International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers Fifth International Meeting

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From the 2nd to the 5th of November 2017, about 20 delegates from 5 regions of La Via Campesina (South America, Central America, Caribbean, North America and Europe) met in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for the meeting of the International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers.

The first day opened with a mística organized by four indigenous communities from the Mexican state of Chihuahua and other parts of the country. Members of these communities are rarely considered migrant workers despite the fact that they travel to work often precarious jobs in the city. In the middle of the esplanade in front of the cultural center of Ciudad Juárez, four altars (one per community) were built, divided by a cross symbolizing the four cardinal directions. Each community performed their traditional ceremony for the Day of the Dead, and ended blessing each participant individually. Eventually, they shared with us a delicious mole, a traditional Mexican dish made of a cocoa sauce.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of each organization’s work on migration and rural workers. The official inauguration took place on the second day with the participants of La Via Campesina, as well as with members of the organizing committee from Ciudad Juárez. That afternoon and the next morning, participants worked in round tables on 6 topics about migration: Food Sovereignty and Migration, Human Rights and Peasant Rights, Climate Crisis Migrants and Refugees, Politics, Migrations and Forced Displacement, Migration and City, Walls and Borders, Why and For What? The conclusions and proposals that came out of these work groups were discussed in plenary to be approved for the final declaration.

The last day, the delegates of La Via Campesina attended two events: 1) an open meeting with the mayor of Ciudad Juárez and braceros in front of the Benito Juárez Monument in the city center and 2) a lecture about the declaration of the wall separating Mexico and the United States. Accompanied by some musicians, friends of the host organization, Border Farm Workers Project painted a picture on the wall representing the U.S. flag upon which the letters KKK and the number 45 (number of the actual president Trump) were crossed out. This was a very powerful moment and it will not easily be forgotten.

For more information about this event visit:

https://viacampesina.org/en/fifth-international-encounter-of-migrations-and-wage-work-kicks-off-in-ciudad-juarez-mexico/

https://viacampesina.org/es/la-frontera-los-pequenos-agricultores-enfrentan-grandes-problemas-migracion-cambio-climatico-politica-alimentaria/

 


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