Declaration to support land reform and farmers’ movement in Venezuela

Resolution in support of land reform and the farmers’ movement in Venezuela
Via Campesina, at an international-level meeting in the village of Natoye, Belgium, on the 1st of June, 2003 has resolved to :
Express its firm support for the process of land reform and agricultural self-sufficiency that is being undertaken by the farmers organizations of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the support of the authorities of said country and with the goal of distributing land to more than 100,000 farming families before the 16th of August 2003.

Express its firm support as well for the “Back to the country” program whose goal is to help families living in underprivileged urban areas take on agrarian activities if they should desire to do so, so as to help fight poverty and give everyone access to decent living conditions ;

Salute and express its support for the recently created “Ezequiel Zamora” National Farmers Coordination that includes 22 Venezuelan rural organizations and that is actively promoting the land reform process and the “Back to the country” program ;

Condemn the repression that is being carried out by reactionary sectors of Venezuelan society who are bent on maintaining their privileges and opposed to attempts to diminish social injustice, using hit men to provoke terror through assaults and assassinations of peasant leaders ;

Denounce, before international public opinion, the fact that, over the last 10 years, these same reactionary sectors have assassinated more than 75 peasant leaders and that these assassinations continue despite the Bolivarian Government’s efforts to stop them ; and, also, call on the Venezuelan judiciary to act with more determination so that these crimes don’t remain unpunished ;

Express our utmost solidarity with Mr. Braulio Alvarez, leader of the “Ezequiel Zamora” National Farmers Coordination and director of the National Land Institute; ask that his personal security be insured and condemn any threat made against him or his family, and any attempt to violate his physical integrity ;

Via Campesina expresses its firm support for the people of Venezuela and the Bolivarian process that is in progress, and announces that, within the next few months, it will hold an International Conference of Solidarity with the Process of Land Reform in Venezuela alongside the Venezuelan agrarian organizations that are committed to social justice and the search for concrete alternatives to neoliberalism.


Rafael Alegria, operative secretary of Via Campesina
Joao Pedro Stedile, MST, Brasil
Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
Juan Tiney, operative secretary of the Latin-American Co-ordination of Farmers’ Organizations (CLOC)
Nettie Wiebe, National Farmers Union, Canada
Jose Ramón Cedan Regueiro, Executive Commission, European Farmers’ Co-ordination (CPE)
Ndiogou Fall, ROPPA, Senegal
Belén Torres, ANUC-UR, Columbia
Jamnong, Assembly of the poor,Thaïland
Wilson Campos Mesa, Mesa Nacional Campesina, Costa Rica
Joao Vieira, CNA, Portugal
Awang Ahmad , Borneo Indigenous and Peasant Movement of Malaysia
Fausto Torres, Asociación de Trabajadores del campo, Nicaragua
Muleya Haachinda, National Association for Peasants and Small Scale Farmers, Zambia
Paul Nicholson, EHNE, Estado español, CPE
Marco Antonio Ortiz Salas, CODUC, México
Felix Vásquez, COCOH, Honduras
Debora La O Calana, ANAP, Cuba
Edigio Brunetto, MST, Brasil
Mario La O Sosa, ANAP, Cuba
Gerardo Gonzalez, FENSUAGRO, Colombia
Jose Boquiço Junior, UNAC, Mozambique