Citizens in Argentina, Chile and Peru took to the streets in droves Friday night to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which will affect 12 countries and has already seen major objection from citizens world wide.
“This march is informative, because this treaty was negotiated by countries in secret and behind our backs, the most affected,” said one of the leaders of the mobilization in Peru's capital Lima.
Veronika Mendoza, a congressperson from Peru's left wing Broad Front party, also attended the demonstration and reiterated the party's rejection of the treaty, saying that it would increase the price of medicines for citizens.
Mass crowds also gathered in cities across Chile, including Santiago, Concepcion, Valparaiso, Temuco, Puerto Montt and Iquique among others.
“From today, we have announced our intention to mobilize every month if necessary until congress rejects this treaty,” reads a communique by the protest organizers, which was handed to journalists in Chile's capital Santiago.
The march in Santiago | Photo: El Ciudadano
Argentina is not directly impacted by TPP – a trade deal that would grant transnational corporations a wealth of new powers – however, citizens took to the street to protest against the rising power of transnationals. The protesters were particularly targeting the agrochemical company Monsanto, which has made it illegal in several countries for farmers to save their own seeds for the next harvest, forcing them to buy Monsanto seeds each year.
Protests against the TPP also erupted outside of Latin America. Thousands also took to the streets of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur to urge the government not to sign the trade deal, saying it will lead to higher prices of goods and may displace local businesses by favoring U.S. and other transnationals.
Leaders of the 12 participating countries – United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile – signed the agreement in October, and took the bill back to their respective parliaments to be discussed.
The leaders are now scheduled to meet again Feb. 4 in New Zealand to ratify the agreement.
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