Last week CLOC – La Vía Campesina had their sixth continental congress of member organizations from all over Latin America and the Caribbean.
Over 300 peasants from 27 different countries gathered in Managua to participate in the three and a half days long conference. One of the purposes was to discuss the political resolutions and the plan of action that was accepted during the congress held in Ecuador two years ago. Then it was decided, among other things, that CLOC – La Vía Campesina should work with the campaign against violence against women and continue to push for acceptance for an UN declaration for peasants ‘rights.
Another objective was to develop CLOC – La Vía Campesina´s commissions, strengthening the continental work and agree on the structure and function of the organization chart.
– During this congress we will not just talk about our agreements from the last conference. It´s also an opportunity to fortify the struggle in which we are all warriors who defend our principles and interests, said Erick Fernandez from Panamá, a member of the political commission of La Vía Campesina.
Various commissions, for example the commission for food sovereignty, agrarian reform, communication and the campaign against violence against women, were having debates during the congress. They also talked about the future – when La Vía Campesina celebrates 20 years of being an international network.
The last day of the Congress CLOC – La Vía Campesina carried out an act of solidarity for Honduras and Guatemala. Threats and violence against indigenous and peasants movements in those countries are increasing and the situation is alarming. Juana Batz, delegate of La Vía Campesina and one of the survivors of the violence in Totonicapán in October this year, was one of those who made speeches:
– The bullets went past me, I am grateful that I was able to fight back at that moment and now we have to continue to struggle, she said.