Paraguay’s Indigenous Women Lead March Against Agrochemicals

Source:  TeleSUR
October 29 2015

After the death of a 12-year-old girl from alleged contamination, rural Indigenous women say they are marching for their children and the environment.

paraguay indigenous march against agrichemicalsAs campesinos from all across the country arrive in the Paraguayan capital on Thursday morning, rural indigenous women are actively leading the mobilizations against the soy-export economic model, which uses agrochemicals that are destroying the lives and the crops of campesinos families living nearby.

Our dream

Campesinos of the country gathered in Asuncion, in front of Parliament, demanding President Horacio Cartes step down.

“What we dream of is a country where there is work, health, education, land, production and housing,” said leader of Paraguay Pyahura Party, Eladio Flecha to radio UNO.

A few days earlier, the Conamuri organization denounced in a public statement the chemical fumigations of a Brazilian colony in Ytororo, in the Alto Parana department, saying the cultivation of soy for exportation there violates environmental norms.

The women claimed the fumigation made the surrounding land lots toxic and affected the 10 families of campesinos living on them, putting at risk their health.

Crops ruined

According to them, the fumigations ruined this year’s crops of mate — a South American plant many consume as a drink, which is grown in a sustainable way — corresponding to a tremendous financial loss for the campesino families.

A complaint was filed on Oct. 13, accusing the fumigation of having intoxicated the children from a nearby school.

Agrochemicals exposure

A 12-year-old girl from the school recently died from symptoms similar to agrochemicals exposure, while pets and the forest fauna are dying daily in the area, said the complaint.

The women’s group urged the Paraguayan state to investigate the case (for instance by running medical tests among the residents to confirm the contamination), and to expel Brazilian soy producer Wilmar Dos Santos from the country.

Paraguay is the fourth exporter of soy in the world, an industry which, along with cattle, contributes the most to the gross domestic product of the country.

However, the expansion of soy and corn crops provoked a rural exodus of about 900,000 rural workers to urban areas over a 10-year period, according to the National Peasant Federation, as those crops require fewer workers.

Paraguayan land distribution is among the most unequal in the world. According to Oxfam, about 2.5 percent of the population owns 85 percent of cultivable land, despite the fact that 42 percent of Paraguayans live in the countryside.

Source: Paraguay’s Indigenous Women Lead March Against Agrichemicals  TeleSUR

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CELAC at the UN: After 200 years, the idea of ‘A Nation of Republics’ is taking shape

Brundo Rodriguez Parrilla, foreign minister of CubaStatement by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, on behalf of the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC, at the UN Security Council session, August 6, 2013

Submitted by editor on Tue, 08/06/2013 – 00:00

Madam President:

Allow me, first of all, to thank you and the government of the Republic of Argentina for the invitation conveyed to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which Cuba is honored to preside, to participate for the first time in the UN Security Council debates.

The history of Latin America and the Caribbean has changed. Two hundred years after our independence, the ideas of “a Nation of Republics” and of “Our America” envisaged by Bolivar and Martí are taking shape.

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The United Nations Praises Results of Cuba’s Environmental Actions

July 13

Claudio Tomasi UNDPCuba’s efforts and results in the field of the environment were praised on Friday Havana by officials of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Claudio Tomasi, representative of the UNDP on the island, pointed out that Cuba is a reference both at a regional an continental level in the integration of policies and actions related to sustainable development.  (Photo: Claudio Tomasi)

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