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"Human Rights are not asked for on one’s knees. They are demanded on one’s feet."
We, peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, scholars and professionals from various fields of knowledge, together with social movements and organizations, trade unions and urban collectives from Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia and Switzerland, gathering at the 1st International Seminar and 3rd National Seminar on Pesticides, Socio-Environmental Impacts and Human Rights, held from 10 to 13 December in the city of Goiás, Brazil, express the following considerations about the current dominant agro-food system in Latin America and the world:
The impacts of the agro-industial model and the socio-environmental realities of our countries show common threats that require urgent response. Therefore, we consider it necessary to create and strengthen ties of resistance and solidarity for articulated action.
We are concerned that the increasing control of legislative, executive and judicial powers by corporate interests has led to the appropriation of our territories and of native and Creole seeds, as well as the degradation of biodiversity and common goods, through a predominating short-term vision that disregards life itself, history, culture, and the possibilities of building a future of dignity and sovereignty.
This situation is reflected by deforestation, the expansion of monocultures and agricultural frontiers, violence and the criminalization of social movements, defying human, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights to the benefit of agroindustrial corporations and favoured by the advance of governments aligned with an extractivist and predatory neoliberalism.
Those rights, arduously constructed in a context of historic struggles of peoples beyond national borders, represent, today, fundamental conquests that must be protected and expanded for the protection of life, of common socio-environmental goods and of socio-agrobiodiversity.
In countries where the agro-industrial model dominates, it can be observed that the massive use of pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) establishes patterns of productive standardization according to which food and nature are considered as simple commodities, and that are harmful to human health and both social and environmental aspects of agrobiodiversity, the greatest heritage of peoples. Facing this threat, new pathways of struggle and resistance are opening up, involved in the construction of scientific, technical, political and pluricultural knowledge together with the peoples, recognizing and valuing their ancestral knowledge and enhancing their development, aiming to achieve food security and sovereignty with respect for human dignity.
We understand that those pathways are created through solidarity and reciprocal relations between various kinds of historically constructed knowledge, without disregarding technological advances and scientific frontiers and with full respect for human rights.
Thus, we commit ourselves to create networks of articulation and unite in common struggles, enabling the flow of information among our countries, maintaining communication and generating popular scientific knowledge based on participative scientific production as well as political-legal confrontation as instruments to expand integration and strengthen a healthy, free, sovereign and attentive Latin America. All of this to build an agri-food model that is based on the principles of agroecology – The only way to guarantee the human rights of access to land, potable water, health, a safe habitat, healthy and adequate food.
We sympathize with the struggle of peasant, indigenous and Mexican peoples against GMOs and pesticides. We hope that the new government will honor its word and implement public policy for: biosecurity so that transgenic corn is not legalized and the advance of currently authorized transgenic crops and similar technologies is stopped; the reduction and phase out of highly hazardous pesticides; the support for agro-ecological alternatives to strengthen food sovereignty.
Likewise, we express our solidarity and support for the fight of the Bolivian people for GMO-free corn; for the people of Ecuador so that the country remains GMO-free; for the people of Paraguay for the creation of GMO-free zones; for the people of Argentina in the defense of people affected by pesticide spraying; for the Peruvian people for the characterization of environmental crimes caused by the use of pesticides and the agro-industrial system; for the Colombian people for the fight against aerial glyphosate spraying, the fight against fracking, the fight against assassinations of social leaders, the fight of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities for a dignified life in autonomous territories; for the people of Brazil fighting against the proposed “Poison Bill” and for the approval of the National Policy for Pesticide Reduction (PNaRA); for the Uruguayan people in the defense of water as a common good, for their struggle against the advance of transgenic crops, deforestation and the massive use of agrochemicals.
We also reinforce our understanding that fighting for rights is not a crime. Therefore, we repudiate the persecution of scientists, scholars, activists, and organizations involved in the defense of human rights and the environment. We express our indignation about the murders of activists and the criminalization of social movements and organizations. We demand that governments be more effective in identifying and punishing those responsible for the deaths of fighters like Marielle Franco in Brazil and numerous other comrades who fell in the fight for a just and egalitarian world free from prejudice and discrimination.
Considering that in 2018, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we reaffirm our alliance, guided by the words of Dom Tomás Balduíno: “Human rights are not asked for on one’s knees. They are demanded on one’s feet”.
ABA – Associação Brasileira de Agroecologia – Brasil
Acción Ecológica – Ecuador
Asociación por la Justicia Ambiental – Argentina
Asociación Civil Capibara. Naturaleza, Derecho y Sociedad – Argentina
Asociación Agroecológica Oñoiru/Yerba Mate – Paraguay
APREA – Associação Paranaense dos Expostos ao Amianto – Brasil
Banquetaço – Brasil
Campaña Sin Maíz No Hay País – México
Campanha Nacional em Defesa do Cerrado – Brasil
Campanha Permanente Contra os Agrotóxicos e Pela Vida – Brasil
Cátedra Libre de Soberanía Alimentaria de la Facultad de Medicina – Escuela de Nutrición. (CALISA) Universidad de Buenos Aires – Argentina
CEAM – Centro Especializado de Atendimento à Mulher – Goiás/Brasil
Celeiro da Memória – Brasil
CODAPMA – Coordinadora en Defensa de la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos y del Medio Ambiente – Bolivia
Colectivo Ecuador Libre de Transgénicos – Ecuador
Colectivo de Comunidades Mayas de los Chenes – México
Colectivo MaOGM – México
Comissão Dominicana de Justiça e Paz – Brasil
Coordinadora por una Vida Sin Agrotoxicos en Entre Rios. Basta es Basta – Argentina
CONAMURI – Organización de Mujeres Campesinas e Indígenas – Paraguay
CPT – Comissão Pastoral da Terra – Brasil
Diocese de Goiás – Brasil
EDUCE – Educación, Cultura y Ecologia – México
Espacio Multidisciplinario de Interacción Socio Ambiental (EMISA). Universidad de La Plata – Argentina
EUROPEAN CONSUMERS – Italia
Feria del Dulce, Tinun, Campeche – México
FETRAF-GO – Federação dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras na Agricultura Familiar
FILAPI – Federación Latinoamericana de Apicultores
Fórum Nacional de Combate aos Impactos dos Agrotóxicos e Transgênicos – Brasil
Fórum Baiano de Combate aos Impactos dos Agrotóxicos – Brasil
Frades Dominicanos – Brasil
GREENPEACE – Brasil
GWATÁ – Núcleo de Agroecologia e Educação do Campo – Brasil
Instituto de Salud Socioambiental de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de la Universidad Nacional de Rosario – Argentina
Instituto Medicina Regional – Área Biología Molecular (Universidad Nacional del Nordeste). Chaco – Argentina
KAAB NA’ALON – Alianza Maya por las Abejas de la Península de Yucatan – México
KÁA NÁN IINÁJÓOB – Guardianes de las Semillas – México
Levante Popular da Juventude – Brasil
Madres de Barrio Ituzaingo Anexo – Argentina
MAELA – Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe – México
Magnífica Mundi/FIC – UFG – Brasil
MCP – Movimento Camponês Popular – Brasil
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras Rurais Sem Terra
Multisectorial contra el Agronegocio – la 41 – Argentina
Multisectorial Paren de Fumigar Santa Fe – Argentina
NATURALEZA DE DERECHOS – Argentina
NAVDANYA – India
Observatorio del Derecho a la Ciudad – Argentina
PUBLIC EYE – Switzerland
RAP-AL – Red de Acción en Plaguicidas y sus Alternativas para América Latina – Uruguay
RAP-AL – Red de Acción en Plaguicidas y sus Alternativas para América Latina – Brasil
RAPAM – Red de Acción sobre Plaguicidas y Alternativas en México – México
Red de Acción en Plaguicidas/Alianza por una Mejor Calidad de Vida – Chile
Red de Médicxs de Pueblos Fumigados – Argentina
Red Salud Popular Dr. Ramón Carrillo. Chaco – Argentina
Red Latinoamericana de Abogados y Abogadas em Defensa de la Soberanía Alimentaria
RENACE – Red Nacional de Acción Ecológica – Argentina
RENAMA – Red Nacional de Municipio por la Agroecologia – Argentina
Red de Guardianes de Semillas – Ecuador
Robin Canul/Periodista – México
SEMILLAS DE VIDA – México
Sociedad Argentina de Apicultores – Argentina
Sociedad Cooperativa Miel de Abeja de Maxcanú/Yucatan – México
Terra de Direitos – Brasil
UCCSNAL – Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad y la Naturaleza de América Latina
UCCS/México – Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad
UNORCA – Yucatan – México