Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

They warn that the communal lands of Marinaleda can be held by private speculators

  • The Junta de Andalucía wants to sell the finca Los Humosos, located in the Andalusian town of Marinaleda. Since their occupation decades ago, day laborers have worked through a cooperative, but in 2021 they received the eviction order and the decision on the appeal filed will be resolved shortly.

20 October 2023 - 11:22
Last updated: 15:37

"We will not fail to destroy the cooperative model that so much employment and wealth has brought to our country and to our region." The day laborers of Marinaleda are blunt to the intentions of the Andalusian Government. They warn of the danger of the cooperative project launched decades ago in the famous Los Humosos estate, as the Board wants to sell its lands at "market price".

The finca Los Humosos was the property of the Duque del Infantado and after many struggles and occupations, the day laborers, led by the union SOC and the syndicalist Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo and the mayor of the town, managed the expropriation of the Junta de Andalucía and its subsequent acquisition and concession to the landlord 25 years ago.

These public areas have been the focus of Marinaleda’s cooperative community project: This has created more than 400 jobs and has become one of the motors of the regional economy, with a transformative model far from capitalism, which has also become known internationally.

After the incorporation of the PP to the Junta de Andalucía, in June 2021 came to the Cooperativa Marinaleda the order to evict Los Humosos and stop cultivating land in a month. This provision was appealed for time, but this autumn the court is expected to take a decision.

The occupation and cultivation of land has generated employment and wealth in line with the transformative economy. Photo: Cooperativa Marinaleda / María Dolores Martín Prieto.

"We don't want gifts, but a fair price."

The Cooperativa de Marinaleda explained that a new regulation of the Junta de Andalucía allows the City Hall to buy the land preferably: "We will start all possible legal actions to be able to make that purchase and follow the current cooperative model," they said in a note published on the cooperative blog.

But buying and selling at market price does not make things easier. "We do not want any gifts – explains Sánchez Gordillo – but a fair price, away from speculation and the interests of financial funds, because in Andalusia thousands of hectares are taking over land." According to him, Marinaleda has invested heavily in these lands since 1992 and wants to take it into account.

Thus, they consider that the only way is for the land to remain public and for the transfer "from administration to administration". They called on the Government of Andalusia and Parliament to seek a solution to the problem, and they called for help and solidarity from the social and trade union institutions and agents for "a project that seeks public and community land".

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