Cochabamba Manifesto

2006-12-11 00:00:00

We salute this important historic moment which opens with the Summit of Cochabamba, which holds the challenge of deepening a process of regional integration which expresses the peoples’ interests.

The peoples of America have suffered from the application of an economic model which is based on market fundamentalism, privatisation and free trade, which has led to a growth in inequality, the deterioration of labour conditions, unemployment, the spread of informal-sector work, degradation of the environment, deepening discrimination against women, poverty, marginalisation of indigenous and rural communities and the loss of State capacity to promote development and economic policies.

With the aim of widening and deepening these policies, there were attempts to create the Free Trade Agreement of America (FTAA) and regional Free Trade Agreements, by which Governments abandoned any attempt at autonomous development based on the internal market which respect all human, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights.

The peoples of the Continent have been protagonists of a struggle against this model, contributing decisively to stopping FTAA and agreements between countries which privilege trade and the interests of multinationals.

This growing organisation of popular movements in South America includes indigenous communities, small-scale farmers, marginalised inhabitants of cities, women, young people, students, workers together with all the social organisations. They have defined this new political and social moment which is advancing in the formation of new governments sensitive to popular demands, who distance themselves from the agenda of the US Government and corporations and who seek their own path. This political time which South America is living offers an historical opportunity, which we can’t miss, to advance towards a true sovereign integration for the peoples.

The South American Community of Nations can not be an extension of the free trade model based on the exports of basic goods and natural resources, indebtedness and the unequal distribution of wealth.

The creation of a real South American Community of Nations can not be a process which excludes popular demands, therefore it needs an authentic social participation.

We consider that we need another type of integration in which cooperation prevails over competition, the rights of its peoples over commercial interests, food sovereignty over agroindustry, the actions of the State in providing wellbeing over privatisation, a sense of equity over the desire for profits, respect for the environment instead of the looting of natural resources and gender equity rather than sexual division of work. We also must prioritise the recognition, respect and promotion of indigenous communities’ contributions rather than the marginalisation, exploitation and conversion into folklore of their values and economic and traditional traditions.

The Community must be a promoter of peace and a guarantor of peoples’ human rights; and against imperial pretensions, opposed to the interference of troops, the installation of foreign military bases and the participation of occupying forces in third countries.

The efforts to construct a Community of South American Nations will only bear fruit, if we change the type of development and defend the sovereignty of nations

The peoples of the Continent will continue to promote integration, by and for the peoples, participating with our own demands and proposals.

We are willing to promote dialogue which leads to real results, maintaining our struggles of resistance which ensure the protagonism of popular movements in the process of integration, promoting true democracy and well-being for our peoples.

For the Integration of the Peoples, Another America is possible.