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17 de abril | |

Day of Peasant Struggle commemorated in Europe against EU Free Trade Agreements

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This Tuesday morning in Europe, Vía Campesina International mobilized with a platform of organizations to reject free trade agreements understanding that they destroy peasant economies and give away the European food market to industrial agriculture, said the member of Ehne Bizkaia, Andoni García Arriola, of the Basque Country (Euskal Herria).

Andoni denounced the speed with which the European Union aims to conclude free trade agreements amid the participation of some of its member countries in attacks against countries such as Syria or confrontations due to the situation of migrant populations. “Peasants know that these agreements destroy peasant agriculture, both in Europe and in the countries with which the agreements are signed”, he said.

According to Andoni, uncertainty and loss of values are some of the feelings shared by communities in the old continent. The Basque leader said that mobilizations in different EU countries will continue this week in the context of the International Day of Peasant Struggle celebrated on April 17, in commemoration to the Dorado dos Carajás massacre, in Pará, northern of Brazil, which took place in 1996 and resulted in the murder of 19 peasants by landowners.

The EU is currently negotiating free trade agreements with Mexico, MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and Canada among others. “The EU, in the FTAs it is promoting, is really after the interests of some elites, not the interests of most of the population or the environment. European markets are offered to industrial agriculture, destroying peasant agriculture and with this more sustainable agri-food models”, he stated.

Moreover, Andoni expressed solidarity with the Brazilian people over the incarceration and electoral censorship against former president Lula Da Silva, and said that the information about the case accessed by the European audience is scarce and extremely manipulated. “Unfortunately in Europe we don´t have clear information about what is happening, and we have to resort to alternative media”, he said and added that what is happening in Brazil “is a setback for democracy and a strong attempt to prevent the people from choosing the representatives they want, the representatives who can defend the interests of most of the population”, he added.

More information: viacampesina.org/en

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