Chile, Cloc-Via Campesina expresses solidarity with Mapuche People


15 de Enero, Radio Mundo Real.

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The repression perpetrated by Sebastian Piñera’s administration in Chile against several Mapuche communities in the region of Araucania has resulted in multiple solidarity actions and expressions at international level. One of them is the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations, CLOC – Via Campesina.

CLOC points out that with the militarization of Mapuche regions in Chile, the criminalization and persecution of this native people deepens, violating human rights and international regulations.

In addition, the “anti-terrorist” law that serves as an excuse for the militarization of Araucania “violates the most basic state of law principles” whose origin dates from over five centuries ago, of which “130 years correspond to the Chilean state”.

Early this month, the fire in a school of the poorest region of Chile resulted in Piñera’s neoliberal administration sending strong contingents of armed forces and the explicit promotion of “security guards” for landowners. Two of these landowners were killed in the fire, but the Mapuche organizations denied having any responsibility, and pointed out that the fire was started by agitators that want to cause the state to be violent with communities.

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Honduras, Bajo Aguan, another farmer leader assesinated

Last Saturday, November 10TH, 2012, more peasant blood was shed in Bajo Aguan. In the morning José Cecilio Perez Martinez, was found murdered who had been kidnapped the day before in the afternoon by three gunmen in the outpost of Tocoa Trujillo, Colón.

The Cro. Perez Martinez was president of the cooperative El Despertar that belongs to Movimiento Autentico Reivindicador Campesino del Aguán (MARCA), and was found murdered in the village of Tigre at 8:30 am in the car in which he had been kidnapped.

There is no doubt that these armed groups operating in the area supported by local landowners, and in many cases supported by the police and the military that remain in the area, are now turning to new strategies to develop the work of hired killers.

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Argentina: Agribusiness as Usual: The Death of Peasant Farming

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On 10th October, Miguel Galván was murdered, stabbed to death in the doorway of his own home. Almost one year earlier, Cristian Ferreyra had been shot and killed in his house. Both men were peasant farmers from the northern province of Santiago del Estero and members of the National Peasant Movement of Santiago del Estero – Farmers’ Way (Mocase-VC) an organisation which fights for the land rights of peasants and indigenous people.


Protest at Congreso to call for justice against the assasination of Miguel Galvan (Photo courtesy of Mocase-VC)

The reason for the men’s murders was that they refused to give up their land to multi-national soybean plantation companies. Whilst Galván’s attackers are yet to be identified, in Ferreyra’s case it is widely claimed that a large landowner from the area hired hitmen to remove him from his path.

In the six months after Ferreyra’s tragic death, incidents of conflict between large agribusiness and peasants decreased, but since then, the expansion of soy production has continued and so have the forced evictions of peasants and indigenous people from lands they have occupied for centuries.

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Europe must support the rights of peasants - Denouncing the multiple attacks on La Via Campesina members

Press release

(Brussels, 15 October 2012) In September 2012 all European Union governments with a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council voted against a specific protection mechanism for the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. In a single week, several new attacks, threats and assassinations of La Via Campesina representatives have cropped up. It is high time for the EU to recognize the specific vulnerability of peasants and other people working in rural areas as well as the growing aggression directed at them.

Everywhere in the world, men and women peasants and smallholder farmers who struggle to maintain their communities and hang onto their land find themselves the victims of repression and criminalization at the hand of ruling elites and economic interests.

Rafael Alegría, a Honduran peasant and member of the International Coordination Committee of La Via Campesina, was informed by the Honduran security minister that an attack on him was being organized. The seriousness of these threats is highlighted by the assassinations of Manuel Eduardo Díaz Mazariegos, the human rights public prosecutor, on 24 September 2012, and of Antonio Trejo, a lawyer defending several farming communities, on September 2012.

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