La Via Campesina Caravan Celebrates Arrival in Cancun
(Cancun, December 4) With the COP16 UN Climate Conference already under way, La Via Campesina has organized an international caravan transporting people from all over Mexico to Cancun. “The sixth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) is already seen as a failure” stated Alberto Gomez from La Via Campesina international coordination, “that will affect the future of humanity, as its only result will be to strenghthen the intention of TNCs to divert money away from the climate crisis.”
“During the last moments of discussion, the proposals of the People’s Agreement signed in Cochabamba have been left aside. The trend is to favour carbon market and REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), this mechanism supports global privatisation of forests, jungles and territories.» explained Gomez.”
“It is to be stated that during the negotiating process preceeding Cancun, the interest of the TNCs have prevailed giving a strong impulsion to a financial system that will impose merchandisation of the climate.”
“We do not agree with false solutions such as the carbon market because, far from reducing green house gases, it will sooner or later create a speculative system leading the world into another global financial crisis.”
“This is why La Via Campesina mobilises to denounce the irresponsibility of most of the governments who choose to support the capital rather than the interest of their nation and of humanity as a whole.” added Gómez.
“The international caravans will [started] on Sunday 28th. Their aim is to show up the Mexican government, pointing out the environmental and social devastation caused by state policies which are against the interest of the majority of the people.”
“In the camp set up by La Via Campesina in Cancun from December 2nd, various activites will be organised to denounce these policies and we ask all participants to put pressure on the Summit to adopt efficient measures against climate crisis such as those proposed in the People’s Agreement.”
“We declare that we, farmers, men and women, are necessary and useful to humanity. Our role is to produce food: we do it in a sustainable way and at the same time we cool down the planet. If we had at our disposal a different system to produce, distribute and consumme, we could end hunger and halt global warming.”
“Food sovereignty — concluded Gómez— is La Via Campesina’s alternative to capitalism which seeks to privatise even the air we breathe.”
The following photos were taken as the caravan approached Cancun. The plan was to stop at the Chichenitze Mayan pyramid, just outside the city, to hold a ceremony to celebrate their arrival. Delegates from the Indigenous Environmental Network were invited to participate in the ceremony. However, the caravan was not allowed to enter the pyramid, and ancient spiritual site for Mayan peoples which has since been transformed into an exclusive tourist site where the hundreds of indigenous and peasant farmers were not welcome. The ceremony was moved to a nearby town square, but was no less moving for all present.
(Click on thumbnails to view images)