Canada – Mercosur FTA – Neoliberalism, human rights, and the environment

Thursday, April 22nd @ 4 – 5 pm (Est.)
To register for the Zoom event click here or see FB event


Mercosur, a trading bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay is one of the largest economic blocs in the world. It has a significant economic presence in South America, representing nearly 70% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product.

In 2018, Canada launched negotiations towards a possible free trade agreement with Mercosur. All three Federal opposition parties have expressed concerns about the deal’s potential impact on the Amazon rainforest. The region plays a critical ecological role and is home to hundreds of Indigenous nations whose human rights and cultural survival are threatened by deforestation and violence from ranchers and loggers. This violence has been heightened during the presidency of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

The Trudeau government has ignored serious concerns that Bolsonaro is responsible for egregious violations of human rights and Indigenous sovereignty, and that the agreement would legitimize his disastrous actions.

While FTA’s provide investment opportunities and protections for Canadian capital they lack any protections for social rights, the environment, and climate protection. 

Join us to hear from the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil and experts in Canada who will discuss the impacts of the Canada – Mercosur FTA on communities, the environment, and peasant rights.


Marina dos Santos is a member of the National Directory committee of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil. Marina is a Via Campesina activist and researcher at São Paulo State University on peasant rights at the United Nations.

Reykia Fick – Reykia is a Nature and Food Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. She leads Greenpeace’s campaign against the Canada-Mercosur deal (among other files!). Prior to joining Greenpeace, Reykia studied international political economy and worked 10 years for the Fairtrade label. She has volunteer experience working with refugees and for various Quaker causes. She lives in Ottawa with her family, including toddler and cats.

Stuart Trew – Senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives where he directs the centre’s Trade and Investment Research Project. He is the past editor (2014–2020) of the CCPA’s Monitor magazine and was co-editor (with Scott Sinclair) of the book The Trans-Pacific Partnership and CanadaA Citizen’s Guide (Lorimer, 2016). From 2006 to 2014, Stuart was a trade researcher and campaigner with the Council of Canadians where he helped co-found the Canadian Trade Justice Network

Organized by Friends of the MST Canada and Common Frontiers.

Sponsored by Global Dialogue for systematic change, Le Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine, Canadian Latin American Alliance and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Simultaneous interpretation to Portuguese and Spanish will be available.

How Jair Bolsonaro Emboldened Brazilian Agribusiness to Torch the Amazon & Attack Indigenous People

Democracy Now!

Posted August 23, 2019


World leaders are calling for the protection of the Amazon, which produces about 20% of the oxygen on the planet.

Andrew Miller, advocacy director for the conservation organization Amazon Watch, says the fires are worse now than in previous years as a direct result of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies, which encourage exploitation of the Amazon for mining, logging and agricultural activity. “The people who feel the impacts directly are local indigenous communities,” Miller says.