Colombia: La Via Campesina’s International Solidarity Mission expresses hope, praises the political will to achieve peace.

Bogota, 11 May 2023 : An international delegation of La Via Campesina (LVC), the international peasant movement accompanying the implementation process of the Peace Agreement in Colombia expresses its satisfaction and hope, and praises the political will of the current Colombian government to implement the agreement.

Following a visit to the Sumapaz Campesino Reserve Zone (ZRC), the visiting delegates held a public forum and also met with Colombian government officials and other members of civil society to take stock of the implementation of the peace agreement. Although many of the accord’s commitments have yet to be fulfilled, La Via Campesina’s solidarity mission welcomed the Colombian government’s commitment to recognize peasants as political subjects and to harmonize policies derived from the peace accord with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP).

The movement also issued a public statement on May 9, recognizing the importance of agrarian justice measures to ensure the transition and expressing our full support for the creation of an Agrarian Court in Colombia.

Nury Martinez, ICC LVC, FENSUAGRO, Colombia, who hosted the visiting delegation, stated,

“Colombia is a diverse country. It needs a development plan that recognizes this diversity. The congressional labor reforms are a step in the right direction. The pension system for rural workers proposed in one of these reforms is something we welcome and value. The recognition of peasants as subjects with political rights, their protection as a constitutional right and the harmonization of all institutions and agencies at the regional level are central to this peace process. The Executive Orders should also be modified to prevent companies from taking advantage of legal loopholes to take more land from the people”.

Federico Pacheco, ICC, LVC and SOC SAT Spain, reiterated LVC’s commitment to the process noting that: “Agrarian reform is central to the struggles of La Via Campesina. As LVC, we are very optimistic about the new government’s commitment to implement the peace agreement, including comprehensive agrarian reform.”

Zainal Arifin Fuad, ICC LVC, Serikat Petani Indonesia, drew parallels with land reform plans in his country. “In Indonesia, SPI is also fighting for agrarian reform, through the creation of agricultural villages and food sovereignty zones, to offer an alternative to neoliberalism and achieve food sovereignty. We are working closely with the Indonesian government to implement this reform and also to harmonize the laws with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants. It is good to see that the Colombian government is also taking these steps, and they are going in the right direction.”

La Via Campesina’s delegation reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of the Agreement and the construction of Peace in Colombia, and will continue to develop its work as an international accompaniment in order to contribute to the development of Agrarian Reform in Colombia.

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