Zapatero, Correa, Rousseff and Samper ask for debt forgiveness in Latin America

The letter also has the support of the Vice President of Bolivia, Álvaro García Linera; the former Argentine minister, Jorge Taiana; the Brazilian Celso Amorim; the former Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro.

March 25, 2020

The former presidents: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Spain), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay) and Ernesto Samper (Colombia) ask the IMF for the cancellation of the external debt of Latin America through a letter.

«The signatories ask the IMF and other multilateral organizations, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) or the World Bank, to accept» an immediate process of debt restructuring that contemplates an absolute default of two years without interest ».

It is an initiative of the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG), directed by the Spanish Alfredo Serrano Mancilla. In its Scientific Council is the founder of Podemos Juan Carlos Monedero and in the Executive the former deputy and leader of this formation Sergio Pascual.

The signatories argue that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) foresees a loss of global income of $ 2 trillion due to the crisis caused by the epidemic, and that the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 25 Millions of jobs worldwide are at risk.

In addition, they highlight that the outflow of capital from emerging countries is already at record levels: $ 60 billion in less than two months, according to the International Institute of Finance. For this reason, they believe that forgiving the foreign debt is «an action as just as necessary.»

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They take as an example the 1953 London Conference, in which part of the German debt was forgiven, and, as in other moments of «great catastrophes», they maintain that this is «a unique opportunity to avoid that the weight of the debt is a an even greater stumbling block to add to the complex challenge of overcoming this critical social and economic moment ».

«There are infinite cases where external debts were forgiven,» they continue, warning that countries cannot be «required» to make effective public health and economic policies to compensate for the damage «and, at the same time, time, pretend that they continue to meet their debt obligations.

On average, the letter points out, external debt represents 43.2 percent of Latin America’s GDP. To do this, they ask that the UN General Assembly meet to approve a resolution to that effect. «It is not only a question of solidarity, but also of efficiency,» say the signatories. (C.D.A.)

SOURCE: El Diario