Cancellation of External Debt in the FMS 2005

Cancellation of External Debt in the FMS 2005

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By Cristiano Morsolin

Who owes whom? Are we debtors or creditors? Who will pay for all the natural resources looted from Latin America and the Caribbean over the centuries? The debt of the dictators is it fair to pay it? And country risk, is it fair that we pay insurance to so-called international investors?

Priority for Latin American organizations to the 2005 World Social Forum

"We don't owe, we don't pay!" This is one of the central cries that Jubileo Sur has raised in various instances of debate and struggle around the globe since 1999, the year in which we became a broad and pluralistic network of movements, popular and religious organizations, communities and campaigns for the Cancellation of External Debt and payment of Ecological, Social and Historical Debts.

Based on this statement and the conviction that the DEBT problem is not only economic but fundamentally POLITICAL, since the first South / Americas Jubilee Assembly, held in 2001 at the I World Social Forum, we have been building a Latin American and Caribbean joint to strengthen national campaigns and movements and contribute to the creation of that other world that we know is possible and necessary "- the words of Bererly Keene, Coordinator of the Jubilee South / America Network, summarize the spirit of this organization articulated at a global level. is convening a Continental Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held from January 23 to 25, in the city of Porto Alegre (Brazil).

In the convening document it is evident that "this path goes in part to dealing with the debt problem - something so old and at the same time so new - starting from other questions, such as: who owes whom? We are debtors or creditors? Who will pay for all the natural resources looted from Latin America and the Caribbean over the centuries? Is the debt of the dictators fair to pay? And the country risk? Is it fair that we pay insurance to International investors Why is it called "development" to the debts offered by the World Bank and the IDB so that others can bring water, gas, land, the fruits of our labor?

We have established as a priority to sensitize and mobilize our societies, relating the human and ecological costs of the Debt with other aspects of the same project of domination such as privatizations, free trade and militarization, to achieve alternatives of LIFE and SOVEREIGNTY from the repudiation of an illegitimate debt already paid in excess, the reparation of the crimes committed through it and the transformation of the structures and policies that support it.

We know that we must strengthen these movements and campaigns in each of the countries of the continent to face together the challenges we are experiencing. For that, it is good to stop along the way and strengthen ourselves in analysis, strategic vision and coordination in order to achieve our objectives. We also believe that it is important to broaden and diversify participation, opening a forum for exchange and reflection with new social, religious, cultural and political actors whose commitment and participation is essential. "

This important mobilization represents a response to an extreme situation that is afflicting all of Latin America as highlighted by ERIC TOUSSAINT, active president of the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt ( in an article in the Mexican newspaper "La Jornada" from January 16:

"At the end of 2004, Latin America has paid seven times the amount of foreign debt it had two decades ago and liabilities have only multiplied." It is a silent hemorrhage of resources, which has now become more acute with the transfer of income to transnationals that participated in the privatization of assets in the region, and about which there is no debate, "says Eric Toussaint, president of the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt (CADTM), an organization based in Belgium.

The debt issue has tried to be buried in the debate by various governments in the region, notably that of Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada, who has considered it a thing of the past. The recent offer made by the administration of Argentine President Néstor Kirchner to that nation's creditors to settle only 60 percent of its external debt for 102 billion dollars, which has been in default since December 2001, has made it clear that the point is more present than ever.

"Latin America has returned to a situation like the one it was in the 1980s," says Toussaint, referring to the foreign debt crisis of more than two decades ago, which paved the way for the start of liberalization reforms commercial and financial and privatization of public companies. "The difference now - he adds - is that there is no problem of insolvency: the treasuries of Latin American states make payments on time, while from 1982 to 1987 various governments suspended them for a few months. Now there is a tremendous, massive and silent transfer. of capital to the creditors or to the transnationals; it must be said: governments are, without protesting, transferring a very significant part of the wealth produced by the Latin American peoples. "

In a report three weeks ago, the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) indicated that in 2004 the region made a net transfer of resources abroad for 77 thousand 826 million dollars, double the resources that entered through foreign direct investment (IED). This transfer was represented by the payment of interest on the debt and the profits that the transnationals obtained in the countries of the area and sent to their corporate headquarters.

Eric Toussaint, in a telephone conversation with La Jornada from the CADTM headquarters in Liège, Belgium, states: Latin America has registered net transfers of resources since 1996, but they were not so noticeable due to the inflow of FDI, since some privatizations were continuing. But now, the transnationals that participated in the purchase of these public assets are transferring profits, without new investments to improve the productive apparatus. "They are trying to accumulate wealth via the transfer of profits by spending as little expense as possible."

It highlights that for the region the only positive flow of resources from the North is remittances, which in the case of Mexico will reach an unprecedented figure of 17 billion dollars this year. "To give a class analysis - Toussaint raises - while the Latin American capitalists evade their capitals to the north, it is the migrants who help their national economies with the remittances they send to Latin America. They are two totally antagonistic class behaviors."

Faced with this antagonistic panorama, many social organizations in Latin America (in primis Red Jubileo Sur, Oilwatch, Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone PACs (Brazil), Ecological Action (Ecuador), World Council of Churches, among others) will propose, during the 2005 World Social Forum (which begins next January 26), the TOTAL, IMEDIATE and UNCODITIONAL ANNULMENT OF THE FOREIGN DEBT of the Countries of the South of the World on the occasion of the Assembly of the Peoples of the South, creditors of the social, ecological debt and historical, in program on January 29.

Aurora Donoso, representative of Acción Ecológica (Ecuador) and the Alianza de los Pueblos del Sur, creditor of ecological debt SPEDCA, shows that "the External Debt that is claimed from our countries and that the peoples pay day after day, is not a debt True Most of the time, it has been contracted under fraudulent or hateful circumstances and used for purposes other than or directly contrary to our needs and human rights as individuals and as peoples.

Despite its clear illegitimacy and the inhuman cost of its service, this Undue Debt has also been paid not once but several times. The collection of interest rates and usurious commissions, together with the application of inequitable commercial policies and adjustment and privatization programs prescribed to ensure its payment, have turned it into an Eternal Debt that serves to perpetuate the looting of our Lives and resources and to mortgage our future. Eduardo Galeano explains it very simply when he sums up like this, "the more we pay, the more we owe, the less we have."

Not only are we not debtor peoples, but in reality we are the creditors of a huge Debt that has been increasing for more than 500 years. We are creditors of an Ecological, Social and Historical Debt, due to the looting of our natural resources and the destruction of the environment; for the violation of our fundamental human rights to employment and a living wage, to housing, to land, to water, to identity, to education and to health; for centuries of colonial domination and the genocide that continues to be perpetrated and that projects its continuity through free trade agreements and militarization.

The true debtors know that to achieve the subjugation and domination of a people it is necessary not only to steal their lands, exploit the workers, suppress their protest, expropriate natural resources and starve thousands and thousands of people for centuries, but it is also necessary to impose a way of thinking and a conscience, to the point of making those who rebel disappear.

For this reason, for years the IMF, the World Bank, the regional banks, have carried out a perverse, manipulative and murderous plan that, through the complicity of our governments, the great economic interests and the mass media, have achieved not only that let us pay a Debt that we do not owe but they have also achieved something as nefarious and cruel as the above: to impose in our language, in our common sense, the idea that they are the creditors and that we have gotten into debt, that therefore we are debtors and, honest that we are, that the right thing to do is to pay off that debt at all costs.

We then need to wage a great cultural battle that commits us to unmask and reverse this dominant discourse as a fundamental step in the emancipation of our peoples, not only from the heavy burden of an Undue and yet overpaid Debt, but also as subjects and protagonists of our lives and our future. Recognize that we are the creditors, the victims of looting and destruction and that they are responsible for the social and environmental crimes resulting from this looting, and that the possibility of reversing this reality is framed in the articulation and coordination of our efforts to stop the bleeding and move towards the restoration and reparation of the crimes committed. "

This change in perspective from below reaches the 2005 World Social Forum after an important process that consolidates its strategy after the Court for Food Sovereignty that judged the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for their social and ecological debt in agriculture with the peoples and countries of Latin America (, during the Social Forum of the Americas in Quito in July 2004.

In Brasilia, the international Debt Audit workshop was held (November 9-11, 2004) where contributions were made to promote and conduct audits against the illegitimacy of external debt "(http: //www.jubileesouth. org / sp / index.php? id = 75 & category = 2).

Delegates who participated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in the Central America-Caribbean Meeting "Illegitimacy and Audit on Debts" ( organized by the Red Jubileo Sur, on the occasion of commemorating Human Rights Day this December 10, they denounced how the policies that oblige the countries of the region to pay their external debt promoted by the United States, its developed partners of the G- 7 and international financial organizations, condemn the peoples to plunge into permanent poverty and underdevelopment, while the elites who have been favored by this level of indebtedness enjoy all impunity.

For these same reasons, in the first week of January 2005, the Red Jubileo Sur - International, from the secretary in the Philippines (, has sent to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank a petition signed by dozens of organizations from all over the world.

Second Rosilene Wansetto of the Brazilian coordination of the South Jubilee network, member of the International and Brazilian Committee of the WSF 2005, the proposal that will be launched at the WSF 2005 has nothing to do with the negotiations being carried out by the G 7 who declared to grant the moratorium or freezing of the debt of the countries affected by the tsunami tsunami: "We propose a definitive solution, which means the unconditional cancellation of the debt."

This debate on the global campaign for the cancellation of the foreign debt of the countries of the South of the World, has the participation of many organizations from the North of the World, such as: Committee for the Cancellation of the Debt of the Third World, Flemish Platform of sustainable development VODO (Belgium), Observatory of debt in globalization (Spain), Campaign for the reform of the World Bank (Italy).

This North-South bridge is being strengthened and has also expressed its visibility in the European Parliament, which on January 13 prepared a document on the external debt of the southern countries of the world.

Francesco Martone, senator of the Italian Republic, secretary of the Human Rights Commission, (ITALY) comments: "The Asian tragedy puts us in front of a great responsibility, and could represent the occasion for a radical reversal of the debt and settlement processes of the historical debt problem. It is regrettable that the G7 countries do not go beyond a moratorium proposal. This debt does not have to be paid! And we, parliamentarians from the North, creditor, have a greater responsibility, that of giving voice to just proposals, even if they are difficult, so that once and for all a way of solidarity and equitable relations between the peoples is built ".

From the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre a strong commitment can come to cancel the social and ecological debt!


* journalist-educator and operator of international networks.
Co-founder of the Independent Observatory on the Andean Region

Video: What is Cancellation of Debt Income? (July 2022).


  1. Iliana

    the phrase Excellent and it is timely

  2. Christopher

    It should be clear!

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  7. Mezirn

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