The federal government isn't the only group who can sponsor a trade mission. Mexico is a clear example of the devastating impact of aggressive trade liberalization on human rights, and a KAIROS church leaders' delegation to Mexico explored these impacts March 11-19, 2005. Working with KAIROS partners, delegates examined the impact of free trade in Mexico through a human rights lens, looking at alternatives and resistance, and developing concrete recommendations for the Canadian government.
The KAIROS Mexico delegation is ecumenical and national, drawing on church leaders from Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Delegates include:
- The Most Reverend Daniel Bohan, Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto;
- Rt. Rev. Susan Moxley, Suffragan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI;
- Rev. Raymond L. Schultz, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada;
- Ms. Wanda West, lay member of the Executive of General Council of The United Church of Canada;
- Sister Sheila Moss, ssa Sisters of St. Ann;
- Father Paul Hansen, Chair, KAIROS Board of Directors; and
- Rev. J. Mark Lewis, former Moderator, Presbyterian Church in Canada.
- KAIROS staff Rusa Jeremic and Rachel Warden are accompanying the delegates.
Working with partners in Mexico, an exciting agenda was drawn up including meetings with human rights, churches, labour, Indigenous and women's organizations as well as visits to local communities impacted by trade policies. Half of the delegation went to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, a city along the border with the USA that is built almost entirely around export processing zones and maquiladoras. The other half of the delegation travelled to Chiapas in southern Mexico to explore the impact of free trade on Indigenous and rural communities and hear about ongoing issues of militarization and impunity. Delegates also spent time in Mexico City meeting with national human rights and economic justice groups, and the Canadian Embassy.
Next month, delegates will go to Ottawa to bring concrete recommendations to the Canadian government during the Global Week of Action on Trade, April 10-16. More information on KAIROS' advocacy and action on trade, including a special bulletin on the Week of Action, can be found on the KAIROS website: http://www.kairoscanada.org/e/economic/trade/index.asp
The delegation homepage is at:
While the KAIROS delegation was in the country they sent back daily reflections. Check out "BishBlogs" from Bishop Sue Moxley of the Anglican Church and Bishop Ray Schultz of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada at http://www.kairoscanada.org/e/economic/trade/delegation_diaries-050314.asp
Established September, 1995. Page revised May 24, 2005.
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