efe-epaBy Eduardo Davis Bento Gonçalves, Brazil

The Mercosur trade bloc's four members said during their biannual summit Thursday in southern Brazil that they remained committed to free-market policies and free trade, and delivered a clear message against protectionism and the ideologies of the past.

The summit was held in Bento Gonçalvez, a city in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Paraguay took over the trade bloc's rotating presidency from Brazil.