autogestión vecinal

Social Production of Habitat
and Neo-liberalism:
the Capital of People

vs. the Misery of Capital
Montevideo, 1 / 6 de october 2001

Federación Uruguaya de Cooperativas de Viviendas por Ayuda Mutua
Unified Federation of Uruguayan Mutual Aid Housing Cooperatives
Secretaría Latinoamericana de Vivienda Popular
Coalición Internacional del Hábitat
Habitat International Co-alition



  Statement of Montevideo

(English translator: Soledad Domínguez / vecinet-notici@s)

Inhabitants of Latin America,

In Montevideo, during the first week of October, 2001, we, the delegations of several countries of our continent, have agreed that the future can and must be lived with dignity.

In the last decades, concerned inhabitants and technicians of the continent have built up millions of square meters of cities, have extended community service networks and collective equipment.
We have worked to create safe and healthy spaces and, as far as possible, we changed arid land into pleasant places.

We have progressively built up Life in urban areas, using our knowledge and cultures, with our memories on our shoulders. We have progressively accumulated generations and generations of callous hands, always ready to fight in defense of our place in the world. 

We have also learned to look at each other and to recognize ourselves, and also to look at the rest of the world as a way to feel it closer and come to know it best.

However, for our governments we are just statistics, objects for clientalism, o merely the poor, pobretones, pelones, lixo da periferia, guasos, rotos, faces without name, persons without papers who can be thrown from the national elections feast to violent eviction without intermediate stages.

The expansive neo-liberal wave has ravaged years and years of work accumulated by our peoples. The market, which has become master of the universe, fixes the rules of the game, distorting any reference to our own history and particular features.

The Empire is still the empire. The incipient regional articulations are absorbed by the voracity of the FTAA. Our veins are still open, draining our wealth towards the metropolis, impoverishing our peoples up to unknown levels. Four thousand children die every day in our continent, three out of four families are unemployed or are in the verge of losing their jobs. By midnight today, twenty thousand evictions will have been carried out. It means people left in the street to die of cold, hunger, o simply without any apparent cause, right under the nose of accomplice sepoy governments. 

Today the Western and scarcely Christian world is preparing for war, combat rites are celebrated and bayonets are fixed everywhere. And not very far from the CNN cameras, arms traffickers count their profit minute by minute. It is shameful that this display was not made on the occasion of the genocides committed by Videla, Pinochet, Stroessner, the secular infamy of the Condor Plan. 
We too have lost many brothers and sisters beneath the ruins, and we are still looking for them, without sophisticated equipment, just wearing white handkerchiefs on white-haired heads.

We, the Inhabitants and technicians participating in this meeting, are celebrating Hope. We celebrate the commitment of ratifying the role of the National State as the articulator of the policies and decisions related to the needs of people. We reject the compulsory expropriation carried out by privatizing interests.

We demand that prioritary attention is drawn to the provision of substantial factors for life, as health, education and housing. 
We emphasize Work as a fundamental factor, as creator of life and dignity, as a dynamic factor of economies and as irreplaceable criterion for a fair distribution of wealth.

We, the Inhabitants assembled in Montevideo, are rediscovering our capacities as builders, and will promote an exemplary consultation through the Working Group about the social production of habitat. In the short term, such group, coordinated through the Coalición Internacional del Hábitat and with offices in Mexico, will address a systematization of our continent's experiences and will aim at increasing the visibility of our proposals. In the next Foro Social Mundial de Porto Alegre our voice will be heard, and we will hold a new meeting to draw conclusions. 

In order to go ahead in our struggle we must learn of our daily practice. In order to fight exclusion and misery we must take the offensive both in the strategic and the ideological fields. For that purpose we intend to develop SELVIP, our action tool, strengthening the whole structure, from the grassroots to any new future articulations that may be developed. 
We have approved the creation of an International Ideological Training School, that will contribute substantially to develop organizational processes of inhabitants, will allow intensive experience exchange, and will enable us to take the offensive in the field of ideas and the generation of sense and culture. 

Today a week of hard work finishes, and we return to our daily combat places. But the discovery of new horizons and the confirmation of our certainties have made us stronger. 
History has not ended, quite on the contrary, the struggles of workers inside and outside factories and workshops continue to feed historical cycles, and we have assigned ourselves the duty of accumulating and building Popular Power. We intend to build a new hegemony, an Alternative Popular Block led by workers, that opens the way to a better society. Let's go ahead to defeat corruption, cynism and hypocrisy. Let's be clear at outlining our strategy and do not let us cheat by deceitful speeches calling to improve capitalism. Only a radical transformation of the current order can guarantee solidary and democratic coexistence, the constitution of a society based on fair values and love to life and nature.

We hoist the flag of Utopia, with deep certainty of being thousand and thousand all over the continent. With the quiet confidence of those who ratify their work and compromise.

We, Latin American Inhabitants, are building democratic and sustainable cities, as we go ahead in the construction of a noble and generous collective ideal. 

We leave this seminar with the commitment of going ahead. We have a working agenda and will work without rest for the achievement of our goals. As the Comandante Che Guevara said:

"The only way of promoting duties is to go ahead of them, to set an example of how they are to be done, and not to tell from behind how they should be done".

Compañeros of Latin America, our continent has been our house and it will continue to be so. 
This is our struggle and it will continue to be so. This is our Unity and we will continue building it day by day.


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Edición Internet 2001: Guillermo Font

Guillermo Font - ELECTRICISTA
correoCorreo Electrónico:
Montevideo - URUGUAY