The alternative People’s Summit staged in Peru alongside the official VIII Summit of the Americas has come to a close, after two days of debating the ‘political, social and economic reality’ of Latin America.
People Trump Politics in Peru’s Progressive People’s Summit
In a Final Declaration released late Saturday night, the summit’s organizers said the event had brought together a vast array of social movements, including labor unions, feminist organizations, Indigenous groups, environmentalists and civil society.
"We find ourselves again in a scenario of confrontation and struggle in our America, between the forces of neoconservatism of the submissive elites and the social, popular, progressive and leftist forces," the statement reads.
Billed as an alternative to the Summit of the Americas, which was this year marred by political infighting and U.S. President Donald Trump’s airstrikes against Syria, the progressive People’s Summit was widely perceived as a superior event.
"The People’s Summit has been the ideal framework to give important debates, exchange experiences, strengthen the solidarity of our struggles and maintain the spirit of resistance and fight against capitalism," the declaration continues.
"The neoliberal airs blow again in the continent, the policies to advance the deregulation of employment are generalized, progress in dismantling public pension schemes, promoting austerity policies aimed at dismantling social protection programs, negotiations are revived for new Free Trade Agreements."
In light of the current challenges faced by Latin American leaders, the People’s Summit organizers announced several calls to action, including a rejection of neoliberal policies.
Femicide, which has reached alarming levels across the continent, was rejected, along with the culture of impunity that accompanies it. The organizers also decried the criminalization of social activism, along with the religious fundamentalism sweeping the continent.
Special mention was reserved for Brazil’s former President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, jailed last week on corruption charges despite maintaining his innocence: "We express our unwavering solidarity with fellow President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, who faces today all the apparatus of judicial politics and the hatred of Brazilian elites, for being the leader of the oppressed and excluded."
Cuba’s Revolution also warranted a mention: "The Cuban revolution continues to be, in spite of the aggressions and the difficulties, the best example of dignity, which makes it an example to follow. We demand therefore the end of the criminal economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United States against Cuba as strongly demanded by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as the immediate return of the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. military base in Guantanamo."
And the organizers expressed their "unwavering solidarity" with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela: "We strongly condemn imperialist aggression, economic war and political harassment against Bolivarian Venezuela."
Regarding Bolivia’s claim against Chile for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean, the summit organizers encouraged both nations to reach a peaceful solution through dialogue.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to Mexico was condemned as "racist and xenophobic," while the Honduras elections of last year were dismissed as an act of "blatant fraud."
Colombia‘s government, meanwhile, was ordered to fully implement the Havana peace accords; return to the negotiating table with the ELN, and put a halt to the murder of social activists.