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20 March 2014 | | | | | | | | |

Harvesting Another Country

National Agrarian Summit Ends in Colombia With Unity of Social Movements

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The National Agrarian Summit held in Bogota, Colombia ended after two days of debates and of reaching inter-ethnic and inter-sectoral agreements. Over 20,000 people from different parts of the country met in Plaza de Bolivar to march to the Coliseo de Campin, where the main event was taking place.

The National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Summit, held from March 15 to 17, gathered several grassroots, rural and urban organizations interested in coordinating efforts to confront the agrarian crisis caused by the free trade agreement and the mining-energy policy.

The organizations and social movements, indigenous and Africandescedent groups debated based on the unity of the Colombian social movements and having peace as a central issue.

Thousands of peasants who arrived in Bogota met on Monday in Coliseo El Campin, where spokespersons of the Summit read the agreements reached on the main issues, such as land, territory and the environment, the mining-energy model, territorial autonomy, local economy, as well as social and political rights, peace and the city-countryside relation.

After the approval of the agreements, there was a march on the city’s main streets to demand the Colombian government to implement the agreements that it has failed to fulfil, especially those reached after the National Agrarian strike in August of 2013.

The Summit’s final declaration states that the Summit “is part of a process for peace with social justice, the direct participation mechanisms and the autonomy exercised every day by the communities that demand recognition”.

The event honoured the memory of the 21 peasants killed during the 2013 demonstration. Some of the speakers highlighted the steps taken towards unity during this event.

They also expressed the need to reach peace agreements in the negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as in those to be held with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), so that all the insurgent forces are represented to secure peace.

In the evening the spokespersons of the organizations calling the Summit read the event’s political statement.

Real World Radio was present at the Summit and did live streaming of the event as part of the convergence with social movements.

The different voices that read the declaration also spoke about organizational and ethnic diversity, which was part of the national events and the agreements reached.

The political act ended with a call to real unity focused on the construction of a broad social movement for peace. Before the end, the social movements and organizations called a new national agrarian strike. Although they did not set a specific date, they postponed it until the first week of May, when unless the Summit demands are met by Juan Manuel Santos government, the strike will take place.

The declaration reads: “From now on, the summit will begin organizing the committees for the strike and calling all social sectors in conflict to agree on a common dynamic as a popular bloc”.


Imagen: Radio Mundo Real / Censat Agua Viva AT Colombia

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