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Guatemalan Demonstrators Protest Against CAFTA


Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Guatemala City Friday to voice opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

The protesters said the pact, known as CAFTA, will benefit only large companies and harm the poor. Supporters say the deal will help lift the region out of poverty.

The trade agreement was supposed to take effect on January 1, but was delayed.

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, however, recommended Friday that the accord with El Salvador take effect on March 1. The other countries that make up CAFTA have not yet met rules proposed by the United States.

CAFTA also comprises Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Costa Rica is the only country within CAFTA that has not yet ratified the agreement.

Some information for this report was provided by AP .

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