Main Issues

Mayan People’s Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_0-1-0-gmonsanto3.jpg(Guatemala, September 15, 2014) - On September 4th, after ten days of widespread street protests against the biotech giant Monsanto’s expansion into Guatemalan territory, groups of indigenous people joined by social movements, trade unions and farmer and women’s organizations won a victory when congress finally repealed the legislation that had been approved in June.

The demonstrations were concentrated outside the Congress and Constitutional Court in Guatemala City during more than a week, and coincided with several Mayan communities and organizations defending food sovereignty through court injunctions in order to stop the Congress and the President, Otto Perez Molina, from letting the new law on protection of plant varieties, known as the “Monsanto Law”, take effect.

On September 2, the Mayan communities of Sololá, a mountainous region 125 kilometers west from the capital, took to the streets and blocked several main roads. At this time a list of how individual congressmen had voted on the approval of the legislation in June was circulating.

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Call for registration: III International Peasant Conference on Land

FOR WIDE CIRCULATION

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Dear friends,

UNAC (União Nacional de Camponeses), Mozambican Peasants’ Nation Union is hereby inviting organisations and peasant movements around the world, as well as activists, scholars and individuals interested in the issues and challenges of the peasantry, to participate in the III International Peasant Conference on Land held in Maputo, Mozambique.

UNAC, was founded in April, 1987 and registered in 1994 with the overall aim of representing the peasants and peasant organisations while ensuring their social, economic and cultural rights through strengthening its organisations, participating in shaping governmental public policies and development strategy, in order, to guarantee food sovereignty, while considering youth and gender equality.

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U.S. Farmworkers and Palestinian Farmers share 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize

Honorees Represent Communities Defending Their Human Rights to Food in the Face of Policies of Land and Water Grabbing, Migration, and Militarization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 9, 2014

palestina.jpgDes Moines, IA — The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) is honored to name the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine, based in Gaza and the West Bank, and Community to Community Development /Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) of Bellingham, Washington, as co-recipients of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize.

Their stories of continuous struggle to defend the rights of their communities – farmers and fishers in the occupied Palestinian territories and migrant Mexican farm workers in Washington State, both seeking to produce their own food, on their own land, in their home communities – stand in stark contrast to the storylines coming from agribusiness:  that technological changes to crops can meet human needs and resolve hunger.

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Honduras: longtime campesina leader murdered

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_marga_honduras.jpgMasked men shot and killed Honduran campesino movement leader Margarita Murillo the night of Aug. 26 on land she farmed in the community of El Planón, Villanueva municipality, in the northern department of Cortés. Murillo reportedly began working for campesino rights at the age of 12. During the 1980s she was a founder of the Campesino National Unity Front (FENACAMH) and the General Confederation of Rural Workers (CNTC).

After the military removed then-president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009) from office in June 2009, she was both a local and a national leader in the broad coalition resisting the coup, the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP), and then in the center-left party that grew out of it, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE). The National Congress observed a moment of silence after reports of Murillo's death were confirmed.

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UAWC participates in the European Summer School for Social Movements

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_UAWC_2014_Food_sovereignty_workshop.jpeg(Ramallah, Palestine)- a delegation from the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) participated in the European Summer School for Social Movements in France. The delegation presented a workshop titled “struggle for food sovereignty” funded by Rosa Luxemburg and in partnership with La Via Campesina.

UAWC’s delegation, that consists of members of the agricultural committees as representatives of the board of directors, and employees, met with a members of La Via Campesina France and provided them with an overview about the general situation of the farmers in Palestine within the Israeli occupation that violates the farmers’ rights through imposing checkpoints, the apartheid wall and control of resources. The delegation also had several talks in three major workshops in the European summer school; workshop on Palestine, BDS workshop, and food sovereignty workshop.

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ECVC asks Brussels for measures to control the effects of the Russian veto on dairy products

Press release – Brussels 2 September 2014

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On the 3rd September, in the meeting of the Milk Advisory Group, representatives from different European organisations who are members of the European Coordination of Via Campesina will request  measures to ensure that that the Russian veto of EU dairy products, equivalent to 2,2000,000 tonnes of milk, does not cause a huge imbalance in the milk industry and disastrous prices for farmers.

From the ECVC we demand that market and production regulation measures be applied urgently, to avoid surpluses and low prices for agricultural products, such as meat and milk, which could happen as a result the Russian veto.

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The Peasant Movement Defines its Position on the Climate and Food Crises in the Region

Peasant Assembly of the Coordination of Latin American Rural Organizations and La VíaCampesina in Central America (CLOC-LVC-CA)

CLOC%20LC%20CLIMATE.JPGThe member organizations of CLOC-Via Campesina Central America, from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, are together in assembly in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, this August 31st and September 1st, 2014. After carrying out consideration and analysis of the grave situation in the Central American countryside and the peasant movement in the region, we reach out to the Central American public, the governments of the region and the international community with the following conclusions:

1. The effect of climate change and the lack of preventive measures by the neoliberal governments in the last 20 years have combined to aggravate the food and climate crises in the entire Central American region, to such a degree that today we face a near-total loss of the first harvest of the year due to a severe drought.  More than three million peasant families currently face insolvency and a complete inability to attempt a second harvest—without seeds, credit, or water.  The immediate effects of this crisis are malnutrition, accelerated migration, and massive increases of school dropouts, as well as food hoarding and speculation by the private sector. Meanwhile,the main responseby government has been to increase the imports of basic grains—leading to historic profits by importers and the destruction of national farm economies—as well as the rushed approval of new seed laws that fling open the doors to genetically engineered crops, gravely threatening our native seeds. The absence of public sector strategies for building food sovereignty means, in effect, that Central American governments have abandoned the possibility of supporting peasant production, public credit, technical assistance and farm diversification. In the case of coffee, the coffee rust epidemic has arrived in the context of governments that abandon small farmers to their fate, thus multiplying their suffering and leading to greater unemployment and malnutrition among rural workers.

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