POLITICAL DECLARATION (GUATEMALA) Continental Meeting Against Mining and For Popular Sovereignty
From 11th to 15th March 2015 in the town of Mataquescuintla in Guatemala, representatives from towns, communities and national social organisations, as well as international delegations from several countries, were brought together with the help of fellowship, solidarity and intercultural dialogue to formulate a proposal of continental unity and political focus. International delegates came from Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Iceland, Norway and South Africa.
This initiative will allow the foundation of a CONTINENTAL MOVEMENT AGAINST THE EXTRACTIVE MODEL AND FOR POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY. The initiative will work to tackle the plundering of our towns and continue to prepare the path for the construction of a new society.
WE DECLARE THAT
- We are living in a time of counteroffensive imperialism against the towns, social movements and progressive governments of Latin America, through the use of asphyxiating economic policies, media manipulation and the criminalisation of protest. We therefore call upon all our towns to confront this counteroffensive with unity, action and struggle.
- We understand that the problem of extracting our common natural assets does not only relate to mining, but also encompasses oil, gas, hydroelectric projects, biofuels and single crop farming. In such a way, this is a capitalistic extractive model of minerals and energy, which drives transnational companies, imperialist countries and multilateral bodies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This model, with the mutual understanding of national governments, completes the new division of labour that places Latin America as a net provider of raw materials.
- As a Latin American town, we continue to be attacked by the dangerous convergence of agreements between governments and multinational corporations, where companies successfully lower taxes; create job insecurity; decrease water sources; contaminate the environment; exploit and commercialise women (as well as putting them in a precarious situation); and deprive black, rural and indigenous communities of their land and culture.
- The persecution of social movements, the criminalisation of protest and the frequent violation of human rights by state governments and transnational companies are continual occurrences in our America. We therefore resort to international solidarity and the making of persistent complaints to safeguard our comrades who are once again demonstrating that we are engaged in a life-long struggle.
- We support progressive Latin American governments in the progress they have made in their distant countries, and we urge them to steadfastly deepen their respect for the rights of our motherland, the indigenous populations, and the black and rural communities.
- We are for the defence of territory and the creation of alternative societies. We champion the building of popular power and a new relationship with nature that recovers ancestral and natural knowledge. We reaffirm the defence of life and we proudly say that we do not fear the extraction-based model of persecution and death, to which we will respond with a fight and popular mobilisation.
- This conference begins a process of continental articulation that will allow the sharing of the experiences of towns in resistance and at war, the dissemination of investigative materials on the actions of multinational corporations and governments, and the creation of schools for political training, complaint and solidarity mechanisms, communication networks and joint mobilisations.
- To defeat the ruling model, unity between the forces of the towns is fundamental. We therefore extend this invitation to all the towns, communities and popular organisations that are fighting for life and the defence of their territory, and ask them to join us in a common battle, so that in up-coming meetings there will be more countries and more action.
Mataquescuintla, Guatemala, 11th-15th March, 2015
“YES TO LIFE AND NO MINING!”