The land belongs to those who cultivate it

Press release, Rome, 25th of April 2012

European Coordination Via Campesina

We, farmers, gathered in General Assembly in Rome this 24th and 25th of April, express our support and solidarity to all people struggling for the preservation of land, the access to land and to the profession. We are opposing the vague of privatisation of public land:

  • in Mali, where farmers were arrested for working the land of which they were expelled after land-grabbing;
  • in Honduras, where, since the 17th of April, 1200 ha were occupied;
  • in Andalusia, where, since the 4th of March, landless farmers are occupying in Somonte a public farm of 400 ha, which was put on speculative sale;
  • in France, where 2 farmers and a political representative are on hunger strike to refuse the expulsions started for the construction of an airport in Notre-Dame des Landes;
  • In Italy, in the Souza valley, where farmers are resisting the expropriation caused by the construction of a high –speed train line Lyon-Turin.

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Land Grabbing in Mali: Farmers arrested

CNOP, UACDDDD, CAD, LJDH and AOPP Against Land Grabbing

Press release

(Bamako, 24 April 2012) Since 2009, men and women peasants of the Office du Niger in Mali, in particular those from Sanamadougou, Saou and Sansanding are being treated unfairly by certain investors. The targeted wrongs include bastonnades, or beatings with sticks and other weapons, arrests, the destruction of seed and seedlings, field grabbing and the grabbing of water supply sources. Dozens of families are now living from the solidarity of the other villages, having been unable to cultivate for three years, due to the lack of fields.

In spite of numerous attempts by the villagers to contact and engage with the authorities at all levels, the situation remains unchanged.

In the run-up to the agricultural campaign, the peasants of Sanamadougou and Saou began preparing on 23 April 2012. They were very surprised when four of their leaders, including the village chief, were arrested and taken to the Brigade de gendarmerie in Markala.

Read more: Land Grabbing in Mali: Farmers arrested

New Film Exposes the Devastating Impact Land Investments are having in Mali

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Watch the video HERE

Farmers demand the World Bank and Wall Street stop grabbing their lands

Media teleconference at the opening of the Bank’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC, Monday, April 23rd, 11:00 am EDT (details below)

 

The World Bank is playing a leading role in a global land grab, says farmers' movement and its international allies.(1) The World Bank’s policies for land privatisation and concentration, have paved the way for corporations from Wall Street to Singapore to take upwards of 80 million hectares of land from rural communities across the world in the past few years, they say in a collective statement released today at the opening of the World Bank’s Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC.

"Rural people are losing control over land and water because of this global land grab," says Honduran farmer leader Rafael Alegria of the international farmers' movement La Via Campesina. "We want the land grab stopped and the lands taken to be returned to the local communities. In Honduras, we demand that the law for rural modernisation promoted by the World Bank be canceled and that a new law for agricultural transition be adopted".

The World Bank will be meeting with government officials and private sector investors during its annual conference, where they will discuss large-scale farmland acquisitions by foreign corporations in developing countries. The World Bank will be promoting its controversial Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI).

Read more: Farmers demand the World Bank and Wall Street...

Additional information