Manuel Pérez-Rocha is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and an Associate of the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. He is a Mexican national who has led efforts to promote just and sustainable alternative approaches to trade and investment agreements for two decades. Prior to working for IPS’ Global Economy Program, he worked with the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) and continues to be a member of that coalition’s executive committee. He also worked for the Make Trade Fair campaign of Oxfam International.

Manuel studied International Relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), has a diploma on European Studies from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and holds a M.A. on Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Netherlands. Some of his last publications include op-eds in The Nation and The New York Times.


Institute for Policy Studies calls on Salvadoran government to release from prison leading Water Defenders arrested on January 11

Hundreds of groups around the world worked with the Salvadoran Water Defenders in the successful campaign to save the country’s rivers from toxic gold mining. They join in demanding the release of the five Water Defenders and to allow them to await their trial in their community.     

Global Climate Talks Spark Action Against Investment Treaties Favoring Fossil Fuel Corporations Over People and Planet

Climate activists are demanding total elimination of the anti-democratic investor-state dispute settlement system.

Award Bestowed on the Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México (Movement for Our Disappeared Ones in Mexico)

“The Movement for Our Disappeared Ones in Mexico emerged out of the need to pass laws regarding forced disappearances to ensure the government recognizes that the victims are not a number but rather, persons with names and faces.”

Latin American Leaders Should Stand Up for People, Not Corporate Profits

As leaders gather in Los Angeles, a reflection on the past two decades of battles against neoliberalism and for a more just and equitable alternative in the Americas.

Ousted Pakistani Leader Was Challenging Investment Treaties That Give Corporations Excessive Power

Mexico and many other countries are facing anti-democratic corporate lawsuits like the case that pushed Khan to withdraw from international investment agreements.

Democratic Progress in Honduras, Setbacks in El Salvador

The last decade saw democratization in El Salvador and brutal repression in Honduras. Suddenly, those trends appear to have reversed.

We Can’t Trust the World Bank to Stand Up to Powerful Fossil Fuel Companies

While the divestment movement is working to hold fossil fuel companies accountable, the World Bank is protecting and financing them.

A New Trade Vision for a Green New Deal

The world must agree to trade rules that encourage a fair and democratic transition away from fossil fuels and toward a Global Green New Deal.

Latin America Should Withdraw From the World Bank’s Harsh Trade Court

A secretive World Bank tribunal lets multinational corporations sue governments over basic regulations. Mexico should lead a Latin American exodus.

Missing from the Climate Talks: Corporate Powers to Sue Governments Over Extractives Policies

Allowing oil, mining, and gas companies to continue to file expensive lawsuits over environmental regulations could undermine whatever agreements might be reached in the COP26 in Glasgow.

Risks for Mexico in the Renegotiation of its FTA with the European Union

To end neoliberalism and defend energy resources, Andres Manuel López Obrador must step up and avoid the inclusion of supranational arbitration mechanisms in a renegotiated FTA with the European Union.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in the Struggle Against Anti-Democratic Corporate Trade Rules

Pakistan is the latest country to reject the system that allows private investors to sue governments in international tribunals. But Ecuador is back-tracking and the lawsuits continue to proliferate.

Excessive Corporate Power Breeds Political Repression

In the face of extractive industries’ enormous economic clout, Central Americans are facing increasing displacement and threats to their democratic rights.

Excessive Corporate Power is a Root Cause of Migration

Under U.S. trade agreements, corporations are suing developing country governments for sums that far outstrip the value of humanitarian aid.

Corporations Should Not Have the Power to Undermine the Global Battle Against COVID-19

Even if governments agree to suspend patent protections for vaccines, corporations can fight back with expensive lawsuits.

La 4T y los Derechos de los Inversionistas Extranjeros

Para que México despierte de la pesadilla neoliberal y poder garantizar la soberanía nacional, es imperioso reformar sus TLC y TBI.

Biden’s Top Trade Official Should Work to Protect Governments From the Rising Number of Corporate Lawsuits

In 2020, foreign investors filed at least 51 known lawsuits demanding huge sums from governments struggling to fight a historic pandemic.

How U.S. Trade Policy Failed Workers — And How to Fix It

Now more than ever, we need a new trade policy to support an economic recovery from the pandemic and to start building an economy that works for everyone.

Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with COVID-19

Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.

With Passage of NAFTA 2.0, Congress Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico

The U.S. Senate has just approved a deal that perpetuates the excessive powers of corporate polluters to ride roughshod over Mexican communities threatened by oil, mining, and gas projects.

Project Director and Associate Fellow

Global Economy

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    El Salvador, Extractive Industry, Latin America, Mexico, Mining, Trade, Water Rights

    Amway contra México y la vida campesina

    La Jornada | February 11, 2023

    The free trade myth

    New Internationalist | July 9, 2019