Undergraduate Thesis Or Project

Mi Corazon Dice No, ¿el tuyo? The Anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement Social Movement in San José, Costa Rica

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  • The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is between the United States and Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. CAFTA was decided in Costa Rica by a national referendum in 2007, after years of delay that left Costa Rica as the only country to have not approved the treaty. The cause of the delay was the focus of this research project along with the application of social movement theories to the Anti-CAFTA movement in Costa Rica. The question presented is how much affect did the Anti-CAFTA social movement have on the delay and almost rejection of CAFTA? The collection of a hundred newspaper articles from La Nacion was used to create a timeline of events between the political side and social movement side of the CAFTA debate. The result of the study showed that there was little connection between the two sides and that the Anti-CAFTA movement had the people power and materials to recruit voters but lacked the necessary funds to reach a larger audience. CAFTA passed by a narrow victory and the the division and polarization of the country became more evident after leaked memo by a vice president that pulled votes to the Anti-CAFTA campaign. In the end, the delay in Costa Rica was another point of difference between it and the other countries of Central America because of the different political, economic and cultural climate of Costa Rica.
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