Vía Campesina´s 3rd Solidarity Mission will take place from March 29 to April 2 in three Colombian regions: Cauca, Tolima and Sumapaz.
Nury Martínez, member of the Agricultural National Union Federation (FENSUAGRO) and the Political Coordination of La Vía Campesina South America, shared details about the Mission with Real World Radio.
In order to verify if -and how- the Peace Accords signed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Government in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 are being implemented, the Mission made up by 17 delegates from Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will travel through the areas mentioned above and meet with government authorities and social, peasant and indigenous organizations.
The Mission takes place amid a complex situation due to the strong criminalization and murder of defenders of the territory, the mobilizations of the peasant Minga -where 8 indigenous people died and there are at least 20 more injured, under Iván Duque´s administration which “has no political will to comply with the Accords”, said Nury Martínez.
The excuse given by the government is that the Accords “benefit former guerrilla members”, said Martínez, but “the authorities fail to recognize the social problems in the territories, and do not consider this is an important moment in the country for peace that needs to benefit all Colombian people”.
“In order to surrender weapons, the FARC need to be ensured that they can be reintegrated into politics, that´s why the Accords were also signed. But this government does not care about peace”, said the FENSUAGRO leader.
While the part in the Accords that makes reference to the Integral Rural Reform is key for LVC, it is also necessary to verify the implementation of the other issues, linked with reparations for victims of the armed conflicts, the guarantees for peasants to make the transition from illegal to legal crops, as well as to ensure the political participation of social movements in the building of peace.
“The integral rural reform is not the agrarian reform we had, but the fact that it is included in the Peace Accords is a step forward, because here there are no policies for peasants: no technical assistance or markets to distribute what is produced, we are not even considered political subjects”, she said.
During the visits, LVC´s delegation will learn about the main problems faced by peasants in the peace building process, the interests of transnational corporations, the level of citizen security and the presence of other armed groups (paramilitary officers, other guerrillas, crime organizations).
The delegation will also learn about the alternatives that are being built in the territories, as well as production, capacity building and social reintegration projects.