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Real World Radio interviewed Luzmila Ruano Gaviria of the Agrarian National Coordination of Colombia, a member of CLOC-Via Campesina, at the Constituent Assembly of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty of the Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Luzmila highlighted the importance of the Alliance as a place of convergence for the resistance to the displacement from the lands and ecosystems. “Capitalism sees peasants as a nuisance. They see us as suppliers of raw materials, but not as human beings”.
The CNA is also part of the platform Congress of the Peoples of Colombia.
Luzmila is originally from Nariño department, next to the Ecuadorian border, where there is large agriculture and cattle exploitation in very small plots of lands. “There, in the Pacific Coast, we suffer the exploitation of palm oil and the pillage of biodiversity, especially to extract wood”.
Wood exploitation is mainly done by foreign corporations, while palm oil is usually in the hands of national companies, although the investments are promoted with the support of the Colombian government that displaces families, mostly African-descendents, who are part of the Process of Black Communities (PCN).
“Towards the central part of the department we are suffering gold mining exploitation. Currently 70% of our department has been granted to transnational corporations, especially Anglo Gold Ashanti and Colombia Gold, which want to take our territories from us for the gold”.
Finally, the peasant leader talked about the role of peasants and food producers in Latin America: “Our countries are the target for raw materials. But they do not see us as human beings who defend our territory and are tackling the climate and hunger crisis by resisting the extractive model. For capitalism and neoliberalism ethnic groups (indigenous, peasants, black people) do not exist. We are a nuisance”.
Luzmila emphasized that joining the Alliance for Food Sovereignty is a space for discussion and resistance.
The Assembly of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty gathered 23 regional peasant networks, agroecologic, environmental, indigenous, rural workers and fisherfolk organizations that defend food sovereignty and aim to advocate for it on public policies and social groups.
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
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