During the III Continental Assembly of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations, CLOC-Vía Campesina, from November 29 to December 1, 2022, the Magazine of the National Association of Small Farmers of ANAP conducted an interview with comrade Francisca “Pancha” Rodríguez Huerta, from the National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women – ANAMURI Chile, founder of CLOC-Vía Campesina.
We share an excerpt from the interview that contextualizes the founding of CLOC-Vía Campesina and the struggle for a new constitution in Chile.
La Via Campesina and its revolutionary proposal
Thirty years ago, we lived on the continent in a different situation from most Latin American countries. We were in a military dictatorship and in Central America, in a guerrilla war. There were situations that were different, and despite that we managed to generate an alliance instance that cost us. However, there was such a solid political conviction that it allowed and led us to sacrifice, to unity. Shaping these movements requires sacrifice. There were still very solid class principles.
La Vía Campesina made a proposal at the first World Food Summit, when the governments of the world met, to face this scourge of hunger and make its action plan around food security very well managed within the WTO itself. However, the reactions in those moments of those peasants who were meeting perhaps for the first time, or who had already been to the Vía Campesina Conference in Mexico, and we had raised the need to fight for Food Sovereignty as a right of the peasants and with that flag we came to Rome and a proposal was launched to the world; In my perception, it is a revolutionary proposal.
It was not just a proposal for us to continue producing food. It was a proposal to the world in the face of a right that permeates all of humanity, the right to food and the responsibility of peasants to be the artisans of this important craft, as noble as it is to produce food for humanity.
A new constitution in Chile and the youth for the right to food
After the pandemic, we achieved the drafting of a new constitution: removing Pinochet’s constitution. Within this constitutional process, ANAMURI was at the forefront. It was a vanguard because we participated in the election, we had our candidates, we held our conventions, we made proposals, we mobilized across the country.
Although we were in a pandemic, we woke up explaining to people what our claim was about, our right to food based on food sovereigntyHow we defend peasant agriculture, rurality, the laws that must guarantee workers, the social function of the land, the struggle for water. It’s hubo that explain it with pears and manzanas because our constituents were young people with much love and pasión but without a political experience, without an organic formation that means to look at this not as a process where I see the bell that is the life that has to rule for us how many years.
The most beautiful constitution ever made
We all thought it was the most beautiful constitution that was ever made, and I still think the people’s constitution is the most beautiful constitution that was ever made. These 50 years will be painful because they will have to relive some moments, but people have to know. This young man has to meet him, because this wonderful young man, because we young people are like that. I was a young man from the popular government and when you started to see what we did, we would say how we differed from this other youth that is more technological, but with the same passion, with the same devotion, with the same dedication and with the same dream. We were sleepy, today’s youth is deprived of having the dreams we had.
This interview was granted by Revista de la National Association of Small Farmers – ANAP during the III Continental Assembly by the Latin American Coordinator of Rural Organizations, CLOC-Vía Campesina from November 29 to December 1, 2022, at the Niceto Perez Integral Center, Guira de Melena, Artemisa, Cuba.