- Published on Wednesday, 06 April 2016 17:57
Press Release – La Via Campesina
The struggles for land, water, and territory are central to the struggle for Food Sovereignty.
(Harare, 6 April 2016) This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre. On April 17th, 1996, nineteen peasants – women and men members of the Landless Movement – were assassinated while they were taking part in a legitímate struggle to obtain land. Since that time, La Vía Campesina has declared April 17th to be the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle. It is in this context of memory and resistance that La Via Campesina, together with its members and allies such as the World March of Women, the World Forum of Fisher People, the Organisation of Indigenous Peoples, the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), FIAN International, GRAIN, ETC Group, LRAN, and Friends of the Earth International, is organising this International Conference in order to renew and bring up to date the discussion of Agrarian Reform.
The Conference will take place in Pará, Brazil, from April 13th to April 17th. Topics for the main discussion panels include: capitalism and agribusiness; the project for popular agrarian reform; and the challenges faced by the peasants’ and small-scale farmers’ and workers’ movements in developing a common plan of action. It is expected that the Conference will be attended by 200 women and men delegates from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. The delegates will also take part in a closing international ceremony of solidarity, mística (celebration of the ideals that inspire our movement), and justice, which will be held in very same place where the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre was perpetrated, on the same date and at the same time of day.
- Published on Tuesday, 05 April 2016 21:01
Against the criminalisation and repression of social protest
From 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.
- Published on Monday, 04 April 2016 16:37
(Harare, March 21st, 2016) Nearly ten years ago, a forum was held in the village of Nyéléni at Sélingué in Mali which brought together over 500 people from more than 80 countries representing organisations of: farmers and peasants; traditional fisherpeople; native peoples; rural workers; migrants; landless people; pastoralists; forest communities; women; youth; and consumer, environmental, and urban movements. At the forum, they drafted the Nyéléni Declaration, which made a clear restatement of the principles of food sovereignty and highlighted the importance for everyone to work for a world where “food sovereignty is considered a basic human right, recognised and implemented by communities, peoples, states, and international bodies.”
During the years since the Nyéléni Forum, there have been a number of efforts to have food sovereignty recognised at various levels. But it has been very difficult to ensure that the interpretations of food sovereignty in these official texts reflect its true meaning.
- Published on Monday, 28 March 2016 12:31
La Via Campesina Call for Mobilisation-For Life, Land, and Healthy Food: 20 Years of Resistance
(Harare, March 24th, 2016) This 20th anniversary of the International Day of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Struggle is taking place in the midst of a truly alarming situation with regard to the human rights of peasants and farmers. Recently, there has been an increase in the repression suffered by peasants and farmers, both women and men, in their daily struggle for their rights.
At the beginning of March, Berta Caceres, the coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH) was assassinated in her home. One week later, in Colombia, a member of the Peasant Association of Arauca (a member organisation of FENSUAGRO) was killed and three other peasant farmers, also members of an Association affiliated to FENSUAGRO, were taken prisoner. These four peasant farmers are part of a long list of Colombian human rights defenders and members of farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ organisations who have been threatened, imprisoned, or assassinated since the beginning of 2016. Tragically, every day and in every part of the world, very many farmers and defenders of peasant and small-scale agriculture are victims of such murderous attacks.