Human Rights

Syngenta convicted in Brazil


Justice finds company responsible for armed attack on encamped rural workers.

The court sentence, given by Judge Pedro Ivo Moreiro, of the 1st Civil Court of Cascavel, was published in the Paraná State Official Gazette this Tuesday (17). The sentence rules that the company shall pay compensation to Keno’s family and to Isabel for the moral and material damage it caused. The case was taken to court in 2010, as an attempt to get a response from the State regarding Syngenta being responsible for the attack perpetrated by private armed militia.

The sentence has been well received by social movements and human rights organizations, since making companies accountable for human rights violations is a challenge of global dimensions.  “Transnational companies currently have considerable freedom to operate on a transnational basis, but there are no national or international norms or mechanisms sufficient to oblige companies to respect human rights or to hold them accountable for cases of human rights violations. In this case, Syngenta having been found responsible is an exception to the rule”, explains Terra de Direitos’ lawyer, Fernando Prioste, who has been accompanying the case.

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Silence the Guns, Stop the Killings!

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-30-Logo_Turquia.jpg(Turkey, October 29, 2015) We peasants are the ones who watch over a plant as it comes into leaf and grows tall; who plant seeds, seedlings and saplings in the earth; who are filled with joy when we observe their healthy progress; who lose sleep when they fall sick; who care for our animals like our children.

Yet now, we are losing sleep over events in the Middle East and Turkey, we are following developments with great concern. Why? Because war strikes small farmers first. Peasants are being forced to abandon their villages and land. Peasant families are not only losing their land, but also their lives, and they are being forced to migrate. Forests are now being destroyed, the water is being polluted and nature faces ruin.

Each new dawn brings more news of massacres. News of massacres in Turkey have been added to the already devastating news of massacres in Syria and Iraq.

Read more: Silence the Guns, Stop the Killings!

Statement on Current Repression of Farmers in Poland

logo-eurovia.pngPress Release

Brussels, October 15, 2015

The European Coordination of Via Campesina (ECVC) expresses its solidarity with the 11 farmers arrested on the 6th October in the Western Pomerania Province and calls for the immediately release of the detained farmers with full pardon.

We condemn this repression of legitimate protest and the tactics of intimidation being employed by the Polish authorities. We call on the Polish government to work with the farmers’ organizations and prioritize access to agricultural land for family farmers over the sale of agricultural land to foreign companies.

As an organization representing 27 farmers’ and agricultural workers’ organizations from 18 European countries we are fully aware of the risks that the sale of public land to foreign corporations holds for farmers livelihoods and national food security. Across Europe, farmers are struggling to maintain access to land in the face of land concentration and land grabs, often facilitated by public bodies. You are not alone in Poland, this is a European struggle and farmers must stand together to defend their rights.

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An Open Letter - Threats in Colombia: Serious Concern regarding lack of guarantees

To the President of Colombia

To the Governments of the European Union, the countries of Europe, and the United States

To Public Opinion

October 13th, 2015

Subject: Threats in Colombia: Serious Concern regarding lack of guarantees

The government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerrilla movement recently announced that they had reached an agreement on the topic of Justice, one of the subject under discussion in their ongoing talks in Havana. This is an important step, allowing us to look forward with optimism to the possible signature of an agreement that will bring to an end the armed conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas after more than 60 years of war, we believe that this is a possibility that must not be lost. Furthermore, we hope that talks, leading to an eventual agreement, will soon be started with the ELN guerrilla movement.

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Israeli Occupation Continues to violate Palestinian Farmers' Rights

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Stop_Isreal_violations_2014.jpeg(Ramallah, September 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) follows up intensely the Israeli violations against the Palestinian farmers to expose the brutality of the occupation to the local and international world. West Bank Damages to the agricultural sector & Violence against farmers

More than 16 Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property were recorded this month, including:

  • Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians caused damage to around 550 trees and a water cistern in Hebron
  • Israeli settler attacks resulting in damage to Palestinian property was recorded in Mazra’a Al Qibliya village in Ramallah and set fire on a quarry truck belonging to a Palestinian from the village.

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Via Campesina condemns the attacks against Brazilian Via Campesina and MST Leader, João Pedro Stedile

Via Campesina expresses its solidarity with João Pedro Stedile and with our Sisters and Brothers in the MST

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-2_Stedile_and_LVC.jpg(Harare, October 1, 2015) Once again, we see that the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the largest peasant farmer movement in Brazil, a founding organisation and active member of the Via Campesina, is the target of a campaign by Brazilian and transnational capital  to deter its historic struggle for popular agrarian reform and authentic political reform - a struggle which runs counter to the interests of agribusiness and the multinationals.

Once again, our comrade João Pedro Stedile of the MST, has been the target of attacks on the part of the conservative oligarchy that has ties to financial capital.

On September 22nd, in the Pinto Martins Airport in Fortaleza, Ceará, a group of trouble-makers hurled curses and insults at João Pedro Stedile, as he arrived to take part in a conference and in other union activities related to the struggle for popular agrarian reform.

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Statement from MST National Direction on the aggression against Stedile

2015-09-25-Stedile.jpg(São Paulo, September 23, 2015) The National Direction of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) issues this statement to condemn the assault suffered by the member of the national coordination of MST, João Pedro Stédile, at the airport of the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, this Thursday evening.

For the MST this is not an isolated event, it reflects the current political situation that Brazil is going through, in which the hatred against the popular movements, immigrants and the poor black population is growing. This is reflected by the recent events in Rio de Janeiro, where the marginalized youth from favelas are being prevented, at risk of assault, from going to the beaches of the south part of the city.

Read more: Statement from MST National Direction on the...


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