It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Dick Olela, a comrade in the international peasant struggles for many years. It is definitely an irreplaceable loss for La Via Campesina and the Kenyan Peasant League. From the 182 organisations of La Via Campesina in 81 countries, we send a lot of strength to his family, friends and comrades to cope with his death.
We also take this moment to remember Dick’s great contributions to our struggle against Free Trade Agreements, the WTO and for his commitment to the implementation and defence of peasants’ rights. Last year in Geneva, Dick was among the peasant leaders of La Via Campesina who mobilised against the WTO, echoing with us the struggles of the Kenyan Peasants League against neoliberal policies at the international level.
He also helped connect La Via Campesina with African and especially Kenyan government officials at the UN Human Rights Council session, and contributed to the work to establish a UN-level special procedures mechanism to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (UNDROP). This was one of Dick Olela’s many contributions to international peasant struggles over the past decades.
It is our promise and commitment that the work started by Dick Olela will live on through the Kenyan Peasant League and La Via Campesina.
Long live the struggle!
La Via Campesina