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Plan Puebla-Panama

Ron Mader


INTERAMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
PRESIDENCIA
BANK INFORMATION CENTER
GLOBAL EXCHANGE
CIEPAC
OTHERS ACERCA
RMALC
NAFINSA

Proposed in November 2000 by then President Elect Vicente Fox as a strategic component of Mexico's National Development Plan, the Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP )(See Business Mexico, April 2001) seeks to promote economic development in an area that includes the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatan and all seven countries in Central America.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) , the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Central American Economic Integration Bank (CABEI) compose the PPP's advisory group, which provides technical support. According to the IDB, the objective of the PPP is to "take advantage of the human and ecological riches of the Mesoamerican region within a framework of sustainable development and respect for its ethnic and cultural diversity."

Despite such noble goals, the program has been criticized by activist groups because of its top-down approach and the lack of communication. One example is the Central American Economic Integration Bank's PPP profile -- http://www.bcie.org/bcie/eventos/ppp/index.htm -- which has not been updated since June 2001. The ECLAC site -- http://www.eclac.org -- has no coverage!

To help sort out what information is available, we've compiled the following index of online PPP news as well as a summary of the project components.


INTERAMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK

http://www.iadb.org/ppp/index.asp
/5 Stars

This bilingual (English-Spanish) site provides a succinct overview of the PPP, complete with profiles of individual projects and a calendar of events. Recent updates -- http://www.iadb.org/ppp/recent/ -- provide a useful guide to what's new online the IDB website. The chief weakness of the site is the superficiality of the documents. For example, documentation about tourism certification --
http://www.iadb.org/ppp/project/projectDetails.asp?project_id=106 -- provides a basic sketch but no updated information or links to related sites.

PRESIDENCIA

http://www.ppp.presidencia.gob.mx/frameset.html
/5 Stars

The Mexican government's official PPP website is Spanish-only. It excels at high tech options -- from shockwave animation to a project summary in PDF file -- http://www.ppp.presidencia.gob.mx/pages/archivo/home_pdf.html -- and Powerpoint formats --
http://www.ppp.presidencia.gob.mx/pages/archivo/prensa%20junio20.ppt. What the site lacks is a low-tech option of providing current news. The press room has not been updated since last August (2001).

BANK INFORMATION CENTER

http://www.bicusa.org/lac/PPP.htm
/5 Stars

The U.S.-based Bank Information Center tracks various projects financed by the IDB. The group promises to keep an eye on the development of the various projects, particularly those with environmental impacts. However, the site does not seem to have been updated in several months -- though the organizers do remind visitors to check their website as the PPP moves forward.

GLOBAL EXCHANGE

http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/mexico/ppp/
/5 Stars

The U.S.-based group has targeted the PPP as one of its social campaigns. The English-language PPP resource guide includes a plethora of resources from news analysis to links. One highlight is Wendy Call's essay "A Man, A Plan, Expansion: The Puebla-Panama Plan" prepared for the Institute of Current World Affairs--
http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/mexico/ppp/icwa060101.html

CIEPAC

http://www.ciepac.org/ppp.htm
/5 Stars

The Center for Economic Investigation and Community Action Politics ("Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politicas de Accion Comunitaria") provides a PPP research hub. Highlights of this site include conference proceedings and an updated list of resources in English and Spanish.


OTHERS:


ACERCA

http://www.acerca.org/plan_pueblo_panama.html

- Calling the PPP, the "The Linchpin and the Achilles Heel of Economic Globalization ," this briefing paper was prepared by the activist group Action for Community & Ecology in the Regions of Central America (ACERCA) with information provided by Wendy Call, John Ross, and Mexico Solidarity Network


RMALC

http://www.rmalc.org.mx/ppp.htm

- The Mexican Free Trade Action Network ("Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio") boasts an interesting profile of the PPP. It also published has its own online guide in PDF format -- http://www.rmalc.org.mx/documentos/ppp_rmalc.pdf


NAFINSA

http://www.nafinsa.com/planpueblapanama.htm

- Nacional Financiera provides a capsule report on the development of the PPP but little current information. The site also links to government and banking sites as well as resources on NAFTA and free trade in general. The PPP contact information is obsolete -- email sent to Roberto Reyna González keeps bouncing back.

 

SIDEBAR: Mesoamerican initiatives

The plan is divided into eight main areas known as the "Mesoamerican initiatives" which focus work in region-wide projects in the following categories:

  • Sustainable Development
  • Human Development
  • Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters
  • Promotion of Tourism
  • Facilitation of Commerce
  • Road Integration
  • Energy Interconnection
  • Telecommunications Integration
Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ron Mader © 2008
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