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By Jonathan Leaning
February 18th, 2011
In Central America, a new campaign to stop violence against women is gaining momentum. Launched by the Via Campesina International (the Via), the campaign is aimed at changing not only the attitudes of men towards women, but systemic and institutional violence against women.
“¡La Tierra No Se Vende – Se Ama y Se Defiende!” (English translation: “The Land is Not for Sale – It must be Loved and Defended!”)
– A change from woman fighting against a large dam in Alpuyeca, Mexico
By Cloc/The Via Campesina
(Cancún, 5 December 2010) One idea dominated the opening and first working day of the global forum “For Life, Environmental and Social Justice”, organized by La Via Campesina and its allies at their camp in Cancún: we must foil the carbon markets and the REDD programme which governments intend to legitimize at COP16.
by Sara Mersha
They cross borders to survive.
Young people, like Ponciano Perez, 19, left, take the long north-bound journey from Mexico, seeking an opportunity in the United States. The trip can take several weeks or months. Without money to pay bus fare, some travel on foot to the border. Too often, the journey does not go as planned – meet the wrong people and they strip you from anything you have.
Back home, family members do not hear from their loved ones for months. They just hope for the better: a call or information that everything is okay and some money will arrive soon. In the best-case scenario, some money will arrive but at the cost of not seeing their children for years.
The Via Campesina – a Grassroots International partner – is organizing a long march in Mexico for life and environmental justice, prior to the United Nations conference on Climate Change in Cancun. Led by indigenous and peasant families, the caravans will depart from different locations and converge in Mexico City's Zocalo for a mass demonstration on November 30. Along the way, participants will visit communities affected by environmental disasters, such as those caused by the San Javier mining site in the state of San Luis de Potosí and El Zapotillo Dam in Jalisco.
For a week in late September, steady rain in the southern states of Mexico created mudslides and floods, affecting communities and farms in Oaxaca, Chiapas and surrounding southern states. Fortunately early reports overestimated the number of people killed in the disaster in Oaxaca.
In a recent article in The Nation (“Retreat to Subsistence,” July 5, 2010), Peter Canby describes the seminal work of one of Grassroots International’s partners in Mexico, the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO). Using UNOSJO's work as an example, he explores the larger issue of of indigenous rights in Mesoamerica.
By Alisa Pimentel
Among the almost 20,000 activists gathered in Detroit for the US Social Forum this week are several Grassroots International partners and allies. Grassroots International regularly provides funding to our partners and allies to participate in movement-building and leadership development gatherings.