QUITO DECLARATION - October 12, 2009

Among the activities carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean, to mark the Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFIs and the Global Minga in Defense of Mother Earth, a number of movements and networks met in Quito in and "Inter-Network Assembly on Energy Projects as a cause of Criminalization and Ecological Debt.

The following Declaration was released in a public forum at the close of the Assembly, on October 12.



Between October 8th and 11th, 2009, in Quito, we, women and men from various organizations and networks, came together to listen, discuss and debate the close relationship between energy projects, external debt, ecological debt, climate change, dispossession of territories, repression and resistance.

During these days, we shared real solutions to the different crises, and we put on the table options and alternatives that can achieve the “living well” (buen vivir) and a “living well in coexistence” (buen convivir).

We ratify that capitalism would not have been possible without the looting, plunder and exploitation of our land, particularly of fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas.

We also affirm that in Latin American countries, as well as in other regions, national States, in the present context, assume a growing role as the planners and managers of this model, with similar features of extraction and exploitation of our land as the transnationals have had.

In this new scenario, the State has assumed a leading role in reproducing and deepening this same capitalist economic system. Different adjustment programs are being applied, now not only to insert our countries into world markets, but also to tackle energy insecurity in the North and ensure further accumulation due to climate change. To this end, a carbon market.and its programs are created, shifting the burden of the climate crisis onto the shoulders of communities in the South. All the initiatives for climate change mitigation, as well as adaptation plans, proposed from the logic of this market-based model, will result in new forms of domination and debt and an increase in the accumulated ecological debt which is owed to the peoples of the South and to nature.

Thus, state enterprises such as Petrobras and PDVSA are structuring alliances that allow them to expand their interests on the last frontier, affecting traditional communities and territories that have preserved and protected these natural sanctuaries.

In this context, and despite some progress in the strengthening of collective rights, environmental rights, and the recognition of Nature as a holder of rights - as in the case of Ecuador -, new legal structures are being built that allow for the implementation of development and extractive policies that destroy nature, and with it, cultures.

It is clear that the changes necessary for a profound transformation of the model are not being made. Such changes must place environmental justice at the core, meaning justice for peoples and justice for nature; they must also mean incorporating the demands and recognizing and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, traditional communities and local populations.

In this scenario, any criticism, opposition, or demand is censured and stigmatized. People are being prosecuted, and ways of living that offer real alternatives to this system are being repressed. Territories are being militarized, and private armies and security firms are being hired for these purposes. This is a criminalization of living well.

On the other hand, over recent years, in the face of official discourse that is anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist, and the strengthening of proposals for South-South integration, many political and social movements in the region are being conformed and demobilized.

Indeed, due to ignorance or pragmatism, some sectors of the left do not recognize the dangers represented by this developmentalism, this green capitalism, this market environmentalism. With their alignment or withdrawal, they permit the restructuring of the sectors of power and the retreading of a capitalism in crisis.

The extraction of oil and other fossil fuels is an impediment to starting on any new path. As a result, voices of opposition to this model and to hydrocarbon extraction projects are arising in various parts of the world. In this way, they are able to safeguard natural cycles and the survival of life on the planet.

These courageous, bold, and coherent proposals, protect territories and rights and address climate change. This is real climate justice!

The resistance of peoples of the South is a contribution to humanity, for it is a call to live in harmony with the earth, and to protect our health and water. They are the present and the future of the earth.

1. Strongly denounce new hydrocarbon and coal operations (both transnational and domestic firms); oppose gigantic projects like the Pre-sal in Brazil, to support national campaigns to leave the oil in the soil, to fight for an Oil-free Amazon.
2. Demand non-payment of illegitimate debts that have generated social and ecological debt and denounce new debts that would further increase them.
3. Work towards the recognition and claiming of the ecological debt caused by mining projects, oil and other extractive projects, as well as climate change.
4. Reject green capitalism projects such as the carbon market, REDDs mechanisms, agrofuels, the sale of environmental services, and, in this sense, the misrepresentation of claims to ecological debt and climate justice.
5. Oppose new mining projects that threaten the rights of peoples in the region.
6. Strengthen our work in supporting the defense of territories and the rights of peoples and of nature.
7. Denounce the militarization of Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions of the global South and the increasing repression of peoples who resist in defense of nature..Mobilize in support of processes of resistance to the capitalist model and demand respect for the right to resist.
8. Sustain processes of defense, construction and transformation necessary to ensure a “living well” (buen vivir), inspired by indigenous peoples, peasants, fisherpeople and afrodescendents, for a present and a future of transformation.


”The best allies of the people are people themselves.
¡Hay que ponerle corazón a todas las luchas! We must put our hearts into all our struggles!
Quito, Ecuador, October 12, 2009

- South Peoples’ Ecological Debt Creditors’ Alliance - SPEDCA
- Alliance for a Responsible, Pluralistic and Solidarity Economy – ALOE
- Friends of the Earth International- FASE, Brazil - FERN (UK)
- Jubilee South/Americas
- Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America -OCMAL
- Oilwatch Internacional
- Brazilian Network for Environmental Justice
- Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights
- Network for a GMO-Free Latin America - RALLT
- World Council of Churches- WCC
- World Rainforest Movement -WRM

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