International Human Rights Day 2017: Human rights violations vs. food activists condemned

December 10, 2017

The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) joins the peoples of the world in marking International Human Rights Day 2017. We condemn intensifying human-rights violations in various countries, many of which are supported by the US government. We denounce human-rights violations committed against farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers, and food sovereignty activists throughout the globe.

The global economic crisis persists and rivalries among monopoly-capitalist countries are intensifying. Big capitalists are scrambling for control over an increasing section of land and the environment. The resistance of farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers, land and food sovereignty activists, and the peoples of the world is therefore intensifying.

Various governments are responding with repressive measures, often with increasingly open rightwing and fascist rhetoric. Farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers and food sovereignty activists are targeted for killings, illegal detention over trumped-up charges, harassment and surveillance, among others. PCFS condemns these human-rights violations targetting our ranks.

Land activists in Brazil, especially those defending its Amazon forests, are being killed by the Michel Temer regime in record numbers. Instead of being empowered to lead the implementation of reforms promised in the peace agreement, land activists are being killed in Colombia, as logging and mining companies enter new territories for plunder.

In the Philippines, farmers, indigenous peoples and activists opposing large mining and plantation projects and fighting for genuine land reform are being killed by the repressive government of Rodrigo Duterte. Indigenous peoples and activists supporting them in defending their land and forests against mining companies are being killed.

Land activists in Honduras continue to be killed, more than one year after environmental activist leader Berta Caceres’ murder by the state and big capitalists. Land activists opposing so-called development projects in Nicaragua are also being killed. Farmers, indigenous peoples and land activists fighting large-scale landgrabs in Cambodia and the African contintent are also being murdered.

In Cameroon, Nasako Bisingi, prominent campaigner against plantations, was illegally arrested together with more than 100 activists in the government’s crackdown against opposition.

It is most disgusting that US Pres. Donald Trump, on the eve of this year’s International Human Rights Day, recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel. By doing so, he clearly takes the side of the murderous government of Israel, which has violated the human rights of the Palestinian people for so long, together with the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

We are calling on all food sovereignty activists to intensify our struggles against projects and policies being pushed by big capitalists and states that are subservient to them. Let us continue to expand and strengthen our progressive and militant organizations. Let us fight for human rights, condemn intensifying human-rights violations, and work for societies where food sovereignty and human rights reign. ####