Last week’s terrible and violent events in Latin America and the Caribbean – the assassination of Sergio Rojas in Costa Rica, the tragic death of eight indigenous people in Colombia and the murder of Dilma Ferreira Silva in Brazil, among others – fill us with grief and above all with deep concern and outrage for the injustice and impunity against social activists and defenders of territories peoples’ rights.

These events also warn us, once again, of the systematic extermination policy that has been implemented in the Continent for some years now, and that is currently aggravated by the rise of neoliberalism’s programmatic fundamentalism in most countries. In recent years, under progressive administrations, many governments in the region were able to make progress in ensuring and fulfilling peoples’ rights. But the cost of these advances and the peoples’ efforts to dignify life on the basis of political participation is now huge under the new ultraneoliberal conservative regimes: social movement leaders and activists are today being punished with murder, persecution, stigmatization and all kinds of criminalization against the women and men who continue defending common goods and fundamental rights that were hard won through social mobilization and participation in public policy-making, from which they are being deprived today by the new conservative tide.

The escalation of murders in the region is, in our opinion, another result of the cowardly architecture of impunity, driven by imperialistic forces and transnational corporations which obtain their profits from the process of economic and environmental corporatization and financialization, and who are willing to exterminate human beings and environmental wealth in order to safeguard their profiteering rates in the context of the prevailing model of accumulation and looting.

As organizations which mobilize to build peoples power, democracy and justice in its multiple dimensions -social, environmental, economic, gender, etc.- we want, through this message, to join our voices in solidarity to forge links of unity in diversity. We are aware of the urgent need to work together in pursuit of concrete and effective solutions to protect the lives of our comrades and ensure that they/we are not murdered daily without effective precautionary measures by States, governments and multilateral organizations who boast about their work in defense of human rights. In almost all cases of violence and persecution, the actual perpetrators and masterminds of the murders of our comrades and loved ones are yet to be identified and punished. We understand that this architecture and strategy of impunity is the embodiment of injustice that operates today as the top condition for the repetition of these death strategies on a daily basis.

For these reasons and with deep concern but with our our fighting spirits intact and strengthened in the pursuit of justice for our comrades, we call on organizations, processes and movements throughout our Americas to add their voices and actions to this proclamation, to summon ourselves collectively as movements to denounce and exercise effective solidarity on the basis of the construction of an internationalist front against fascism, as the real chance to stop the social and political massacre we are witnessing in the region.

With this communiqué we want to let the agents of death and destruction know that we are not alone, and that we will not stop until we know who gave the order to kill our comrades and prevent the legitimate defense of peoples’ rights and territories from costing more lives.

To the families and communities of those murdered in the past few days, and to all people who have not obtained justice, we jointly express our solidarity. We will continue working day by day to stop impunity, and to honor the efforts of all those who have given their lives to defend ours.

Jornada Continental por la Democracia y contra el neoliberalismo.
Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y el Caribe -ATALC
Capítulo cubano de Movimientos hacia el ALBA
Confederación Sindical de Trabajadoras/es de las Américas -CSA
Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo -CLOC Vía Campesina
Jubileo Sur Américas
Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres
ALBA Movimientos
Amigos de la Tierra Internacional -ATI
Articulación de los Pueblos Indígenas del Brasil -APIB
Instituto Terramar – Ceará- Brasil
Terra de Direitos -Brasil
Movimento Dos Atingidos por Barragens -MAB- Brasil
Movimento Dos Pequenos Agricultores -MPA- Brasil
Movimento Dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto -MTST- Brasil

Image: Jornada Continental por la Democracia y contra el neoliberalismo (Montevideo-2017)

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC), 1 April 2019