Somontes Occupation: La Via Campesina extends solidarity to labourers of SOC-SAT, Andalusia

La Via Campesina’s Mid-Term Conference, held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and attended by over 70 peasant delegates from Africa, America, Asia and Europe, expresses its solidarity with the day labourers of the SOC-SAT from Andalusia who occupied the Somontes public farm in Palma del Río for the seventh time on 26 August.

These 432 hectares of land owned by the Regional Government of Andalusia were occupied in March 2012 in order to stop them from being privatised and turned over to the hands of agribusiness and financial speculation. Since then we have been working collectively and sustainably, despite the difficulties of being subjected to various evictions, police repression and the refusal of the administration to legally cede the land and allow the agroecological projects proposed by the union to be implemented.

This year, La Via Campesina has re-launched its worldwide campaign for integral and popular agrarian reform in order to denounce the appropriation, accumulation and commodification of land all over the planet, as well as to demand the respect and implementation of the right to land on the part of States, as enshrined in Art. 17 of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants, for peasants and other people living in rural areas, for the purpose of managing it in a sustainable manner so as to achieve an adequate standard of living.

Andalusia, a region of great wealth and abundant agricultural production, has very high rates of land concentration and is one of the most economically depressed and unemployment-ridden regions in Europe. For these reasons, we demand that the Regional Government of Andalusia cease all evictions and repression as well as the criminalisation of struggles for land, and that it immediately open a dialogue with the occupants of Somontes with a view to ensuring the lawful transfer of use of the farm for the purposes of agroecological farming, with the resulting creation of jobs and advancement of a model based on food sovereignty and social justice.

Somontes for the people! Land and liberty!

Harare, 31 August 2019