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On July 20-21, the Forum on Communication for Integration of Our America held a coordination meeting in Quito. The Forum is a convergence space for communication networks and social movements of Latin America and the Caribbean, engaged with the advancement of integration of the peoples of the region as a necessary condition for regional autonomy, sovereignty, democracy and peace. At its close, the meeting emitted the following declaration.
In the midst of aggression from external and internal factors, designed to impede the process of regional unity, the Forum on Communication for Integration of Our America reaffirms its commitment and decision to advance towards the integration of our peoples.
At the same time, we welcome and celebrate the incorporation of new movements and media outlets in this common effort to build a Latin American and Caribbean identity.
While in November 2013, it was important that as a group of social movements and organizations, together with community, alternative and popular media outlets and networks, we decided to create a strategic alliance, today the more recent history of our region indicates that such a step is even more critical and urgent, in the face of the renewed intent of de facto powers, including media monopolies, to overthrow legitimate and democratic processes in various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
It is necessary to consolidate mechanisms of interrelation with different players in the process of regional unity, including governments and integration bodies, so as to stimulate the multiplication of forums of people’s participation.
Building the process of integration requires participation from the ground up of social, cultural, political and economic actors, since we consider fundamental to incorporate entities of the popular economy, peasant and family farmers, workers, youth, native peoples and other expressions of people’s organization.
We reaffirm the necessary adoption and implementation of norms that recognize communication as a right and guarantee its democratization under equal conditions and opportunities, for the public/state, private/commercial and community/non-profit sectors. We underline the relevance of including these issues on the agendas of each and every mechanism of regional integration.
Aware that only the integration of our peoples can guarantee sovereignty – including food sovereignty, as well as at the political, technological, cultural knowledge, territorial, economic and productive levels –, our challenge is for the Forum on Communication for Integration of Our America to become a communications reference point of these processes.
Therefore, for the Forum, it is fundamental:
- To accompany, promote and disseminate, as a central component of our media agenda, information on the processes of integration, collaboration, complementation, political advocacy and mobilization of popular protagonists of the region.
- Through a concrete plan under the banner of democratizing communication, to assume our decision to become actors and promoters of all processes of integration in defence of the great homeland (CELAC, UNASUR, ALBA, CAN, CARICOM, SICA, MERCOSUR).
- To support the initiative of UNASUR to complete the South American Optic Fibre Ring, as well as the creation and adjustment of norms and public policies designed both to guarantee cyber security and cyber rights and to democratize the access to and social ownership of Internet, as a way to form currents of opinion and critical thinking.
- To continue to act in the dispute around governance of the Internet, forging alliances to prevent the corporative sector from making it a factor of domination, and joining the call for an Internet Social Forum. To participate actively in the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil.
- To put forward proposals in concrete situations in the face of tensions, attacks, advances and conquests of the processes of regional integration, with the perspective of contributing to public opinion and the perceptions of our citizens.
- To maintain as on-going elements of our agenda, issues such as Our America as a zone of peace, the permanent denunciation of efforts to destabilize popular governments in the region, the continuing blockade against Cuba, the signing of free trade agreements and the criminalization of social movements; and support for the Bolivarian revolution and the peace process in Colombia, the campaign for the withdrawal of Minustah troops from Haiti, and the agenda of gender in the region.
- To advance in the training of communicators of our region, putting the theme of integration at the centre of the debate, through the development of various instruments such as seminars, videoconferences, workshops, courses, public debates, for which we invite and urge the participation of our universities, study centres and governments.