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Calling in the Defense of Water

Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua (COMDA) |

January 21-March 22, 2006

Social, peasant, indigenous, labor, student, urban, women and civil organizations, activists, academics and students, Mexicans and from abroad, and citizens interested in the water-problems our communities face, are all invited to participate in the Rallies in the Defense of Water.

In the face of the worrying situation in which millions of people do not have secure access to water nor sanitation, where contaminated water bodies poison our communities and ecosystems, and international organizations and multinational companies promote the privatization of sanitation and water supply services, in the context of the interest in profit above justice and the human rights, it is urgent that civil society denounces and cooperates in order to change this situation.

In view of the 4th World Forum on Water, to be celebrated in March 2006 in Mexico City, which articulates the interests of the multinational companies and the multilateral bank, Mexican organizations in coordination with international organizations suggest to carry out the Rallies in the Defense of Water.

Goals: To carry out a series of civil society activities about water with the aim to position a social, cultural and spiritual perspective in the political debate regarding the wide variety of problems related to water. This perspective defends the human right to water and its democratic, sustainable, just and equitable management.

The Rallies in the Defense of Water embody in a series of activities carried out between January and March 2006, coordinated by various organizations, which decided to agree on a common temporal and geographic program on the grounds of the following vindications and shared demands:

Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua (COMDA):

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, A.C. (CEMDA), Centro de Derechos Humanos "Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, A.C.", Centro Derechos Humanos "Fray Francisco de Vitoria, O.P.", A.C., Centro de Servicios Municipales "Heriberto Jara, A.C.", Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la Presa La Parota (CECOP), Coordinadora de Trabajadores en Defensa del Carácter Público del Agua, Equipo Pueblo, Espacio DESC, Frente Social por el Derecho al Agua, Food First Information and Action Network- México, Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, A.C. (IMDEC), Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos (MAPDER), Movimiento Urbano Popular belonging organizations: Unión de Colonias Populares (UCP), Unión de Colonias Populares Popular -Azcapotzalco (UCP-AZCAPOTZALCO), Organización Social "Patria Nueva", Movimiento de Lucha Popular, Movimiento de Unificación y Lucha Triqui (MULT), Cimentando Nuestra Vivienda (CINUVI), Asamblea Inquilinaria (AI), Asamblea de Barrios de la Ciudad de México, Asamblea de Barrios Vanguardia Ciudadana, Frente del Pueblo (FP), Colectivo de grupos de la Asamblea de Barrios, Unión de Vecinos de la Colonia Guerrero (UVCG), Unión Popular Valle Gómez (UPVG), Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata (UPREZ), Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata (UPREZ-CENTRO), Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata (UPREZ-BENITO JUÁREZ), Central Unica de Trabajadores (CUT);

Red de Género y Economía, Red de Género y Medio Ambiente, Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (AMAP) belonging organizations: CHIAPAS: Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas (CIEPAC), Organización Campesina Hermano Sol, Educación para la Paz (EDUPAZ); GUERRERO: Colectivo Estudiantil Rebelión, Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores-GRO. (PRT-GRO); OAXACA: Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec (CDHTT), Comité de Voluntarios para el Mejoramiento Ambiental (COVOMA), Centro para los Derechos de las Mujeres Naax Wiim (CDHMAAW), Grupo de Preservación Cultural Huave Mi Kualaj Xa Kabaj, Grupo de Trabajo Colectivo del Istmo (GTCI), Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo (UCIZONI), Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (CACTUS), Grupo Cultural "Nivi Ñuu; PUEBLA: Unión Campesina Emiliano Zapata "VIVE" (UCEZ"VIVE"), Centro de Derechos Humanos y Laborales del Valle de Tehuacan (CDHyLVT), Voces Nahuas de la Sierra Negra, Comisión de Derechos Humanos Takachihualis; TABASCO: Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista-Tabasco, Centro de Estudios Sto. Tomas; VERACRUZ: Frente Popular de Organizaciones del Sureste de Veracruz (FREPOSEV), Consejo Indígena de Uxpanapa (CIUX), Tsooka Teyoo de la Sierra, Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista-Veracruz (MAIZVER), Resistencia Civil Indígena y Popular contra las altas tarifas de la luz del Sur de Veracruz; BAJA CALIFORNIA: Corporación Corazón A. C. (COCOAC); D.F.: Revista La Guillotina, ANAD-DF; MICHOACAN: Organizaciòn para el Desarrollo A.C. (OSDAC); QUERETARO: Unión de Mujeres Indígenas Campesinas de Querétaro (UMICQ). NACIONALES: Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista (MAIZ), Asociación Nacional de Abogados Democráticos (ANAD).

Other Mexican organizations:

Asociación Ambientalista Guerreros Verdes A.C., Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos, A.C, CURLA Ciudadanos Unidos al Rescate de la Laguna de Acuitlapilco Tlaxcala, Consejo Mexicano para el Desarrollo Sustentable, Consejo Regional del Alto Lerma, Coordinadora del Movimiento Amplio Popular, Ecomunidades Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México, Reacciones Ambientales México, Red Ciudadana del Agua.

International organizations:

Asia-Water for the People Network, ATTAC Finland, Blue Planet Project, Campaña Agua para Todos, Campaña para el Derecho Humano al Agua de Pan para el Mundo Alemania, Corporate Europe Observatory, Council of Canadians, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth Canada, Friends of the Earth Finland, Friends of the Earth France, Friends of the Earth International, Fundación Heinrich Böll, Nacional Coalition Against Privatisation of Water Ghana, Oficina para América Latina de la Coalición Internacional para el Hábitat, Red VIDA, Transnational Institute, Water for the People Network-Philippines, World Development Movement

This calling is opened to new organizations willing to sing-up, please write to:

The Rallies in the Defense of Water

Previous and preparatory activities:

We have been preparing and carrying out workshops, fora and exhibits in different parts of Mexico in order to introduce the subject. Also we have elaborated didactic and informative materials about water problems to be used in the different events.

First National Assembly in Defense of the Land and the Water and against their Privatization.

The Rallies will start on January 21 and 22, 2006 in Mexico City with the National Assembly "In Defense of the Earth and the Water and against their Privatization". The organizers are the Movimiento Urbano Popular (Popular Urban Movement) and the Coordinadora de Trabajadores en Defensa del Carácter Público del Agua (Coordination of Workers in Defense of the Public Character of Water).

The assembly will be a popular event and the proposal is to have round-table discussions with the following topics:

  1. Human Right to Water and legal aspects on water issues. .
  2. Progress in the privatization, management systems and use of water.
  3. Service costs of water and the evolution of the tariffs.
  4. Pollution problems and the impact of water infrastructure on environment and communities.
  5. Use of public funds.
  6. Democratization of the service management.
  7. The role of women in the defense of water.
  8. Stand in face of the 4th World Forum on Water.

Academic-popular Seminar.

In the month of February the organization of a seminar has been planned, in which academicians dedicated to the water-subject, will debate and share points of view with interested citizens.

In a preliminary way the following issues are proposed: background of water management; private, public and communal water management; water conflicts (urban-rural contradictions); international water movements; alternative models; water and gender.

March 2006

In the course of the month of March different kinds of events will take place that form part of the Campaign:

  1. Discussion Forums.
  2. Spaces to make denouncements and to divulge them
  3. Press conferences.
  4. Mobilizations.
  5. Cultural and artistic expressions.
  6. International Forum in the Defense of Water.
  7. III National Encounter of the Mexican Movement Against Dams and in Favor of Rivers (MAPDER)

International Forum in the Defense of Water

Goals: To offer a medium of discussion, denouncement and generation of alternative proposals about different aspects of water among people from social movements, civil, peasants, women and indigenous organizations, trade unions, universities and activists from all over the world.

The central ideas preliminarily proposed to be discussed are:

  1. Environment, sustainability and ecology.
  2. Human Right to Water.
  3. Equitable access and justice.
  4. Privatization, public management and social control.
  5. Democratic management and social participation.
  6. Water in a rural environment.
  7. Water in an urban environment.

We also consider that extensive sectors with interest in the subject, such as: indigenous people, peasants, women and trade unionists can participate in the discussions in any of the mentioned topics, depending the point of view of their proposals or denunciations.

The International Forum will start on March 17, 2006 and will last three days, with a previous event on the 15th of March "Symposium on Best Practice in Public Water Delivery" organized by CEO, TNI and COMDA.

As more activities that follow this spirit are defined this calling will include them.

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