Towards Rio: Xalapa Declaration
International Meeting: Mexico building the Peoples’ Summit, Rio +20
With the shining April sun that browns our skin, the trees flowering in purple, white, orange and yellow they are surprised of out tenacity. The women and men dress in the colours of the Wiphala flag, a sign of diversity, tolerance and harmony.
With the beads of sweat on our bodies and with overwhelming joy we march from the Xallitic bridge shouting the slogans, “the people united will never be defeated”, “If Zapata were alive he would be with us”. We meet in the beautiful city of Xalapa, together with the social leaders, representatives from civil society in Mexico City, Federal District, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz and with international guests from Germany, Argentina, Slovakia, Spain and Chile. We come with the intent of re-examining the negative effects that cause the implementation of the neoliberal economic model in our towns and is bringing the environment and society to the brink of extinction. The model responsible for the crisis of civilization that today inhabits the whole planet - the failure of capitalism is evident not only in the economic and political crisis that has sprung up all over the world, but also in insatiable consumerism, hedonistic individualism, in the crisis of values and principles, in a disorientated youth without hope and the irrational ecocide that has eroded all social coexistence and has destroyed the future of the planet as a living and harmonious body.
We also recognise that our practice of social and political organisation has contributed to opening cracks in the capitalist system. We have eroded it with our power of resistance because resistance is creation, it is emancipation and anticipation of those other possible worlds so urgent and necessary.
Our voices demonstrate that the language of physical, sociocultural, affective and spiritual assets is an inalienable territory that we dictate the identity of. Culture, the ember of our creative magma, embraces our ownership of the land, ancestral memory that flourishes in the smiles of boys and girls, of men and women, of our grandmas and grandpas. We are familiar with part of the earth, of the colour of the earth, we are rock, we are water, we are wind. We are surviving life, we look at ourselves and recognise ourselves and as such, united, we recall the following:
- We insist upon the social function of the land, of the city, of the countryside and of the planet as the heritage of all against grabbing and speculation where the inhabitants have full right to their land, participate in democratic processes, in productive processes, in the creation of knowledge and reproduction of culture and in the generation of sustainable environmental conditions.
- We will orient our social practice and our individual conduct so as to impel another form of living that prioritises the harmonious relation between nature and society.
- We will live in peace, with happiness, with health and security in order to help mother earth recover her colours, scents and her poetry.
- We take up the promise to defend our Tonantzin, our mother earth, from the megaprojects, from toxic mining, from highways and dams, from the planting of genetically modified foods, from the urban development and from agribusinesses and single crop farming.
- We reject the pretension of the federal government, the senators and deputies of criminalising the social movements and fights and construct a police state that violates human rights and fails to observe its international obligations, the constitution and the internal procedural laws through the Law of National Security.
- We demand that the government of Oaxaca imprisons those materially and intellectually responsible for the execution of Betty Cariño, Jyri Jaakkola and Bernardo Vásquez.
- We reject the assassination of the journalist of the newspaper Proceso, REGINA MARTÍNEZ PÉREZ, which happened while we were celebrating our meeting and we demand the government of Veracruz to find, try and imprison those responsible of such horrendous crime. Similarly, we demand that the highest state and federal authorities fulfil their obligations, guarantee the full respect of freedom of press and effective protection for journalists.
Collective of Mexican Organisations for Social and Environmental Justice:
Habitat International Colaition/HIC
International Alliance of Inhabitants/IAI
Red Mexicana de Acción contra el Libre Comercio / RMALC
Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos / AMAP
Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería / REMA
Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental / LAVIDA
embly of Environmental Initiatives and Defence)
Movimiento Urbano Popular-Convención Nacional Democrática / MUP-CND
Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo / UCIZONI
Unión Popular Valle Gómez, A.C
Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata / UPREZ
Centro Operacional de la Vivienda, A.C.
Colectivo de Organizaciones Sociales, Asesores y Organismos Civiles
Tu Techo, A.C.
Asamblea Estudiantil Xalapeña / AEX
Hábitat para la Humanidad-México, A.C.
(Habitat for Humanity-Mexico)
Hábitat Participación y Género, UNAM
(Habitat Participation and Class)
Colectivo Regional Defensa Verde Naturaleza para Siempre
(Green Nature Forever Regional Defense Collective)
Casa de Salud Popular de Minatitlán
Hijos de la tierra
Consejo Comunitario Nahua
Coordinadora de Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca / CCU
Proceso de Articulación del Sur de Veracruz
Unión de Pochtecas de México, A.C.
Movimiento Popular Independiente
Coordinadora de Organizaciones Sociales Felipe Ángeles
(Coordinator of Social Organisations Felipe Angeles)
Alianza Civil Veracruzana
(Veracruz Civil Alliance)
Frente Amplio Opositor a la Mina San Xavier
(Collective Front Opposing the San Xavier Mine)
CMPA Estado de México
(CMPA Mexico City)
Pacto Veracruzano Contra la Minería Tóxica
(Veracruz Pact Against Toxic Mining)
Colectivo de Investigación Desarrollo y Educación entre Mujeres, A.C.
(Development Research amongst Women Collective)
The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was: