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Viewing cable 05SANJOSE1822, PRO-CAFTA-DR MARCH DRAWS THOUSANDS IN COSTA RICA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05SANJOSE1822 2005-08-10 22:10 2011-03-03 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2697430.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2697496.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697489.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697532.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697535.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2701964.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/Relacionados/Investigacion2701965.aspx
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001822 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
WHA/CEN 
EB FOR WCRAFT, BLAMPRON 
E FOR DEDWARDS 
WHA/EPSC FOR KURS, LGUMBINER 
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR RVARGO, CPADILLA, AMALITO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD ECPS ECON PREL PGOV SOCI CS
SUBJECT: PRO-CAFTA-DR MARCH DRAWS THOUSANDS IN COSTA RICA 
 
 
1.  (U) On August 9, 2005, workers from more than 60 
companies marched to the President's offices to show their 
support for the United States-Central American-Dominican 
Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).  While estimates 
of the number of participants ranged from 4,000 to 8,000, 
most media outlets reported that approximately 5,000 
workers took part in the peaceful march.  The workers urged 
the President to send the agreement to the Legislative 
Assembly and for the Assembly to approve CAFTA-DR and the 
necessary legislation to implement it. 
 
2.  (U) The workers expressed concern that the lack of 
action by the GOCR on this issue will risk jobs and result 
in more unemployment.  "We are worried that CAFTA-DR has 
not been approved.  There are 45,000 unemployed people. 
Foreign investment may leave the country.  We cannot remain 
isolated," said Ignacio Trejos, worker at Conservas de 
Valle.  The workers also asked the Commission of Eminent 
Persons, which is analyzing the agreement, to work to 
ensure the future of their children. 
 
3.  (U) President Pacheco, Minister of Foreign Trade 
(COMEX) Manuel Gonzalez, and Minister of the Economy 
Gilberto Barrantes met with approximately twenty 
representatives of the workers to discuss their concerns. 
Pacheco did not promise to send the agreement to the 
Assembly but stated that a "response will be given at the 
appropriate time, and you must respect the process."  He 
deflected attention by saying that the approval of the 
agreement will be in the hands of the Assembly members. 
 
4.  (U) After the meeting, Ministers Gonzalez and Barrantes 
said that Pacheco has never said he will not send CAFTA-DR 
to the Assembly.  "The workers expressed their support of 
the President.  Some requested that he send the agreement 
to the Assembly.  We take note of their request and the 
call of the workers of the country," said Gonzalez.  He 
further stated "We are sensitive to your worries and we 
know many jobs depend on CAFTA-DR.  However, now is not the 
moment to send the project for discussion." 
 
5.  (SBU) COMMENT.  This event was significant because it 
was the first organized pro-CAFTA-DR event. The responses 
from the President and the COMEX Minister speak for 
themselves.  Despite the turnout of thousands of workers who 
are worried about their jobs, their actions had little 
immediate impact on the attitude of the Administration.  END 
COMMENT. 
KAPLAN