La Via Campesina Stands with Morocco in the Wake of Catastrophic Earthquake

12 September 2023, Bagnolet | URGENT CALL TO ACTION

La Via Campesina extends its heartfelt solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Morocco during these testing times. Our thoughts and profound condolences are with the families of those lost to the tragic earthquake, and we stand firm in our concern for our peasant comrades in the affected rural communities.

On September 8, 2023, Mother Earth shook with a force of 7 on the Richter scale, touching the heartlands of Morocco, including regions such as Rabat, Azila, and as far as Marrakech. The High Atlas Mountains, near Mount Toubkal, stood witness to the epicenter of this devastation.

The numbers speak of the tragedy – over 2497 of our comrades have passed on, and 3,000 more are injured, many critically. It deeply saddens us that the majority of those affected are the marginalized peasant workers, the backbone of our food systems, historically overlooked and left behind in the march towards urban-focused development.

The glaring disparity between the urbanized centers and our cherished rural heartlands is evident. The state’s resources flow abundantly into urban infrastructures, while our comrades in rural communities, living in fragile dwellings amidst the majestic High Atlas Mountains, face the wrath of such calamities, with no protection and no access for rescue teams.

The current situation is tragic, entire villages have been devastated, resulting in the loss of land and peasant livelihoods, which is the result of the capitalist development model adopted by Morocco, guided by the IMF and the World Bank. Billions of dirhams and generous subsidies have been granted for the benefit of large agricultural investors, while marginalizing the majority of the peasantry, creating a regional imbalance, and amplifying the already existing challenges facing our communities such as migration due to lack of opportunities, the disappearance of agricultural land trails, increased joblessness and worsening poverty.

In this context, La Via Campesina strongly urges the Moroccan authorities to:

  • Deepen and intensify relief efforts in our affected rural heartlands.
  • Channel medical resources, personnel, and facilities to these frontline communities with urgency.
  • Act swiftly to rejuvenate and enhance the infrastructure.
  • Recognize and redress the imbalance in development and investment between urban and rural regions.
  • Allocate dedicated funds for our affected peasant comrades, aiding in the restoration of their homes and livelihoods.
  • Forge ahead with a foresighted strategy for disaster preparedness, particularly in vulnerable rural zones.
  • To our global family, our member groups, and allies – we call upon you to amplify your solidarity, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Moroccan people during this harrowing period.

In struggle and solidarity,
La Via Campesina