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17 March 2014 | | | | |

Diversity Panel

Colombian Social Organizations Propose New Project for Land Use Based on Unity

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The organizations that held the National Agrarian, Peasant, Ethnic and Popular Summit last week in Colombia, rejected the so called “National Agrarian Pact” used by the Government to end the conflict in the country’s rural area and moved forward in paving the way for a consensus Single Pact.

The summit began on March 15th at the Sports Stadium of Bogota. The organizations that participated include: the Agrarian Integration Panel (MIA), the Patriotic March, the Black Communities Process (PCN), the Peoples Congress, the National Agrarian Coordination (CNA), the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Coordination of Social Movements of Colombia (COMOSOC), the Constituent Grassroots Movement and the Association of Peasant Areas.

The panel underlined the need for peasant, indigenous, African-descendent organizations, as well as social and political movements to move forward in a process of unity that will consolidate the dialogue based on the differences and strengths of the regions, which defends their project of life, territory and nature. ONIC representative

Fernando Arias said “The immediate challenge all social processes and organizations have is to strengthen our purpose of unity to confront the ruling model, which systematically excludes, displaces, murders and discriminates against them”.

Arias said that while in 2013 they proposed a convergence, in 2014 they are talking about the unity of Colombian social organizations around a broad and common platform.

Rethinking Territorial Property

The speakers categorically rejected the Colombian Government’s concertation strategy with the peasant sector, dubbed ‘National Agrarian Pact’. They considered it a smoke curtain that fails to take into account the basic causes that have destroyed production in the countryside”, said José Santos of the Black Communities Process (PCN).

On this issue, Santos said the Colombian land use is unfair and illegitimate. “We should use land based on an African-descendent and peasant criterion; of the grassroots and of indigenous peoples. We should refound this country as a country of nationalities, of ethnic and grassroots groups”. The African-Colombians believe this is a key aspect to understand the unity of social forces.

The proposal of having a single project that includes the perspective of the different organizations that participated in the summit was considered as something that goes beyond the demands of each social group. It is expected that this project will succeed and include structural and political items in the agenda. Arias said that this aspect was not sorted with last year’s mobilization. There was a call to include the structural issues in the project, the economic development model, the mining-energy policy and free trade agreements.

The panel ended by proposing a big convergence to build a new country based on diversity. Jose Santos said they need to think and create a broad inclusive space to build a nation of ethnic and cultural nationalities.

Real World Radio is covering the Colombian Agrarian Summit as part of the popular communication convergence of social movements.

Imagen: Radio Mundo Real / Censat Agua Viva AT Colombia

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