Declaration of the International Coordinating Committee of Via Campesina in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, April 16, 2007
Vía Campesina is a worldwide movement which brings together family farmers, indigenous peoples, African descendants, agricultural workers without land, women and youths, from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. We are reunited here in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, from the 12th to the 17th of April 2007, to declare our profound admiration and support for the process of transformation and change brought about through a democratic and cultural revolution, thanks to the leadership of our compañero Evo Morales Ayma, who is co-founder and partner of the Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC) and of Vía Campesina. We also express our support for the Bolivian organizations of CLOC / Vía Campesina, CSUTCB, Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa”, Movimiento Sin Tierra and the Confederación de Colonizadores de Bolivia: your struggles are ours
We support the return of hydrocarbons and other natural resources which belong to the people, and radical agrarian reform which gives back land and territory. We support equal rights for women, the reformation of the state, the campaign of zero malnutrition, and the eradication of illiteracy, among other programs and policies benefiting the people, for example the Tratado de Comercio entre los Pueblos (TCP).
We promise to support, from each one of our countries, the Bolivian process which is an example for us all, and as Via Campesina, we offer our modest contribution of experience and relevant proposals for full agrarian reform and the construction of food sovereignity.
We take this opportunity to express our strongest denunciation of the violence against indigenous and rural people and against others who are being pressured here by the Bolivian elites, the same people who for centuries have stripped the people of their land and their territory, and who cannot accept that now these people defend and govern themselves on their own terms.
The International Coordination Committee of La Vía Campesina, is reunited here, with representatives from every continent, to coordinate our global struggle and to work in favor of food sovereignity based on the campesino model of ecological production of healthy foods for local markets. We are here in favor of the rights of rural women, and in favor of a better world in the country and the city and on the whole planet.
As we build a better world we must coordinate our resistance against the Neoliberal model, which is guided and inspired by the World Bank and the International Money Fund who favor transnational corporations, who in turn are privatizing all that is important: earth, water, seeds, forests, public services, and life itself. We are in a battle also against the instruments of free trade, like the OMC and those free trade treaties, bilateral and regional, which permit the mass importation of cheap food to our local markets rendering agriculture and local food production unprofitable.
We are also fighting against transgenics which contaminate our seeds, humanity’s inheritance, and against industrial monoculture of agrocombustibles which threatens to strip the land from millions of rural families all over the world.
We are sending forth a call for a collective and massive worldwide mobilisation, to form strategic alliances in order to fight together for a better world, one we all want, a world of justice, equality and peace.
Tupac Katari, Bolivia’s national hero once said, “We will become millions.”