Peasants in Cancun are satisfied with mobilizations and call organizations to work jointly

They Did It

La Via Campesina considers December 7th was a historical day as a result of the international mobilizations for climate justice held under the theme “Thousands of Cancuns”. The peasant leaders highlight that they were able to convey their “1000 solutions” in the Mexican city where the UN COP16 on Climate is being carried out and that they strengthened their alliances with other social movements.

On Tuesday, the peasants organized a press conference inside the same hotel where the official negotiations are taking place, the luxurious Moon Palace. Then, members of several organizations joined La Via Campesina and left the UN space to join the march that was set to arrive to that place. At the end of the march there was an Assembly of the Social Movements.

During the demonstration, Real World Radio interviewed the President of FENOCIN (National Federation of Peasant, Indigenous and Black Organizations from Ecuador), Luis Andrango. “It is clear that we need to strengthen the joint work at national, regional and world level”, said the also Secretary General of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC). “The governments of developed countries are not willing to provide real solutions to the huge problem humankind is facing”, he added.

Andrango stated that “we need a system change, not climate change, and we have to look for real solutions to climate change and avoid false solutions such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries) and agrofuels”. FENOCIN´s President rejects REDD because “it doesn´t solve problems, it just transfers them”.

The peasant leader believes the issue of climate change is filled with contradictions, because the most developed countries are the ones that pollute the most, but the most serious effects are suffered by the poor countries. Andrango also said that agriculture has been “left out of the negotiations”. “La Via Campesina has clearly raised the issue of food sovereignty and peasant agriculture as real and pragmatic tools to cool down the planet, to change the model of agribusiness which is resulting in processes of pollution”, he said.

The CLOC´s representative highlighted the Peoples´ Agreement of Cochabamba, which came out as a result of the World Peoples´ Conference on Climate Change held in April, in Bolivia. With reference to this issue, he said that there are several countries and governments which have taken on a commitment with the peoples, especially the countries member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). “There are governments who are committed, but they are being left aside in the official negotiations”.

Meanwhile, Real World Radio interviewed leader Carlos Marentes, from the Border Farmworkers Project from El Paso, Texas, US, in the border with Mexico. “The UN conference on climate change is advancing towards the imposition of the same (neoliberal) economic recipes to the peoples, especially to the peoples of the South, with false promises, and we have the experience of the green revolution, of development programs”, said Marentes. This is why on Wednesday, La Via Campesina participated in an action to denounce the World Bank and its attempts to control global climate finance. The demonstration was called by the Jubilee South network.

Marentes said that Tuesday was a historical day because all goals were achieved, although “many people doubted we were capable of doing it”. The leader highlighted that several activities were carried out in different countries of the world under the theme “Thousands of Cancuns”, including Honduras, Argentina and the US.

“The Thousands of Cancuns were extremely successful, and we also had one “Thousands of Cancuns” inside the Moon Palace, where we expressed that we represent thousands of solutions to the climate crisis”, he said. “We´ve been strengthened as La Via Campesina because we were able to bring this message to Cancun and build our alliances with other movements”.

By the end of the interview, Marentes said that the official negotiations are “downhill”, that they are trying to “undermine the agreements reached in Cochabamba” and denounced that “the closed circles in this conference are trying to achieve what couldn´t be achieved in Copenhagen”. “We are being witnesses of the imposition by Northern countries to reach an agreement. So our struggle these days is to try to avoid an agreement, because that´s better than a bad deal”.

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