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"Our rights to land, water, seeds, biodiversity, decent income are continuously being compromised, denied, violated and usurped. We, the Peasants, despite producing the bulk of the food consumed globally, continue to face criminalisation and discrimination", reads a press release by Vía Campesina, which on April 17 celebrated a new International Day of Peasant Struggle.
Despite the advance of neoliberalism in Latin America and the world, peasants continue with their struggle for rights and for the agrarian reform. About this, Real World Radio interviewed Diego Montón, member of the National Peasant and Indigenous Movement of Argentina and of the Operational Secretariat of the Latin America Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Vía Campesina).
Montón said that in Brazil, after the coup d´Etat perpetrated by Michel Temer, there is "a strong political persecution and criminalization process underway". In particular, he said that many leaders are in prison "just for being members of the Landless Rural Workers Movement, and we´ve seen many violent actions, police force, murders, raids to the Florestán Fernandes School, with which it represents, added to the dismantling of institutions focused on public policies for the countryside and for rural education. This has been a violent offensive that also shows the lack of scruples of the Latin American right-wing and the Brazilian right-wing", he said. But the opposition is strong: "there are many struggles, many lands have been occupied, this has been the response by La Vía Campesina", he stated, and made reference to the campaign in Brazil to release political prisoners, which is mostly succeeding.
At world level, Montón showed concern about the "group of fanatics that has reached power", and stated that "in the struggle against financial capitalism and for agrarian reform, we are convinced that this is the way towards everlasting peace as land and nature are considered in terms of life, work, food production, and not at the service of businesses".
Read La Vía Campesina press release here
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