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Community-based Security Measures and Territory: Methodological Notes from an Integral Defense Perspective

By: Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) A.C

The material in the following pages is the result of several years of ProDESC’s work (ProDESC is the acronym in Spanish for the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project). Throughout our trajectory in the defense of human rights, and in particular in defense of land, territory and natural resources, we have observed and thought carefully about the realities and challenges faced by community defenders in their everyday tasks. We have thus advocated for the construction of considerations, pedagogies, and organizing forms that supports collectives and communities in the construction of their own options in defense of their rights. Within this framework, community security has become a core aspect of our methodologies of organizing supports in search of favoring the construction of conditions to demand and exercise human rights.

This guide attempts to be a window through which to think about community security, geared to not only community defenders, collectives, and communities working for the defense of land and territory, but also any person who resists and struggles to demand justice, transform his/her reality, and reconstruct the social fabric through his/her own reflections and practices.

Our aim is to think creatively about organizing, political, and pedagogical alternatives and proposals that may contribute to practices and strategies already in use by numerous defenders in their fights for land and territory. We seek to collectively strengthen our efforts, establishing a common front to face the current human rights crisis, in search of constructing spaces to safeguard community life.

This resource is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.