Honduras, Thousands of Honduran workers occupy land

Thousands of Honduran farm workers have launched a co-ordinated land occupation, squatting on some 12,000 hectares nationwide and fuelling new tensions over land rights, authorities said.

More than 3,500 families started squatting on farmland in the provinces of Yoro, Cortes, Santa Barbara, Intibuca, Comayagua, Francisco Morazan, El Paraiso and Choluteca on Tuesday - the International Peasant Day of Struggle.

Activists say the seized arable land is public property and small farmers have the legal right to grow crops under Honduran law. The large landowners who have been farming the land say they bought it legally from the government.

On Wednesday, police and soldiers read an eviction notice to farm workers on the San Manuel sugar plantation, about 22km north of the capital Tegucigalpa. The workers then peacefully vacated the 2,500 hectare area.

The rest of the farms were still occupied late on Wednesday, activists said.

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In Defense of Food Sovereignty: Stop Water Grabbing!

Declaration of La Via Campesina in the Alternative World Water Forum

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We, as peasants’ and farmers’ organizations from countries all over the world, members of La Via Campesina, met between the 12th and 17th of March 2012, for the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille, France. Among others, the testimonies from Turkish, Brazilian, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Portugal, Italy, French, and Mexican delegates gave voice to the distress of “environmental victims”, making known the plight of people affected by dam construction, by the shale gas and mining industries, by the grabbing, commodification, scarcity and widespread pollution of water, and by the repression and murder of activists who are defending water.

We demand that the right “of” and “to” water should be respected within the framework of food sovereignty. The right “of” water means continuous respect for the entire water cycle.

We state that the privatization and commodification of water and of any other common good (land, seeds, knowledge, etc.) are crimes against the planet and against humanity. Large-scale dams and hydro-electric projects grab and sequester water, taking no account of the needs, traditional practices and opinions of local communities, and totally disregarding the protection of ecosystems.

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La Via Campesina at World Water Forum FAME RALLY

(Marseille march 2012)

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The Voluntary Guidelines on the Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests are complete

CSO Press release

(Rome, 13/03/2012) Last Friday, 9th of March in the evening, the Committee on Word Food Security (CFS) completed the intergovernmental negotiations of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on theTenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security. With the successful completion of these negotiations after a participatory process lasting nearly 3 years, the CFS has shown clearly that it has the capacity to bring a wide variety of social actors to the debate and to seek solutions to one of the most difficult and delicate issues we face today, that of access to natural resources for food production/provision. More than 45 persons representing 20 civil society organizations attended the final round of negotiations.

The Guidelines contain valuable points that will provide backing to organizations in their long struggle to ensure the care and use of Resources and Natural Goods in order to produce more nourishing food, so helping to eliminate hunger from the world by addressing its root causes.Ensuring access to land, fisheries and forests is absolutely vital, not just to enable small food producers to nourish the world. Access to natural resources is a question of dignity and a matter of life and death for millions of peasant communities, pastoralists, indigenous Peoples and fisher folk. In many parts of the world, land-grabbing causes great suffering by displacing people and communities and destroying and confiscating their lands, further increasing the incidence of violent conflicts.

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