CLAC Latin America/FTAA Committee
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Latin America
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The CLAC Latin America Committee Manifesto
1. Given that we work to build a world based on respect for the dignity, autonomy and self-determination of all peoples, and that we demand the right to justice and liberty, we are against the economic and political neo-colonialism and military occupation in Latin American countries by Western-based powers, international financial capital and multinationals.

2. From a perspective of a direct solidarity which rejects all forms of paternalism and the linear vision of “development” taught in capitalist societies, we believe we must stand in solidarity with the struggles of people who are victims of the genocide inflicted by the predatory capitalist system and its institutions. We wish to participate in the creation of a continental network of resistance and support with communities in the process of resistance in Latin America.

3. Given that we believe that the land belongs to those who work and live on it, that it must belong to a collective and not to a handful of private interests, and that it is a right and not a capitalist resource, we demand, alongside the voices of the South, the immediate and definitive retreat of all multinationals on the agricultural lands of peasant communities in Latin America. These companies, with their ecologically destructive methods of production and their insatiable thirst for profits, show no shame in assassinating entire communities when they become an obstacle to the opening of markets, to trade and to profit. For this reason, we demand that all companies who have caused irreparable harm to rural populations recognize their crimes and compensate these communities which, in many cases, have been victims of forced displacement, massacres, selective assassinations and torture for having reclaimed their right to their lands and refused the exploitation of the natural resources of their territories.

4. Because we believe that direct democracy is the only legitimate and true form of democracy or, in other words, that decisions must be made by those directly concerned in most horizontal manner possible, we affirm our support of all local initiatives consisting of the re-appropriation and collective self-management of factories, lands and natural riches.

5. Given that colonialism has been ongoing for 512 years, we demand truth and justice for all sufferings and loss of life that indigenous, afro-descendent, and other oppressed peoples in the the North as in the South continue to endure in the name of the expansionnist whim of colonial empires, and that demands for reparations be satisfied.

6. We demand the abolition of neo-colonial plans and accords such as the Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP), Plan Colombia, the Andean Regional Initiative, NAFTA and the FTAA, as well as the immediate retreat of all American and foreign military bases present in various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. These economic plans only aim to facilitate the hoarding of natural riches for the profit of large land-owners and private national and transnational companies, working hand-in-hand with the growing militarization and para-militarization of Latin American societies in order to assure “security” for investors while repressing and controlling social discontent. We strongly denounce attempts to transform peasants practicing subsistence agriculture to a supply of cheap labour for private companies through these destructive plans and accords.

7. As foreign debt represents the means by which imperialist powers hold poor countries hostage, while keeping their governments on a leash in order to better control and exploit them, we demand the cancellation of the external debt, which is already largely paid, for all countries in the South and the end of all murderous interventions on the part of the IMF and the World Bank in the economies and policies of Latin American and Caribbean nations.

8. Au nom de la liberté d’expression, de la pensée la critique et de la légitimité des luttes contre les États autoritaires et le système capitaliste, nous supportons les peuples opprimés qui s’organisent par tous les moyens nécessaires afin de se défendre contre l’injustice et l’exploitation, et nous exigeons la fin immédiate de tout terrorisme d’État et de toute répression de la dissidence politique.

8. In the name of freedom of speech, critical thinking and the legitimacy of struggles against authoritarian states and the capitalist system, we support oppressed peoples who organize by any and all means necessary in order to defend themselves against injustice and exploitation, and we demand the immediate end of all State terrorism and all repression of political dissidence.