A Declaration from Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’: An International Agroecology Gathering
This past August, food sovereignty practitioners and advocates from 11 countries including Zimbabwe, Mexico, South Africa, Guatemala, USA, Nepal, India, Brazil, Peru, Honduras and Haiti came together in Chiapas, Mexico to exchange their knowledge, practices and experiences at an agroecology learning exchange organized and hosted by Thousand Currents senior partner Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas – D.E.S.M.I. (Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans). The exchange was called “Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta MuK’ (Buen Vivir with respect),” inviting more than 120 indigenous and peasant farmers, movement leaders, indigenous youth, feminists and academic activists to share strategies and offer their commitment of solidarity to one another. The following is a declaration they built together at this international gathering.
Final Declaration – Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’
We are and will continue to organize ourselves as communities of Buen Vivir!
From near and far, our steps were found in these Mayan lands of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; we have been walking from our lands and from our different nations to live and build together the nation of Buen Vivir!
We set out from our native and indigenous communities from Asia: Nepal, India; from the Americas: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Peru, USA, Brazil and from Africa: South Africa and Zimbabwe.
We met in this learning exchange, which we called: Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’ (Buen Vivir with respect) to walk together and learn from each other. Our objective was to exchange our knowledge, practices and solidarity, to strengthen Food Sovereignty and the Buen Vivir of our peoples.
With our united steps and heart full of joy and hope…
WE OPENLY DECLARE
We will continue to strengthen the recuperation of the knowledge of our grandfathers and grandmothers, between men and women, between youth and children, to fight for our autonomy. We will commit ourselves to protect the land “Pachamama” because she is our mother and from there we came. Everything we are and have, we owe it to her. We owe her respect.
The capitalist system and its neoliberal policies are causing us a global crisis that affects us all, especially Mother Earth. We live in a cruel war that makes us invisible, which imposes fear and makes us lose our ancestral knowledge, our indigenous clothing, and contaminates water, earth and air, causing a global crisis that puts at risk all humanity and our planet, that is, life itself.
With pain in our hearts, we suffer and live the dispossession of our territories by extractive and transnational corporations that promotes forced migration, which generates extreme poverty, where our sons and daughters stop studying or change their roots for the search of a better life that is urbanized with a capitalist vision, where our homes are destroyed, women are trafficked, and we have no health, we have no freedom of expression; and we become consumers, without land, without water, without local native seeds, and without freedom. This is achieved almost always by the complicity of the authorities.
We demand from our governments and transnational corporations the following:
- Stop the privatization of our natural resources and our cultures!
- Make reparation for damages caused to Mother Nature, to indigenous peoples, peasant farmers and punish the exploiters!
- Let our voice be heard in the public policies!
- Recognize our right to decide our own path and our self-determination!
- Stop the violence and discrimination against women; recognize their struggle and the rights of women and youth for Mother Earth!
We do not want an agriculture that is dependent and killing the environment!
Our goals to continue our learning exchange are:
- We want to share our knowledge and our experiences to advance Buen Vivir.
- We want to fight and build our autonomy with food sovereignty and have the right to the self-determination of our peoples.
- Enforce food sovereignty, ancestral practices, local seeds and agro-ecology as a way of life and organization in our laws.
- Recognize the work and struggle of women and young people in defending our territory, in practicing agroecology and transferring knowledge and wisdom to the next generations.
We return to our lands with our hearts filled with the dreams of the Zapatista communities, the life lessons of the Sumidero Canyon, the example of JTatic Samuel Ruiz and the many experiences of each and one of the participants.
“VIVA LA UNIDAD DE LOS PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS”
“LONG LIVE THE UNITY OF OUR NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES”
Organizations participating in this learning exchange Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’
- Movimento Camponês Popular (MCP)
- Movimento dos Trabalhoradores Rurais sem Terra (MST)
- Asociación de Mujeres Ixpiyakok (ADEMI)
- Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (AFEDES)
- Asociación para la Promoción de Salud y el Desarrollo Socio-Económico (APROSADSE)
- Comité Campesino del Altiplano (CCDA)
- Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC)
- Instituto para la Superación de Miseria Urbana (ISMUGUA)
- Red Kuchub’al
11. Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP)
- La Via Campesina – Honduras
- GRAVIS, India
- Alianza Crecer Juntos Sitalá
- Alianza Toj Óolal
- Caritas de San Cristóbal de Las Casas
- Centro de Apoyo Educativo para la Comunidad
- CAE: Circulos de Alimentacion Escolar
- Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres (CODIMUJ)
- Consejo Regional Indígena y Popular de Xpijul
- Desarrollo Económico Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas (DESMI)
- Educación por la Paz (EduPaz)
- El Hombre Sobre la Tierra
- Enlace Civil
- Ka Kuxtal
- Ñepi Behña
- Pastoral de la Madre Tierra
- Ser Mixe
- Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca (UNOSJO)
- U’yits Ka’an
- Uyool Che’
- ASHA Nepal
- Women Awareness Center Nepal (WACN), Nepal
- Asociación ANDES
- Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas, Artesanas, Indígenas, Nativas y Asalariadas de Perú (FENMUCARINAP)
- Grupo Género y Economía
- Red Ñuqanchik Marionijei Noshaninka
- South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)
- Surplus People Project
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)
- Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF)
- Grassroots International
- Thousand Currents
- Urban Tilth
- US Food Sovereignty Alliance
- Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF)