Human Rights

La Vía Campesina: In defense of democracy and the social civil rights in Brazil

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Solidaridad_Brasil_RA.JPG(Marabá, 15 April 2015) The Via Campesina International gathered in Maraba, Para, Brazil for the International Conference on Agrarian Reform, on April 13th through April 17, 2016, with representatives from 28 countries from the 10 regions that compose it, would like to publicly manifest their concern with the current political situation in Brazil. We also repudiate any type of politically-motivated manuveur pro-coup d'etat that puts democracy at risk. We defend the immediate implementation of a Popular Agrarian Reform and the deepening of public policies of social inclusion and income redistribution in Brazil.

The Brazilian ruling class, and the agri-business oppose the redistribution of land and the guarantees for rights of all Brazilian workers. We know that imperialist companies want the privatization of Brazil's natural resources, for their own lucrative endeavors, denying the social ownership of these resources for the public interest.

We are in solidarity with the people in struggle in Brazil and the Brazilian people because we understand that this attack of the coup hungry Right, is orchestrated as a great imperialist coup in other parts of the world, especially in Latin America.

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Military police and gunmen attack Landless families, murder two workers

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-04-11-violencia_campo_rondonia1_mst.jpgMST Communiqué 

April 8 2016 

Last Thursday afternoon, families of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) organized in the Dom Tomás Balduino Camp, were victims of an ambush by the State Military Police and private security forces of the logging company Araupel.

In this cowardly attack, promoted by the Military Police and Araupel’s private security, were murdered rural workers Vilmar Bordim, 44, married with three children, and Leomar Bhorbak, 25, who left behind his wife who is nine-months pregnant. At least seven workers were also wounded, and two more were detained by the police to obtain declarations, and have already been released.

The camp, located in the municipality of Quedas do Iguaçu, in the state of Paraná, began being inhabited by approximately 1,5 thousand families in May 2015. It’s located in the Río Dos Cobras property, which previously had been illegally occupied by the logging company. Justice declared, because of this fraud, that those lands were public and had to be destined to agrarian reform.

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Urgent: Campaign for remission of Andrés Bódalo's sentence

Against the criminalisation and repression of social protest

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-04-05-andresbodalo.jpgFrom the SOC-SAT (Union of Agricultural Workers-Union of Andalusian Workers) we ask for urgent collaboration in our campaign to collect signatures for the plea for remission of Andrés Bódalo's sentence. He has been jailed for his participation in an act of social and trade union protest.

Andrés Bódalo has a long history as a social activist. Added to his dedication as a trade union leader, participating in innumerable actions in defence of labour and social rights, is his political vocation. He is councillor for Jaén en Común, a group for change, and headed the list in Jaén for Podemos in the general elections. Andrés was convicted in a farcical trial where documentary evidence (videos) and testimonies (statements from the Guardia Civil), which prove his innocence, were not admitted by the judge.

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In union with refugees and migrants: Denunciation of the EU's and European government's inhuman policies

logo-eurovia.pngBrussels, 18 March 2016

The General Assembly of the European Coordination Via Campesina stands in solidarity with the thousands of refugees that fleeing wars come to Europe to save and rebuild their lives.

Correspondingly, we strongly condemn the policy of the European Union and European governments- ratified by the measures taken in this last EU Council of Ministers this 18th of March. Rather than assuming their international responsibilities to human rights and global justice, EU member states have responded with more barriers, repression and media manipulation, condemning migrants to suffering, humiliation and death, with the sole purpose of defending their interests and profits above all humanity. The signing of agreements with third countries where money and favors are exchanged for humans beings places us on such levels of moral deprivation and institutional crime that it's impossible to remain unsettled.

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Position of the La Via Campesina in Honduras against the increasing criminalisation of the peasant and indigenous social struggle

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Comunicado_Honduras_2.jpg(Comayagua, March 16th, 2016) We, the organisations belonging to La Via Campesina Honduras – The National Office of Rural Workers (CNTC); The National Association of Honduran Peasants (ANACH); The Council for the Integral Development of Women Peasants (CODIMCA); The National Peasant, Indigenous, and Afro-descendant Youth Front (FRENAJUC); and the regional representatives of the Association for the Development of Honduras (ADROH) from Gracias, Lempira; Opatoro and Márcala, La Paz; Colomoncagua, and Intibucá, meeting together in the municipality of Siguatepeque, Comayagua – responding to the very serious social and political crisis affecting women and men peasants, indigenous people, the Garifuna people, and the popular movement throughout the country, strongly condemn:

1. The state policy of neglecting and fragmenting small-scale peasant production.

2. The extreme poverty in rural areas (more than 3 million peasants are suffering from hunger) with poverty levels as high as 70% of the population, of whom 54% are in extreme poverty.

3. The violent evictions taking place on orders of the Courts and the National Police and serving the interests of the power elite and landowners.

4. The imprisonment of more than 5,000 peasants, including 1,700 peasant women, and the assassination of over 140 women and men peasants in conflicts involving land tenure or the defence of territory.

5. The new Criminal Code bill, which we strongly oppose – both because the peasant movement was not consulted and it criminalises the peasant struggle for land as well as all social movement demands.

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“We are under an institutional dictatorship in Honduras”

Real World Radio: Interview with COPINH leader in light of another murder of a member of the organization

2016-03-18-COPINH.jpgThe situation in Honduras is of complete alert. The outrageous and still unpunished murder of Berta Cáceres seems to have intensified the violence and persecution against social activists, indigenous people and peasants in a country whose people continues to be under attack since the Coup d´Etat of 2009. Yesterday, after a violent eviction in Rio Chiquito municipality, Cortés department, the member of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) Nelson García was shot and murdered when returning to the place where he was staying.

(March 16, 2016) Through an excessive use of force including Police officers, the Army, the Anti-Riot Police and the Intelligence and Security Special Response Group Troops (TIGRES), 150 peasant and indigenous families were evicted from the lands they were inhabiting and cultivating their food on for over 10 years. “During the eviction they destroyed bean, maize, yucca, banana crops, as well as their houses”, said Tomas Gomez, member of COPINH. He also said that the families have been left “totally unprotected”.

The community was processing the community titles over the lands before the National Agrarian Institute (INA), but Rio Lindo´s Mayor, through font men, has bought the lands illegally, denounced COPINH. According to the movement, the interests in this region are related to the increase of hydroelectric power generation potential.

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International Condemnation: Honduras - End the violence and death against the peasant-indigenous movement

IMPUNITY.jpg(Managua, 16 March 2016) La Vía Campesina denounces the grave criminalization taking place in Honduras today in the form of prisons, repression and the assassination of peasant and indigenous leaders. In the last few weeks the situation has worsened greatly with the proliferation of hired assassins aiming to take the lives of those who demand land to produce food, of those who struggle against extractivism, dams, and agribusiness.

Yesterday, March 15th, several regrettable events took place which we summarize below. All require the urgent attention and action of our organizations, allies and human rights entities:

1. Assassination attempt on Cristian Alegría, cousin of Rafael Alegría, lawmaker for the Libre Party and Coordinator of La Vía Campesina Honduras. This attack ocurred in front of La Vía Campesina offices located at Colonia Alameda, Tegucigalpa. 

2. Assassination of Nelson García, member of COPINH and community leader in Río Chiquito. This tragic event took place during the forced eviction of the Río Lindo community, in department of Cortés, when an estimated 100 police officers, 20 members of the military police, 10 members of the Army, and various members of DGIC invaded the territory previously recovered by 150 families, 75 of which had built homes in the area with materials and efforts they worked hard to obtain.

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