President Evo Morales to play football game during EU-LAC Summit

13 May 2008
The People's Summit starts promoting integration alternatives based on Justice, Solidarity and Peace
In a theatre of the National Engineering University packed to the seams with people, preventing many others from entering, the People’s Summit Linking Alternatives 3 began today in Lima, Peru. During the event, it was revealed that the Bolivian President Evo Morales, as part of activities of the event will play a football game on Thursday 15 May with the Peruvian national team who played in the World Cup in Mexico in 1970. Around three thousand people, from various countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union, gathered from early on at the university to attend the inauguration of the alternative summit, whose activities will continue until 16 May. Inaugurating the event, the coordinator of the People’s Summit, Rosa Guillén, said that the summit planned to construct alternatives to neoliberalism in order to create a new world based on solidarity, justice and peace. “Neoliberalism is exactly the opposite. It has brought more hunger and increased existing inequalities between both continents and provoked wars,” she said. Colombian senator, Jorge Enrique Robledo, from the party “Polo Democrático”, said that the prevailing economic model “aims to impose the idea that unequal relations between capitalist countries and less developed countries is inevitable”. He also stated that food security in the hands of multinational companies “has only generated famine in many parts of the world.” His comments were backed by Francisca Rodríguez, from the movement, Vía Campesina International, who called for an end to the production of agrofuels, which have provoked an increase in food prices worldwide. The Bolivian Ambassador to Peru, Franz Solano, surprised everyone with the announcement that on 15 May that President Evo Morales will participate in a friendly football match with the Peruvian team that took part in the World Bank in Mexico in 1970. The announcement was strongly applauded. “The Brussels Consensus is the new Washington Consensus, and has started a new period of neocolonialism,” said Brid Brennan from the Transnational Institute. She warned that the Lisbon Treaty, which will not be ratified by a referendum in any European country, except Ireland, will lead to Europe closing itself even more to less developed countries. Mario Palacios, from the Peruvian Movement of Communities affected by Mining (CONACAMI), called for the recognition of the historical, social and ecological debt that Europe owes to the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. The demand is part of the declaration of the Continental Indigenous Summit. On the issue of criminalisation of social protests, which has extended to many different countries as a result of the prevailing neoliberal model, European MEP Helmut Harkov said that political differences must be resolved via political means and not based on military intervention. “We have come here to discuss ideas. We want a just trade and a just politics. Another world is possible.” For Roberto de la Cruz, from the Peruvian Social and Political Coalition, the holding of the People’s Summit is a defeat for the Alan Garcia government in Peru, who tried to block it. Other participants highlighted how the meeting would fight for the respect for workers’ rights. During the inauguration, a cultural group Altomisayok held a ceremonial ritual in which they highlighted the unity of people with the cosmos. This afternoon, the People’s Tribunal will start with an examination of the case of Majaz, an English mining company, accused of environmental contamination in Peru. The day will end with a cultural political event in which guitarist Manuelcha Prado will play, as well as other groups including traditional folk music, and the Cuban music of José Ordaz. Lima, 13 May 2008 More information: Nick Buxton: +51 (051) 951 856 989 Tom Kucharz: +51 (1) 989 487 238 Christine Pohl: +51 (1) 989 509 197 Claudia Torrelli: +51 (1) 989 486 567 Lieven Pype: +51 (1) 993 637 727