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Venezuela, The mayor’s office in the municipality of Libertador, Caracas, proclaims an anti-eviction decree 

Venezuela  is progressing in relation to human rights through a decree given by the Bolivarian   Republic  of Venezuela  the Mayor’s office of the municipality  of Libertador , Caracas .

The latest decree in relation to human rights declared by the Mayor’s office in the municipality of Libertador, puts the Bolivariana Republic of Venezuela as the third city in the world to have instruments of international protection against arbitrary and forced evictions. The first place to have this form of protection was the city of Rome - where in 2005, an action plan against evections was approved; the second one, Bobigny - which forms part of the metropolitan area of Paris, the first French city to approve a decree to protect the evicted people; and now Caracas is the third one.

With regards to housing rights, associations and movements from countries in the Middle East, America, Europe and Africa have mobilised themselves to contribute in the search for alternative models of development to neo‑liberalism. This is the result of each of these country’s fights to organise and construct instruments of international protection against forced evictions and the right to decent housing, fights which have continued for decades without anything materialising, as happened in the municipality of Libertador, Caracas in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

During the Fourth Republic of Venezuela, housing and urban land was held by oligopolistic groups who controlled and continue to control the housing market.  Then on seeing their earnings dwindle owing to rent regulations during the oil strike and attempted coup d’etat, a bloody wave of forced evictions began which led to the formation of the popular movement that met in parochial buildings and pleaded with the former metropolitan government for the expropriation of buildings destined for rent.  Although a definitive solution to the conflict did not materialise it is thought that it set a precedent.  From this parochial union the Metropolitan Network of Tenants was created, an active participatory movement that has functioned for more than three years, in the space of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

The Bolivarian Municipality of Libertador achieved a popular victory for the protection of families against arbitrary evictions, owing to the drive of social inhabitants’ movements like: Urban Land Committees, Pioneer Camps, Superintendents United for Venezuela and the Metropolitan Network of Tenants.  Each of these movements contributed to the formulation of the decree, which is celebrated today by all social housing movements throughout the world, thanks to the goodwill and political ideology of the revolutionary government, and commitment of the town Mayor Jorge Rodriguez.

This victory is only the starting point of the demand for Human Rights to adequate housing and opposition to division of urban land into large estates.  Lamentably the rest of the citizens from other municipalities of Caracas cannot count on this protection because they find themselves under governors opposed to victory for the deprived, but the fight of the social movement of Metropolitan Network of Tenants aims to win the aforesaid demands not only at the local level but also at the national level.

The following actions expressed in the form of a request to the National Assembly for a new Socialist Real Estate Leasing Law underpinned by popular movements, as in the reform that was set out in 2007 by the Permanent Commission for Administration and Public Services, no longer adapts itself to Venezuela’s changing living conditions. What is more this was developed largely by the private sector1 with little participation from the people.

We welcome this popular victory and plead for the example of Caracas to be followed, through a similar decree that gives refuge to all our country’s families from arbitrary evictions, executed by owners of economic power.

Whether socialist homeland or death, we will overcome …!

                                             Housing is a Human Right, not a business.

Network of Metropolitan Tenants

Discussion Place

Bolivarian University of Venezuela, 2nd Floor

Meetings Mondays at 5.00 pm


(1) The Representative of the Chamber of Real Estate, Lawyer Irma Lovera De Sola, in the first session of the “Negotiating Table” dated the 3rd July 2008 which dealt with forced evictions and was set up by the Vice President of the Republic, reported in her representation of the sector that she invested 16 hours a day to the elaboration of the aforementioned reform.

Attached: Decree 31/2009

The present decree aims to protect the human right to decent housing and adequate standards of living for all people and families that live in the Autonomous Municipality of the District Capital of Libertador, especially those who find themselves in situations of discrimination, vulnerability or marginalisation.

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Fiona Davison