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Different Colombian peasant, indigenous, afro-descendant, environmentalist and urban organizations started on Monday a new national agrarian strike. The measure is being implemented in response to the lack of concrete commitments by the government led by Juan Manuel Santos to address the crisis of the agricultural sector in the country, in addition to other issues of special concern for social organizations and movements, such as the official model of free trade and the mining/energy national policy.
Real World Radio interviewed our correspondent in Colombia, Danilo Urrea, member of CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia. Our colleague told us that there are 22 points of mobilization in central roads of Norte de Santander, Bolivar, Antioquia, Casanare, Arauca, Tolima, Boyaca departments and the Magdalena Medio region. The goal is to sign agreements with the national government that imply the passing of decrees. The mobilized sectors are tired of promises.
In August, 2013, there was a national agrarian strike that mobilized millions of people at national level for weeks. In March, this year, the movements organized the National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Summit in Bogota, capital of the country.
This Summit resulted in a declaration containing eight demands in which six fundamental actors played a key role: the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Black Communities Process; the National Agrarian Coordination (CNA); the Agrarian Dialogue Table; the Patriotic March and the Peoples´ Congress.
In the context of last year mobilizations and the demands of the peasant sector of the past years, the Summit agreed to resume mobilizations in the first week of May if the government didn´t show the will to comply with what was said, with reference to the agreements achieved to address the situation of the agricultural sector. Thus, the mobilizations were started earlier in response to the lack of clear and concrete evidence of the will of Santos´ administration.
CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia issued on Wednesday a press release to support the days of mobilization that are taking place in the country until the demands submitted in March by social movements and organizations are fulfilled.
“In the framework of the constitutional right to free mobilization and social protest, we request the Colombian State and national government to give all guarantees for the effective enforcement of said rights and that all legal and constitutional provisions to protect those who are exerting their right to mobilization and protest are respected”, stated CENSAT.
And it adds: “We also request national and international environmental organizations, human rights groups and popular communication outlets to be alert with reference to the current situation and the direction of the demonstration and the dialogues with the government, always aiming at dignified and improved living conditions for the Colombian people”.
Imagen: CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia
“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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