Sign today to put Salvadoran family farmers first, not Monsanto

ACTION ALERT

Take action today to stop the US government from manipulating development aid to promote the interests of Big Agra and seed-selling giants like Monsanto at the expense of El Salvador’s farmers and the millions of families they support. Sign the petition to US Secretary of State John Kerry today!

Local, non-GMO seeds are cultivated on a family farm. (Photo: UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

Local, non-GMO seeds are cultivated on a family farm. (Photo: UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

Background:

By 2009, El Salvador, along with many other countries in the developing world, was facing a food crisis. After years of corporate-driven agricultural and free trade policies, over 75% of corn and 85% of beans – the country’s primary dietary staples – were being imported, rather than grown domestically.

In 2011, El Salvador launched the Family Agriculture Plan to support small-scale farmers living in poverty and promote national food sovereignty. The program includes the purchase of locally-produced, non-GMO corn and bean seeds for family farmers to cultivate and sell on the domestic market. The Family Agriculture Plan has led to record harvests in 2012 and 2013 – local corn and bean seed production is now able to meet the country’s demand.

In April, the US Embassy in El Salvador announced that El Salvador must allow foreign corporations to bid on the same seed contracts currently offered to local producers in order to receive $277 million in development aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Take action today to stop the US government from manipulating development aid to promote the interests of Big Agra and seed-selling giants like Monsanto at the expense of El Salvador’s farmers and the millions of families they support.

Sign the petition to tell MCC President and US Secretary of State John Kerry: family farmers come first in El Salvador, not Monsanto!

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Upcoming events

Revolutionary Supper Club – April 19 at 5:30 p.m.
The event provides an opportunity to talk with some of our very own elections observers, as well as several longtime Latin America solidarity companer@s.

We’re excited about the recent victory of FMLN president-elect Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The election of Sánchez Cerén, a former comandante and union militant, is a great sign that El Salvador’s radical transformation will continue.

Please join us for good food, time with good friends and a celebration of the strength of the Salvadoran social movement!

Event details:
When: April 19, 5:30 p.m.
Where: 2821 2nd Ave. Seattle, WA 98121
Cost: $20-35 per plate, sliding scale

Please RSVP to seattle@cispes.org if you plan to attend. And you can make your donation via Paypal here. We look forward to sharing a meal with you.

May Day – May 1

May Day is International Workers Day, a time to celebrate the power of the working class to win social and economic justice. The United States is threatening workers’ rights in El Salvador by ransoming an economic aid package and demanding that El Salvador privatize much of its public sector.

Faced with this blatant attack on workers’ rights and El Salvador’s sovereignty, join us in marching to demand an end to unjust economic policies that drive down wages and living standards across the Americas.

Be part of the CISPES contingent.This year’s march will begin in Judkins Park at 3 p.m. and head to Westlake. Find us holding our banner.


Solidarity Cycle – June 21-22

Pacific Northwest summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about how awesome a long bike ride in beautiful weather will be. Add on to that radical fun times with your favorite CISPistas and you’ve got the 2014 Solidarity Cycle.

This event is open to all members of the community who are interested in going on a beautiful bike ride while supporting the rights of Salvadoran public sector workers.

If you would like to join us on the ride, please contact seattle@cispes.org or call (206) 325-5494. If you’d like to sponsor a rider, contact us or donate directly through Paypal here.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.

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Highlights from the El Salvador 2014 Elections Blog: the First Round

Seattle CISPES had for delegates who traveled to El Salvador to serve as accredited observers to the Feb. 2 election. The delegates will speak about the trip on Feb. 18. The following are selections from the El Salvador 2014 Elections Blog: News and International Observer Reports from El Salvador’s 2014 Presidential Election.

ballot count“US Embassy Congratulates El Salvador for ‘Orderly and Transparent’ Elections”: On Monday, February 3, the US Embassy in El Salvador released a press statement congratulating the people of El Salvador for an “orderly and transparent” Election Day. The international solidarity community welcomed this statement, which comes on the heels of a vast grassroots effort to ensure US neutrality in the face of these historic elections…

“President Funes reports that 24 companies have been charged with influencing votes”: Mauricio Funes, President of the Republic, revealed that a total of 24 companies have been charged before the Labor Ministry for coercing their workers to vote for a particular political party in the second round of elections, which is a felony punishable with jail time…

FMLN Announces Plan to Increase Margin of Victory Heading into Second Round”: About 10:45 CST, Salvador Sánchez Cerén held a press conference to express his confidence that if the FMLN doesn’t win tonight in the first round, that their margin of victory will increase on March 9th…

“CISPES Mid-Day Report, Lots of People Coming to Vote, Polling Places are Calm”: CISPES observers report high voter turnout, as well as a calm environment. Several observers have commented on a lot of support and co-operation among poll workers to make sure that people with disabilities and people with limited mobility are able to vote…

“Ex-President Francisco Flores was Caught Trying to Flee the Country”: Former President Francisco Flores tried to flee the country by crossing the Guatemalan border hidden in a truck on Tuesday, January 28, according to President Mauricio Funes. Flores, who is currently under investigation for embezzling $15 million donated by the Government of Taiwan, failed to appear Tuesday morning for a hearing…

“Left Poised to Win in Upcoming Elections in El Salvador and Costa Rica”: The Tico Times has published an English-language article comparing the two upcoming elections in El Salvador and Costa Rica, both be held on February 2nd. In both countries, the left is poised to possibly win…

“Supreme Court Prohibits Public Functionaries From Campaigning”: This past Friday [January 24], the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court issued a resolution that prohibits public functionaries from participating in a current presidential campaign, regardless of whether they do so outside of work hours…

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