GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF WASTE PICKERS
GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF
WASTE PICKERS
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Supported by Logo WIEGO

December 03, 2012


Check translation:

We have received this letter from the waste pickers of Bogota and Colombia requesting support and solidarity from the international community. The waste pickers are being displaced and not recognized by the current government. We ask that waste picker organizations and support groups that know the historical work of la Asociación de Recicladores de Bogota (the Bogota Association of Recyclers) publicly recognize and appreciate the work of waste pickers.

São Paulo, November 30, 2012

To whom it may concern,

We share with you our greetings and acknowledgement, on behalf of the Colombian waste pickers, at this event – Expocatadores – which reflects the struggle and the demand for our rights as dignified workers, and recycling as a livelihood for humanity.

Today we come here as brothers and sisters in struggle, to DENOUNCE, and to ask for your support and solidarity.

Today in Bogota, Colombia, the black cloud of opportunism and corruption is covering our skies and stamping out waste pickers’ opportunities of inclusion.

The opportunities that the Colombian waste pickers gained after more than 20 years of struggle against members of the government, private companies and even some fellow recyclers that wanted to exclude us and take away our work, our cardboard, our paper, our glass, our plastic, our metal … to steal bread from our families.

After more than 20 years of struggle on December 19, 2011, the Colombian court agreed with the claims of the Waste Pickers’ Association of Bogota (ARB), the organization that was co-founder, along with you all, of Red Lacre.

The Bogota court ordered the government of Bogota to take the following actions:

  • Recognize waste pickers as public service providers.
  • Help waste pickers organize and strengthen their organizations so that they can grow as entrepreneurs in solid waste management.
  • Pay waste pickers for their work, just as businesses that provide public solid waste management services are paid.

Today, 11 months after this court order, the Bogota government has not advanced on these rulings. The only thing it has done is promise and promise in events and meetings that it will comply with the inclusion of the waste pickers.

It has even promised that the waste pickers will be responsible for the collection of not only recycling but of trash, but until now it’s just been promises and words.

Considering the lack of results and very little transparecy in the negotiation of the inclusive model with legitimate waste pickers’ organizations, the Bogota government is creating false organizations, organizations on paper, with leaders who are not waste pickers or that are only after their own personal gain on the backs of waste pickers’ rights.

The most serious point is that the government is going after legitimate organizations, which, like the Waste Pickers’ Association of Bogota (ARB), aren’t being fooled by their false promises, aren’t giving in to their manipulations, aren’t playing their political games, and are refusing to negotiate the bread and sustenance of more than 14,000 waste pickers in Bogota.

Today, the Bogota government is trying to dirty and delegitimize ARB, because he knows it won’t back down until the court order is fulfilled. ARB will not permit that they destroy the rights gained by waste pickers in Colombia. ARB will not permit that the deaths of so many fellow workers in this fight will have been in vain.

Today we denounce this cowardly, petty and opportunist attack on our organization. And we ask for your support and solidarity…

IN SUPPORT OF ARB, IN DEFENSE OF THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT – A RIGHT GAINED BY THE COLOMBIAN WASTE PICKERS

WHAT AFFECTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL

WHAT AFFECTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL

WHAT AFFECTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL

This post is also available in: Spanish Portuguese (Brazil)