Grassroots International partner La Via Campesina, a global network of peasant, family farmer and small producer movements more than 100 million strong, and with members in Haiti issued this call for solidarity with Haitians including the peasant population. This is significant, as we hear of and see massive outmigration by survivors from Port-au-Prince and other earthquake-affected areas, to their rural areas of origin, which are in turn facing the challenges of caring for and rehabilitating those returning.
La Via Campesina International peasant movement Jln. Mampang Prapatan XIV no 5 Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta 12790 Indonesia Tel/fax: +62-21-7991890/+62-21-7993426 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Solidarity with the people of Haití Dear colleagues and friends:
Through this letter, we communicate our deepest sympathy and solidarity with the Haitian people who are now dealing with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that caused thousands of deaths, wounded and missing. We share our sorrow over the disaster and send an embrace of solidarity to the Haitian people, and especially our friends of La Via Campesina in Haiti. We hope that they will overcome this terrible situation. Referring to history we recall the strength and determination of the people of Haiti who were the first in America to abolish slavery in a definite way.
We cannot overemphasize and denounce that the effects of any natural catastrophe are always far more acute in the context of impoverishment, vulnerability and exclusion. We understand that these forces of nature are not controllable or predictable and that they are not the responsibility of the international community. But the question is: How is it possible that the same international community continues to perpetuate global structures and policies that are unjust and inequitable, structures and policies that lead to greater vulnerability and effectively multiply the destructive effects and the number of victims of natural disaster such as the earthquake in Haiti? La Via Campesina calls urgently for international solidarity with the people of Haiti with the intention to channel much needed financial support collected through social movements in that country, more concretely through the Haitian peasant organizations that are part of the international peasant movement.