"The reason for integration: A humanizing perspective of the integration processes "- Magister César Ernesto Salazar Grande
Thank you. Always thanking and recognizing and giving credit to Dr. William Soto Santiago, Global Peace Ambassador and president; Gabriela Lara, General Director; Ruth Soto, manager of administration and finance; Of course, Dr. Camilo Montoya and Sonia Real, coordinators of this Session of Justice and Democracy; To the magistrates, judges, judges, lawyers and lawyers, ladies and gentlemen.
When the Central American Court of Justice was invited to intervene at this Summit, obviously the first thing one thinks of is to make known the reason for the existence of a regional court, such as the Central American Court of Justice. However, I thought that it was convenient, better, to adjust the position of this presentation to what is the objective of the Summit, which is a Summit for peace.
And also, with this phrase that has been developed, relative, that "there is no peace without justice and there is no justice without truth"; even in the case of the integration processes at least, we cannot speak of peace without development or of peace without democracy or of peace without liberties. And that is my message of this day, in relation to the processes of regional integration, which, although my experience has been in Central American integration, this experience is very applicable to the processes that have been carried out both in the Andean community, as with MERCOSUR, and now, lately, with the integrationist movements of UNASUR and the Pacific Alliance, among others, in Latin America.
In that sense, the message that I want to convey is, precisely, that although I have been a referee in recent years, CAFTA-DR commercial, and now the Central American Court, where they only see, the majority of cases are of a commercial nature and also conflicts of character of the electric market and other economic aspects; It is necessary to refocus the reason for integration processes. Because, as we know the theories that developed from the integration processes that led us through Raúl Prebisch of ECLAC in the 1960s, those great integration theorists such as Ernst Haas, Nicolás Catalano , Bela Balassa, among others ...; where we were told that the integration processes had to carry out a process by which national economies were able to internationalize in the international market system. That is, national economies could be effectively inserted into the international trading system ... Despite this, and despite the fact that these theories and conditions that were generated from those years carried out a process of industrialization and carried out a strong infrastructure creation, in the case of Central America, the realization of a system of ordered transport, a system of navigation and air security from an area of twenty thousand feet for all Central America… There is a common administration that was generated from that time, there is a totally financeable Central American bank, with a pretty good fund for the direct investment of infrastructure; An electric market was generated that, from Belize to Panama, works in a regional way, with a regional regulation, no longer national, where the Central American countries somehow ensure the services for the new commercial challenges.
In spite of all that, and despite the more than 200 regulations that have to do with the free circulation of goods and services, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, among others, to perfect the Central American common market; Despite this, I would like to say that the reason for an integration cannot be seen from a purely economic point of view, nor can the success of an integration process in generating goods and services and trade exchange be associated, it cannot be directly associated with the common good of the people in those States.
That is the first point that I want to develop because in reality, in spite of the fact that the development processes in the integration of the countries have laudable objectives of productive development, specialization and somehow to gain from that economic design, in spite of that, not is not yet clear that the common good reaches the people in these countries. That is, we have an electric market but we do not have low electricity rates; we have a navigation system, but we do not have low rates for people in navigation; we have a bank, but we do not really see whether or not that investment comes to all parts of the States that are part of a process.
In this sense, the message given to us by specialists and economic theorists, in which indissolubly the development and industrialization would bring the common good to the people, is a pending issue that must be resolved. If we want to talk about justice we have to think about the concept of regional integration, and whether or not it is a design favorable to our States.
In that sense I want to say that if we think that countries like Central America, that we are seven countries united in an isthmic continental territory, where we share the rivers, we share the lakes; we share the biological corridors… That is, there can be no environmental protection if the whole biological corridor is not protected, we all know; there can be no protection or food security on the coasts or in the territorial sea of Guatemala, if El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica do not protect coastal resources under the same conditions as Guatemala. In that sense, now with the advances of science, with advances in technology, it is easy to explain what could be the reason for integration, apart from those reasons primarily economic and economic development.
Environmental resources cannot be taken care of from the isolation of the borders of a single country. In our case, and in almost all cases, we can now check with the science, that you cannot take care of the Caribbean lobster if you do not have a ban in the same conditions from Belize to Panama, and at the same time to take care of the resource.
This is not only an environmental issue but a food security issue, and does not require economic investment, simply requires the joint decision and cooperation and joint responsibility of States to enforce it. Only in this way can we protect not only the lobster, which is an example, but also the shark finning, sea turtles, etc.
That is to say, such examples, as well as those of the biological corridor, those of water resources ... That is to say, to take care of the water resources in Guatemala and Honduras means the survival of countries like El Salvador, that are in low banks. If Guatemala and Honduras do not care for water, water resources, El Salvador in the future will run out of water.
It is so important to see how a common interest and a common need can lead us to a process of integration, which has nothing to do with waiting for the perfection of a customs union or a common market, as we were told in the Economics at the beginning, that we had to wait for stages, that we had to perfect economic processes in order to somehow have some benefit around – social benefits, around the success of an economic integration.
And in reality, the experience of, at least, Central America has been that. Progress has been made in protecting the environment, progress has been made in food security, and progress has been made in health. Because, an infectious disease does not end in an administrative border, a disease has no borders. And therefore, if there is no agreement in the health ministers' agreement to prevent the transfer of infectious disease, there is no effective decision at the level of protecting the health of the citizens of a country.
So that is where joint action is more effective than individual action, and that is where we must understand that the processes of integration is not simply an economic integration, but, is the common wager of political decisions that lead to the common good of the citizen.
And I repeat that money is not needed to make decisions to protect the common goods that a region can have, it is simply to do so. Again, what allows us to discover that the processes of integration can no longer only be economic? Precisely the advances in science that can allow us that kind of decisions.
And there we can also enter the subject of natural disasters; That is, a natural disaster has no country, a natural disaster has regions, it enters by a coast, it leaves by another coast and not necessarily in a country. Integration also has to do with the need for States to establish a regime or policy to prevent natural disasters, a common policy on climate change in relation to these events that affect not one country, but regions.
And therefore, the reason for integration cannot be only a reason for the development or of inserting the countries in the international arrangement; it is… beyond that, it is the common good of the people.
And that humanist perspective of the processes of integration, I believe, is what we need. That is to say, we must transfer the interests of a process to a humanist vision, to a humanizing vision of these processes, which in the end will justify why a judge, why a national authority, orders that no lobsters be caught during four months to take care of the resource, with common responsibility and with equality with the other States, because if not, the decision is not effective.
And even if your domestic law tells you otherwise, and even if the defendant claims the act to the decision, the judge or the State will have to say that it is for the common good of all that this rule applies, even when the particular interest of a company or the particular interest of a country wants to overlap with the decision that is made in an integration process.
Then, of course, this vision changes somewhat the environment of justice also community; Because community justice should not be reduced to the mere effect of serving commercial pacts, compliance with trade rules, where we have been busy for the most part, in resolving compliance on the basis of the particular interest of companies or States in the arrangement of regional, and now international, trade. Justice has to go further.
But if the change of vision of the reason for an integration can lead us so that the natural and legal people come to a court like ours, not to seek commercial justice, but to seek environmental justice, to demand justice in the security of People and their property, to demand justice in health, because the treaties of regional integration already have to do with material competences in health, in matters of environment, in cultural and educational matters.
Regional justice can then be very useful to universal justice if people now help, cooperate, demand effective judicial protection of their rights acquired in regional integration arrangements. That is, society, people, and civil society, is obliged to demand why States do not fulfill those commitments for the protection of the environment, for the response to natural disasters or for the response to the security of people.
Why in cases where there is trust in the functioning of the legal community, there is no possibility of having cooperation in judicial matters against transnational crimes or against drug trafficking or against corruption crimes, among others, which pass from one country to another without effective justice?
Why is it not possible to appoint a regional prosecutor to implement the treaties, to coordinate the implementation of the treaties, so that impunity for lack of evidence does not reach the countries that are part of an integration process?
We are talking about all this, about the possibility that it is the people who demand the States the fulfillment and the vision of a process of change. And I repeat the words: in Central America, or in any integration process, there is no protection or guarantee of peace if there are no freedoms; there is no protection for peace if there is no functioning of democratic institutions; there is no peace if there are no answers to common needs.
That is to say, I believe that the processes of regional integration have, in this sense, a great future, and the challenge would be that even though ECLAC, again, tells us that we must now work for value chains… that is to say, those that can be carried out between several States to specialize and have a response to a system of large exports to China and other countries in 2020, it is not true that this is the only objective of integration processes.
The challenge is to find all those decisions that are necessary and immediate without having to wait for an economic success in the international arrangement, but also to have a successful protection in the rights of people, in the fundamental rights of all Central Americans, and in the case of you all too, of the countries that are part of other integration organizations.
Thank you very much.