03 febrero, 2012

Small brooks make the great river of life

Since the morning of Friday the 9th of November on which, together with the village moving from Cajamarca, we organized the Great National Water March. Many social organizations, defense fronts, numerous groups of citizens, university students, artists, associations, democratic parties and liberalists, just like little brooks, were moving and increasing in number to form part of the March in order to defend the right to water.

There are diverse actions initiated all over the country: preparation and spread of posters, chants and drawings; organization of meetings; the scheduling of vigils and prayers in evangelic and catholic churches; article writing; murals; demonstrations; cultural events; sending of hundreds of electronic communications in order to gain more and more participants; expression of interesting messages, announcements and ideas via social networks; spreading of artistic photos, creative videos and testimonials as they show the battle of the Andean villages for water.

All of those are citizens’ initiatives who fully support the noble fight of the village of Cajamarca which is defending itself from the aggression coming from the Conga Mines, which affirms that water is an intrinsic human right. Recently in Lima, there was a meeting of more than 70 delegates from various regions, unions and groups of citizens from the whole country. The spirit was of brotherhood, solidarity and commitment to defending the right to water in the context of climate change which makes the poor more vulnerable.

The agreements that were made, were marked y the generosity of those who came together to support the cause of the social movement which claims its right to be consulted, respected and heard in the decisions about its development model ; its socially fair participation in economic growth; the prohibition of the headwaters mining and the mining of cyanide and mercury which causes a lot of damage to soil and water, and also so much harm to those who try to defend it, as they are being slandered, persecuted, reported, repressed, imprisoned, wounded and in some cases even killed as it has happened in Piura, Cajamarca and the Tambo Valley.

The March for Water will start from the lagoons of Cajamarca on the 1st of February and will get to Lima on Thursday the 9th and will finish there on Saturday the 11th, with the installation of the National Water Justice Forum, which purpose is to discuss publically and programmatically the problem of water and to propose laws and policies which will be propelled from then on.

The exclusive, racist and corrupt sectors of the country are going to try to do anything that is possible to discredit the character of the March for Water, looking for ways to create confusion and anxiety so that the Gran Lima stays in coma and doesn’t show its solidarity with the marching villages.

We cannot permit that the creators of fright and fear paralyse the solidarity of Lima! The character of the March is completely peaceful, broad, democratic and even festive.

None of the organizations and citizens that we summon, is coming with suspicion or hidden interest, but what they come with is hope for a change, willingness to work and contribute, by bringing more and more citizens, promoting minka [1] that multiple knowledge and capacities of the people of the Amazon, the mountains and coast unite and hands to build awareness and a new political attitude: in which the defense of human dignity and respect for environmental rights and all living creatures that are taken in by Pachamama, we feel actively and undeniably committed, knowing that in Peru, we cannot permit ourselves the luxury of living without defending water and land and to turn our backs on its hoarding, destruction or contamination as it has been happening.

The participants of the March will become watchmen so that the March doesn’t become infiltrated by those who propagate injustice, abuse, corruption, either from the companies, political groups that advocate violence, or even from groups of citizens legitimately indignant at the hard situation that they had to face, that made them feel tired of waiting. It is the latter that us the marchers, want to bring back the hope to.

We know that the act of defending life expressed by the citizens, like the March for Water, cannot, in any way, justify the use of violence, that is why we want to state that we refuse that some of the mainstream media in the capital spread misinterpretations and calumnies which have well planned political objectives: to delegitimize, discredit, and permit that the abuse against the poorest villages and the destruction of the Mother Earth and water continues.

Thinking of those who unfairly criticize the villages that defend the right to the water, we declare that the organizers and those who carry out the March, are driven by democratic values that are shared with the majority of Peruvians: the unlimited defense of the human rights, the territorial rights of the indigenous villages and rural communities, the necessity to decentralize and strengthen the power of municipality, the necessity of broader environmental awareness, the fight against discrimination, racism and all forms of social exclusion, the respect for the cultural, artistic, sexual and ethnic diversity; the fight against corruption, the respect for freedom of worship in a secular state and all the remaining values that contribute to the enrichment and deepen democracy.

Given that we need to coordinate actions, foster the emergence of good will of the people, together with creativity and spontaneity that has been growing in strength to make the March successful, we call for you to get in touch, issue, support in various ways, actively participate with your organizations, family members and friends, to join this citizens’ initiative in solidarity with the battle of the village of Cajamarca. As there are many tasks planned, we are hoping for a lot of generosity, availability, trust and friendship involved in the response.

Our march is not a form of sacrifice, on the contrary it is a way to express joy, the feeling of hope, along with all those people who know that only by making ourselves walk surrounded by others with the same aim, we will go the way for a better country for the future generations. That is why we inscribe the March in the spirit of the construction of a new country, challenging the pessimism of those who believe that everything has been lost.

The March walkers know that there is yet much more to win and it mustn’t be stopped by greed, selfishness, indifference and especially not by those who have held the political and economic power and who still now manipulate the mainstream media in order to defend the interests of the small groups that are in power.

A country that is more faire, brotherly and supportive decided to march, as the goal to defense water together with Pachamama lead, inspire and unite them. Welcome to the GREAT NATIONAL WATER MARCH, each one of you will form a part of the small springs and streams which feed the big river that gives us life and brings back hope.

Marco Arana
National Coordinator of the Water March
Peru, 2012

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