Manifest for land and peace
/ Jueves 18 de agosto de 2011
Historiadora de la Universidad Nacional, traductora y fotógrafa
The thousands of attendants to the National Encounter of Peasant, Afro-descendant and Indigenous Communities for Land and Peace of Colombia. Dialogue is the route, carried out in Barrancabermeja in August 12 through 14, 2011, declare before Colombian society and international Community that:
1. We have concluded our encounter with an outcome of full success. The purposes we have set ourselves of analyzing the country’s situation have been exceedingly fulfilled. We have specifically taken into account our concerns about the future of our land, our territory and our resources, about democracy, the situation and warranties of our rights, as well as the state of war and the possibilities of a political solution.
2. These results are an expression of a mass citizen manifestation and aspiration, that has taken place publicly and has been broadcasted by the media. The results of this encounter are a produc exclusively of our sacrifice and collective effort and a wish of finding roads to peace.
3. We thank the escort of the Church, the Department of Santander’s Goverment and Barrancabermeja’s Mayor’s Office, as well as of their organizations commited with the causes of human rights and peace. Their concurrence has been of great significance.
4. We manifest our reject towards the govermental policies that during the last decade have been implemented in our country to promote an economic model that propitiates the intensive exploitation of our territories and natural resources, favours transnational corporations and economic groups, accentuate conflicts for land and the struggle for territory, encourages new processes of expropiation of dispossesion and forced displacement, radically worsens social processes and compromises our conditions of soverignity and food security. This economic model destroys peasant economy, the indigenous and afro-descendant communities’s territories and produces an escaling of the social and armed conflict dynamics that oppresses our country.
5. We express our concerns towards the government project of a general law of lands and rural development, the victims and restitution law, and the national development plan, because they don’t guarantee Colombian’s rights and favour the current mining-electricity model, which is not beneficial for the environment and Colombian people.
6. We reaffirm our support to the project of agrarian reform law, presented by the peasant organizations, constructed by the Board of Agrarian Unity, and presented in this meeting, because we consider that it collects most of the aspirations of Colombian rural population, and we demand full support from Colombian society.
7. Democracy in our country and the creation of better conditions to enforce and guarantee our rights, demands a new model that enables the use of our resources and richness, overcoming the deep economic and social inequality, regarding our people’s wellness.
8. We are concerned that despite the formal recognition of the Colombian conflict by the current government and its manifestations regarding the key of peace not being lost is clear that the military solution plan is on the top of the government agenda and responds to the wrong idea of “peace of victorious and vanquished”. The history of Colombian conflict shows us that the military solutions don’t lead to peace. For this reasons we can’t continue trapped by the perspective of a war scaling and an increasing foreign military intervention. We don’t want to go on with our lives with the permanent threat of bombs and bullets. It’s time to end the war. A political solution is necessary.
9. We are aware that the perspective of a political solution has plenty of enemies, specially those that benefit from the current situation and the privileged society that support them. Besides, to deactivate war works against those who have made a profitable business of it. Colombians have the right to consciously propitiate the creation of a new conditions to start the road that can lead us to an arrangement different from the one based in the exercise of violence, so the conflicts that are inherent to our society can walk the road of dialogue, social justice and peace.
10. We are convinced of the necessity of progressing in the conception and materialization of a road to peace, that has as a close goal the conformation of a movement with national reach, with international support and the express mandate of promoting the construction of peace with social justice and a political solution to the armed conflict. Walking on that direction demands the creation of a favorable environment. It is urgent that we all work together to consolidate a culture of peace. We think that the parties directly engaged in the confrontation should consider, as a mutual gesture towards society, a bilateral cease of fire, that opens the possibility of dialogue. Samely, the consideration of commitments and humanitarian agreements that allow to stop violence against civilians and all atrocities.
11. The general statements about peace and dialogue are insufficient and many times have been accompanied by the scaling of war. That’s why this Encounter demands gestures and facts from all parties intended to respond positively to claims of the people, peasant, indigenous and afro-descendant communities: a stop to forced displacement and dispossession; unconditional respect to the rights of children and women, warranties and respect for the rights of victims; non-militarization of territories; respect of autonomy of indigenous peoples. Stopping war and constructing peace. It’s time for the political solution.
12. We need to make real the consistent idea that the dialogue is the route. To materialize that implies, above all, the broadest social and popular participation. The political solution cannot be a matter of exclusive competence of the parties engaged directly in the military conflict. “All the voices, all, all the hands, all” of this country have to be listened and mobilized to settle the foundations that will allow us to advance towards peace with social justice. That supposes a hard work of organization, politization and mobilization that we wish to assume with all those willing to join it, and that sums to all efforts and social and popular initiatives that have been developing in our country through diverse organizational expressions. Such space must be constructed and widened assuring respect for social organizations and their autonomy. Its start point is at the innumerable manifestations of social and popular collective action, in the different organizational processes that, with different political approaches, have been brewing in our country during the last years.
13. We propose that all these efforts, articulated between each other and summed up to other expressions of social organization that respond to local problems or sectorial, ethnical or gender concerns, converge in the preparation and realization of regional constituent assemblies, spaces for popular sovereignity and citizen participation, conceived as mechanisms for the construction of peace and social justice, and advocacy of a political solution. Their design must make possible the consideration of the conflict’s general problematics, as well as the approaching of the respective regional specificities. These processes suppose an active and direct participation of the broadest social sectors, attending thier diversity and plurality, and must lead to a precise definition of regional mandates
14. These dynamics represent spaces of convergence towards a National Constituent Assembly and regional processes for peace. This Assembly should yield a national mandate for a political solution and peace with social justice. All this effort has stronger possibilities if it’s accompanied by the international community.
15. The conclusions of this encounter, a result of our hard work in different work groups, as well as this political statement, will be delivered to the Central Government and other State powers, as well as to the FARC-EP and ELN guerrillas, in order to make express our will and aspiration of immediately exploration of actions aimed to untie the knot of confrontation and move towards a political solution and peace. We are convinced that this is the wish of Colombian people: to live in peace with social justice.
16. We invite all participant organizations to encourage and get involved in the different scenarios and initiatives to continue strengthening the this encounter’s bets.
National Encounter of Peasant, Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities for land and peace of Colombia. Barrancabermeja, August 14th, 2011