Statement by the Mesoamerican Movement in Resistance to the Extractivist Model (M4) on State-Regulated Consultations

Jamie Kneen Communications and Outreach Coordinator responsible for: strategic research, social media, and public engagement; our Africa program, environmental assessment, and uranium mining.

The peoples that form part of M4 who resist the capitalist and extractive model and are working towards social transformation

DECLARE

In Guatemala City’s historic centre, on November 15, 16 and 17, we met to discuss and analyze current efforts to regulate prior consultation of our peoples in order to build collective strategies based on shared principles in defence of nature, our shared commons, and to denounce once more the manipulativeness of big business and the role played by states.

We reaffirm our resistance to the corrupt and extractivist capitalist model, which with the aim to accumulate wealth, commodifies life, our territories, rivers, and everything that makes up Mother Earth, sowing fear as a mechanism of social control and division through the militarization of our territories.

The regulation of consultation is a farce when it is carried out by governments and big business. We call this ‘manipulative consultation’ given how it has been used to legalize and legitimize infringement on our territories by states, international financial institutions, as well as human rights organizations who distort the spirit of good faith implicit in peoples’ fundamental and collective rights, referenced in the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Oligarchies, transnational corporations, allied governments and international financial organizations attempt to justify the violence, dispossession, and destruction of the environment and all forms of life by spreading terror through assassinations and the criminalization of environment and human rights defenders. Defenders are subject to psychological torture through stigmatization and the ways in which corporations impose their megaprojects, such as monoculture agribusiness, mining, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, geothermal projects, pipelines, fracking and biosphere reserves on our territories. All of this serves to justify the false discourse of development, supposedly to “get us out of poverty” – a discourse that, to date, has not been demonstrated in reality. Instead, we have experienced violent dispossession and destruction of our territories. At this gathering, we reaffirm our spirituality in defense of our territories, as well as toward the historic and cultural unity of our peoples.

History is made by the men and women who live in unequal conditions and who fight in defence of territory and for the culture of their people. We call on everyone to recognize the importance of involving men and women in the struggle with equality.

We declare ourselves in the defence of children and youth in emancipatory processes for our peoples, while condemning all forms of criminalization of protest. To this end, this space is open for youth to participate in processes of organizing and education.

We call on all peoples and organizations to build a common front at this crossroads, taking up once again our own processes of self-determination to work toward good living, buen vivir, for our peoples. 

We urge communities to not play the game of transnational extractivist companies.

Capitalism brings death and destroys the environment.

From PERU to CANADA, state-regulated consultations have no place!

Mesoamerican Movement Against the Mining Extractivist Model – M4 –