First Meeting of Peoples and Organizations of Abya Yala concludes in Bolivia

The meeting of Indigenous organizations, social movements and trade unions from 11 countries of the region concluded with a call for the creation of a new regional integration mechanism: the Union of South American Nations of the People

December 21, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Bolivian president Luis Arce and former president Evo Morales inaugurated the first ‘Meeting of Peoples and Organizations of Abya Yaya towards the construction of a Plurinational America’ at the headquarters of UNASUR in the town of San Benito, in the Cochabamba department, Bolivia, on December 18. Photo: Evo Morales/Twitter

The first ‘Meeting of Peoples and Organizations of Abya Yala towards the Construction of a Plurinational America’ concluded in Bolivia on December 19, with a call for the creation of RUNASUR or the Union of South American Nations of the People. RUNASUR is a newly proposed mechanism for the integration of the Indigenous people, peasants and workers of Abya Yala. Abya Yala is the term used by the Indigenous peoples in the region to refer to the American continent.

The conference was held on December 18 & 19, at the headquarters of UNASUR in the town of San Benito, in the Cochabamba department, Bolivia. The meeting was joined by around 1,200 representatives of several Indigenous organizations, social movements and trade unions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. The call for the international event was given by former Bolivian President Evo Morales, together with various Indigenous and peasant organizations and trade unions from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

The main objective of the conference was the consolidation of RUNASUR and the strengthening of existing regional integration mechanisms such as Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). RUNASUR is expected to be launched in April of next year in Bolivia.

Likewise, themes such as building an alliance of media and communications initiatives and exchanging ideas on the well-being of all human beings and our planet in the face of increasing capitalist onslaught on the environment were also discussed.

Indigenous leader Evo Morales, during the inauguration of the event, highlighted that the meeting “is of great importance for integration because history and Mother Earth call us to fight for the liberation of our people.” Morales said that the aim of the meeting was the unification and liberation of the continent, based on ‘plurinationalism’ that “reflects the diversity of cultural identities, harmonious coexistence with Mother Earth and the reconstitution of ancestral wisdom.”

Similarly, in the closing speech, Morales stressed on the need to bring structural changes and build a new world with the unity of social movements and rural workers. He emphasized on the need to defend Mother Earth and build trade relations between countries on the principles of complementarity and solidarity, rather than competitiveness.

During the culmination of the event, the organizations of the continent agreed to make efforts to change from the uninational state model to the plurinational state model, inspired by the one that was founded in Bolivia in 2009.

The organizations vowed to fight against all forms of colonialism, imperialism, neoliberalism and capitalism.

The Meeting of People and Organizations of Abya Yala expressed their support for the people and government of Venezuela as well as for President Nicolás Maduro and the parliamentary elections held on December 6. The organizations rejected all types of foreign interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs and condemned the economic and commercial blockade and arbitrary sanctions against the country.

The Peoples and Organizations of Abya Yala called on the people of the world to defend water and other natural resources and protest their commercialization and privatization.

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