriented revolutions that took place in countries like Argentina and Chile in protest of the dictatorships.

These same words echoed through the streets of Quito today, as over 10,000 people from all parts of Latin America marched together in solidarity against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. According to newspapers here, as well as the organizers of the Americas’ Social Forum, this march was the largest that Quito has ever seen. Another revolution is brewing-a revolution against further North American economic domination and colonization of Latin America.

The staff of the CDES office participated in the march, myself included. We carried two banners: one read “Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales-Contra ALCA,” which is the Spanish acronym for the FTAA. The other banner was against Chevron-Texaco and a Texaco truck just happened to pass by on the other side of the road while we were carrying it and other people from the crowd swarmed it and nearly toppled the entire thing over. However, for the most part the march was peaceful and people remained calm, more intent on getting their message across than on causing chaos.

Despite this fact, however, the Quito police were out in full force, lining the main avenues and, of course, heavily guarding the US embassy. Also there were a fair amount of police in front of McDonald’s, which I found quite intriguing. It makes sense though, as there are certain things, like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, Nike products and Hollywood exports, which represent more than just food, athletics and US cinema.

Many people here in Ecuador, as well as throughout Latin America, view the presence of these companies in their countries as a form of cultural imperialism-the all-powerful North bearing down on the struggling South in an attempt to crush its traditional ways of life. Oil companies like Chevron-Texaco are another infamously good example.

The people who marched together today took a stand against this domination, however. And while negotiation of the FTAA will ultimately be left up to the heads of state, one can hope that the work of organizations like CDES and demonstrations of solidarity like the march that I have described here will make some impact so that in fact the people united will NOT be defeated.

Posted By Christina Fetterhoff

Posted Jul 28th, 2004

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *