Nicaraguan Campesino Leader - US Tour

Augusto Obregon Explores the Effects of Free Trade on Migration and the Environment.

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Oct 20, 2010 12:00 AM
Nov 05, 2010 12:00 AM

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Augusto Obregon, a campesino farmer from Nicaragua will visit communities across the Northwest from October 20th-November 5th. Mr. Obregon weaves personal stories to demonstrate how globalization, the neoliberal economic model and U.S. trade policy have contributed significantly to migration, poverty and environmental degradation in Nicaragua.

Mr. Obregon lives and works in Esteli, Nicaragua, where he serves as vice-president of the Federation of the Integral Development between Farmers. For over thirty years, Mr. Obregon has advocated for the rights of small-scale farmers and educated communities about the negative impacts of free trade on health, the environment, and food security. Most recently Mr. Obregon’s work has focused on connecting water contamination to a free-trade zone tobacco factory, which set up shop in his region three years ago. He also works on projects to secure potable water for his community.

"For me, free trade agreements, neoliberal policies and the conditions on the aid from the international financial institutions has brought our country to extreme poverty…” Obregon explains, “In my community, the installation of a tobacco factory generates employment but also miserable salaries and contamination of our environment, principally to our water supply. The worst is that some farmers are selling their land to cultivate tobacco, causing less production of food to sustain us.”

Mr. Obregon will be hosted by Witness for Peace Northwest, with complete Spanish to English interpretation by staff person Brooke Denmark. Witness for Peace is a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. WFP’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America.

For more information about this tour or Witness for Peace visit