Quisqueya declaration

International Human Rights Encounter and Gender Equality Commission Meeting La Vía Campesina
Sto. Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1-6 August 2005


We, peasant men and women representing different regions of the world attending the International Human Rights and Gender Equality Commission Meeting Via Campesina held at Juan Dolio (Dominican Republic) from the 1 to 6 August, 2005, united in a common commitment of struggle against capitalism and the patriarch system and reunited in a  spirit of solidarity, respect of the diversity and equality between all the people.

We reaffirm our will of keeping the land as our living space as well as one blooming of diverse cultures, of human relations and multiple social interactions and from there, we revindicate our historic role in the discovery of agriculture, preserving the bio-diversity, protecting the soil, the development, the custody and protection of seeds; the creation of intellect and knowledge which constitutes important contributions to the advancement of the humanity.

We demand the respect of all our rights, in a non divided manner, in particular the political ones, those of gender, of free expression, free thinking, free opinion, and autonomy and self determination.  We affirm our sexual and reproductive rights as well as our right to have a life free of any form of violence.

We strongly reclaim the respect of the universality of human rights which are individual, collectives and of the people, not of the capital as it is established by the actual rules of the Free Commerce which considers the countryside as an industry and merely as business promoting the extortion of the common properties of the people as the land, the water, the air, the forests, the natural and genetic resources, the seeds and the knowledge which increase at the same time the misery, the exploitation, the forced migration, the abandon of the farmers by the peasants and the expropriation of their lands.

We reject the extorting neo-liberalism and the impositions of the WTO, of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutions of the system which commercial policies not only place in a dangerous position the life in the countryside as well as the life in the planet and the humanity.

We are against the pretensions of neo liberals of turning the countryside into a huge worldwide enterprise which only offers benefits to the big trans-national corporations, to the financial capital and other elites; we demand the application of urgent integral land reforms focused on gender.

We  firmly refuse the WTO, the external debt and the regional Free Commerce  agreements prioritizing the interest of the capital and the search of feasibility over the human rights- especially those of the women to the priorities of the market.  The Free Commerce advocates postulates put at risk our autonomy, our knowledge and our right of continuing the creation of harmonious way of life based on diverse and integral global vision of our people and communities.

We are against the imposition of the said scientific agriculture that pretend to universalize the industrial agriculture and the transgenic seeds (OGM), placing in a risky position the balance of the ecosystems and provoking lack of knowledge among the peasants.

We affirm our rights to the alimentary sovereignty as a principle that is, consequently, determinant for the sovereignty of the people, the life and sustainability of the planet.

We demand the accomplishment of the interrelated rights, among them the right to develop sustainable agricultural models as well as the participation in the design of policies and measures to promote them; the right to preserve the biodiversity understood from one integral conception that includes the harmonic interrelation between the nature and the living being as well as the human diversity; the right to generate agricultural commerce practices based on relations of equality and fair exchange; the right of living from agriculture by having access to the land, the water and good seeds; the right to decide about the future of the genetic resources  and the definition of the legal frame of property of the said resources; the right to access to the appropriate technology and to participate in the design and administration of the research and knowledge development  programs; the right to the decision-making about the handling and control of the benefits derived from the use, conservation and management of the associated resources and knowledge; the right to participate in the design and elaboration and management of the ensemble of policies related to the future of the countryside and of the humanity in general.

We refuse all the forms of sexual violence against rural women, as well as the militarization of the countryside, the occupation, the invasion, the forced displacements  and other strategies of imperialist control including the mechanism of the criminalization of the social protest against the existence of the peasants and native organizations.  We call the governments to ratify and execute all the national instruments for the elimination of violence against women.

We are opposed to the invasion by the trans-national enterprises in all aspects of the economy and delocalization of the agriculture with the consequent economic, social and cultural violence as well as gender violence.  We denounce the impunity associated with the abuses committed by the trans national corporations, the financial capital and the national elites that place the interest of the capital over the human rights.