AELLA Series: Central America in Perspective

AELLA series: Central America in Perspective
6:30 pm, Tuesday February 28, 2012

Costa Rican Democracy, Oppositional Movements and the Central American Free Trade Agreement – By Jeremy Rayner, Anthropology-Graduate Center & Andres León, Anthropology-Graduate Center

With some scenes from the Documentary “Santo Fraude” (2010, Alexander Rojas)

In October of 2007, mounting contention over the Central American Free Trade Agreement in Costa Rica culminated in a historic referendum, pitting the decentralized, grassroots movement of the “No” against a “SÍ” campaign supported by big businesses together with the Costa Rican and US governments.   This panel will discuss the significance of CAFTA for Central America as well as the contention over the treaty’s ratification in Costa Rica.  We will explore how this conflict over “free trade” contributed to the creation of new political subjectivities and forms of political participation, while raising fundamental questions about the meaning of democracy and popular sovereignty in the context of neoliberal globalization.