AMERICA/CANADA - Canadian ecumenical delegation representing various Christian churches and communities visits Mexico to assess effects of ‘free trade’ on the people of Mexico, the poorest in particular

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Ottawa (Fides Service) - From 11 to 19 March a ecumenical delegation from Canada of representatives of various Christians is in Mexico to assess the effects on the people of Mexico of free trade, propose alternatives and draft practical recommendations to present to the Canadian government. The initiative is promoted by Kairos a coalition of Christian Confessions in Canada, religious NGOs and organisations involved in promoting human rights, human development and solidarity among peoples. The Catholic Church in Canada is represented by Bishop Daniele Bohan, Auxiliary of Toronto, member of the Canadian Bishops’ Commission for Social Problems. Other members of the delegation include Anglican auxiliary Bishop Susan Moxley of New Scotland and Isle-Prince-Édouard; Lutheran Bisop Raymond L. Schultz; Mrs Wanda West of the general council of the United Church of Canada; Sr Sheila Moss, Sisters of St Anna; Redemptorist Father Paul Hansen, President of the Kairos council of administration, Rev. J. Mark Lewis, retired moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Canada; Mrs Rusa Jeremic and Mrs Rachel Warden, of Kairos.
To reach their objective the members of the delegation will meet representatives of Church organisations in Mexico, trade unions, Indigenous peoples, women, human rights activists. They will also visit local communities damage by free trade policies. One half of the delegation will visit Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, on the border with the United States and the other half will travel to Chiapas in south Mexico to assess the impact of free trade on rural and indigenous communities and understand the problems of militarisation. In Mexico City the delegation will meet human rights activists, economic justice promoters as well as representatives of the Canadian embassy. On returning to Canada the delegates will present practical recommendations to the Canadian government in Ottawa during the World Trade Week 10 to 16 April. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 15/3/2005; righe 26; parole 346)