Not Chile but Spain will host our Latin COP: We have some issues

2 December 2019

We want some
resonance. A resonance that could amplify Latin American perspectives, visions,
and challenges at this so-called “Latin COP”.

But here we are, yet
again in Europe €“ for another year. Here, we are leaving representatives from
different constituencies behind, in just another example of carelessness and
insensitivity to the people and peoples who have less capacity to respond. Does
it sound familiar? Regrettably, there is no time to get on a boat and sail
through the ocean and, sadly, our surnames are only Pérez, Gonzales or Mamani.

The change of the COP
venue and quick shift to another continent certainly can be seen as positive,
but in the world we envision “the end does not justify the means”. We
want to see more empathy and recognition of the consequences for people and
communities in Latin America and beyond.

It might be winter
here in Madrid, but ECO would encourage everyone to feel that it’s hot out
there. It’s hot for many reasons €“ and not only because of the sunny weather in

It is hot because the
political and social context in the ex-host country is hard and unfair and
requires a profound reassessment of what society as a whole considers a
“prosperous nation”.

It is hot because
there are people and communities that are losing their livelihoods even though
they have taken care of and maintained a close and connected relationship with
their territories.

It is hot out there
as 1,500 environment defenders have been killed in the last 15 years, and the
president of the COP, despite leading this process, still refuses to sign the
landmark Escazu Agreement, which could have transformative impacts for
environment defenders across Latin America.

And it is hot because
the conflicts we are witnessing in Latin America challenge everyone to look at
how the extractive economies in those countries provide high-living standards €“
for the few, and for people elsewhere, not for the people.

Uff. Does someone
have a sun umbrella?

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