Newsletter no 26 – Editorial

Land reform and food sovereignty

A wave of financial capital is crashing down upon the resources held in rural corners of the planet in the world today. In this process we see a financialization of rural goods and assets along with a (re)capitalizing of capitalistic extractive efforts through agribusiness. This is especially apparent in terms of monocrop exports, forestry plantations, agrofuels, mining companies and in the construction of megaprojects like dams, highways and tourist complexes. This in turn translates into land grabbing, dispossession, eviction, displacement and migration. Furthermore, peoples are criminalized, social protest stifled and our movements and struggles vilified by the media.

Capital is appropriating our territories. Hence, we must respond by turning the struggle for land into a struggle for territory. This will require forging unions between –on one side– peasant farmers, day laborers, indigenous peoples, nomad shepherds, artisan fishermen, forest peoples and other rural communities, and –on another– city dwellers, especially those in suburban communities and consumers. It will require producing healthy food using agroecology and know-how handed down from our ancestors and steeped in popular traditions. We must show that land in community hands is better for society and Mother Earth than land which is at the mercy of capital.

La Via Campesina

« In our world-views, we are being who come from the Earth, from the water and from corn. The Lenca people are ancestral guardians of the rivers, in turn protected by the spirits of young girls, who teach us that giving our lives in various ways for the protection of the rivers is giving our lives for the well-being of humanity and of this planet. ( …)
Let us wake up ! Let us wake up, humankind! We are out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction. »
Berta Cáceres
[Berta was a leader from the indigenous rights organisation COPINH in Honduras, assassinated on March 3, 2016 for her struggle in the defense of her people, their territory and water.]