Representatives of the organizations of La Vía Campesina including the ATC are currently on their way to Bilbao, Basque Country for the 7th International Conference of La Vía Campesina.
As part of the pre-conference activities, Fausto Torrez of the ATC and CLOC-VC Central America and Erika Takeo of Friends of the ATC visited Cerro Libertad. Located in Jaén, Andalucía, Cerro Libertad is 75 hectares (185 acres) of land that has been recently liberated for the peoples of Andalucia through an organized occupation led by LVC organization SOC-SAT. The occupation began on April 1st of 2017 to commemorate one year of unjust imprisonment of local activist Andrés Bodalo.
During the past 5 years, this land was in speculation by the bank BBVA. It did nothing with the property to support the community or the land, leaving the few thousand olive trees covered in weeds and with disease, letting the olives fall to rot each year, plus neglecting the farm infrastructure. SOC-SAT proposes to use the land in service of the people rather than interests of capital: the collective living at the farm and visiting regularly has been planting and harvesting from an agroecological vegetable garden, taking care of farm animals, tending to the olive trees, and cleaning up the large house so that it can be a gathering and living space.
During our visit to Cerro Libertad, we participated in an assembly of SOC-SAT as part of their preparation for the 7th Conference of LVC. Topics discussed were the history of LVC’s conferences, land, seeds, and migration. While there are differences between Europe and Latin America, we shared many common struggles against capitalism and for food sovereignty.
Thank you to the communities of Cerro Libertad and SOC-SAT for receiving us, sharing in dialogue, and feeding us delicious food from your farms. Hasta la victoria, siempre!