Friday, September 21, 2007

Costa Rica dealt wild card in trade pact rift

University students holding sunflowers shout slogans against the Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United States, during a rally in San Jose, Costa Rica (Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images).Government officials' letter urging dirty tricks to sway voters to back an agreement could backfire.

By Marla Dickerson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - With just over two weeks to go before Costa Ricans head to the polls to vote on a free-trade agreement with the United States and six other countries, Alfredo Volio should be a happy man.

As head of the "yes" campaign championing the pact, known as CAFTA, he has watched public support climb in recent months. The latest opinion polls showed Costa Ricans leaning toward backing the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which would dismantle most trade barriers between the United States and half a dozen Latin countries.

But that was before a memo written by CAFTA advocates was leaked to the public this month, fueling outrage here. The document, dated July 29 and written by two high-level government officials with close ties to Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, outlined a campaign of dirty tricks intended to sway voters.

To read the whole article click here.

No comments:

Related posts