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The unanimous declaration that followed the March 15-17 Agrarian Summit in Bogota, Colombia, highlights eight key issues where the needs of the populations and expectations of the communities, organizations and social movements participating in the event are expressed.
Leader Marylen Serna, of the Cajibio Peasant Movement (MCC) and member of the coordination team of the Colombian Peoples´ Congress said “this declaration is a unified step in the history of the peoples´ movement”. The agreement was reached after a fluent dialogue between the peoples´ agendas, different organizations, regions and sectors of the country.
Real World Radio interviewed Marylen on March 17, after the reading of the declaration in Bogota, among banners and applause by thousands of Colombian people.
The peasant activist said that with this declaration, the aim is to provide an integral perspective about the territory, both in rural and urban terms. The defense of the territory is considered the only way to reach dignified living conditions and free access to land and seeds. The declaration claims a territorial redistribution and “that multinational companies, large megaprojects and national and international capital leave our territories, so that we can live in them”, said Marylen.
Contrary to what is happening with Colombian indigenous and Afro-descendant people, the autonomous territorial forms that are being built by peasant communities do not enjoy formal recognition. The Declaration, according to Marylen, demands the legal recognition of these new forms of territory, that include aspects such as their own economy, food sovereignty, culture and way of thinking. This determines a territorial figure that is feasible for peasant communities, and therefore their visibility and realization in legal terms are considered urgent.
Meanwhile, the leader believes that the only way to bring peace to Colombia –another important issue dealt with at the Summit- is the concomitance of the peace proposal and social justice. In the negotiation table to end the armed conflict, all eyes should be on the territories, she stated.
The National Land, Territories and Sovereignties Congress that took place in 2012, in Cali, Colombia, and the Peace Congress that was carried out last year in Bogota (which was covered by Real World Radio) were taken into account by the Peoples Summit, an important national articulation process. This Summit was featured by a larger participation of other groups and sectors. The current articulation of processes and strengths grants legitimacy to call for new actions and a national agrarian strike scheduled for the first week of May.
A few minutes before the mobilization, Marylen made reference to the fact that this demonstration was a call for solidarity, and the aim was to put the Colombian situation on the table and propose an alternative for the country. “The goal is to turn the social movement into a political subject in Colombia. This is a call for active participation to build a new country”, she concluded.
Imagen: CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia
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