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LATIN AMERICA
Global March for Mother Earth
10/23/2009
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Thousands march to defend the planet.

Thousands of people marched around Latin America Oct. 12-16 in the Minga Global por la Madre Tierra, a worldwide march against contamination, the merchandizing of life and nature, militarization, and the criminalization of protests.

The initiative was launched by indigenous organizations during the World Social Forum in January 2009, in Belem, Brazil.

“The Earth is a living thing and it´s seriously ill,” said the protests call. “Without [Earth] there would be no life, because she´s oxygen and water and with that the forests and rains let living things live. But we´re having a terrible effect.”

In addition to demonstrations and marches, the International Climate Justice Tribunal held its first session Oct. 13-14 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where seven cases were heard, including the impacts of the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America, and the heavy metal contamination in the Peruvian mining cities of Cerro de Pasco and La Oroya. The Tribunal, founded during the Fourth Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Abya Yala ("Latin America" in the indigenous Kuna language of Panama) in May, is composed of indigenous leaders and specialists from Argentina, Chile, the United States, El Salvador, Holland, Ireland, Peru and Puerto Rico.

The Tribunal, in a nonbinding verdict, found that the seven reviewed cases showed that the rights to safety, health, water, food, basic living conditions, free determination, culture, property, a safe environment, and others were being violated.

The body rejected false, “merchandized” solutions to climate change and the generation of debt to overcome the climate crisis.
—Latinamerica Press.


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