lunes, abril 01, 2013

My article on my Haiti trip


http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/20/caribbean-and-latin-america-integration/


Small Farmers' Organizations Leading the Way

Caribbean and Latin American Integration

by CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO
Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


EXCERPTS:


Since its founding in 1973, the MPP has been fighting the good fight for land reform, food sovereignty, women’s rights, employment, health care and education for all, and environmental protection (2). Its many activities include the formation of cooperatives and credit unions, leadership training, reforestation, and teaching the principles of sustainable agriculture. Today the MPP engages over 60,000 people in sustainable farming techniques. In 2010 the organization made international waves when its members burned seeds that had been donated to Haiti by the Monsanto biotechnology company in the wake of the earthquake (3).
The MPP is an active member of the Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC), a continental coalition that brings together 84 organizations of peasants, farm workers and black and indigenous communities of 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (4). The CLOC was founded at an international congress of grassroots groups that took place in Peru in 1994. That was a very exciting year for activism in Latin America. It was the year that saw the Zapatista EZLN emerge from Mexico’s Lacandon jungle. It was also the year that gave us the second indigenous uprising in Ecuador, part of stream of protest and organizing that would eventually result in the overthrow of three consecutive neoliberal presidents and the ratification of a new constitution, one that is among the most socially and environmentally progressive in the world. 1994 was also a year of protest marches by Bolivia’s indigenous coca growers, a sector that would later converge with other constituencies to battle against the corporate theft of natural resources such as water and natural gas, overthrowing two consecutive presidents and achieving the presidential election of Evo Morales, the hemisphere’s first indigenous head of state. It was also a year of major organizing and mobilizing for land reform in Brazil, Paraguay and Guatemala.
******
Our meeting at MPP is attended by representatives of farmers´ organizations not only from Puerto Rico and Haiti but also from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This meeting is a modest step toward fulfilling the dream of a Confederación Antillana (Antillean Confederacy) that would unite the peoples of the greater Caribbean Antilles, an idea advocated by the 19th century pro-independence Puerto Rican revolutionary Ramón Emeterio Betances and his Cuban counterpart José Martí. Hopes for such a confederacy were dashed by the 1898 US invasion of Cuba and Puerto Rico, and since then have been furthered complicated by Washington’s constant interventionism, including its relentless hostility toward the Cuban revolution, its 1965 invasion of the Dominican Republic, and its suppression of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination. Here in this multinational meeting in the middle of the Haitian countryside, the Antillean Confederacy is being built from the bottom up by small farmers and their organizations.
For two days, several agenda items are tackled, including the preparations for the upcoming twentieth anniversary of La Via Campesina’s founding, which will be celebrated at the organization’s congress in Indonesia next September. Strong emphasis is also given to the campaign on violence against women- no small issue, given that women do most of the world’s farm work, yet own almost none of the farm property and get close to zero remuneration for their toil. And there is also talk at the meeting about integrating CLOC/Via Campesina’s Caribbean region into the workings of the ALBA as well as CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. The CELAC, another effort at Latin American and Caribbean integration originally led by Hugo Chavez, is basically an Organization of American States, but explicitly excluding the US and Canada.

Etiquetas: , , ,

sábado, septiembre 17, 2011

GMO Film Project

GMO Film Project Sizzler from Compeller Pictures on Vimeo.



THE GMO FILM PROJECT tells the story of a father's discovery of GMOs through the symbolic act of poor Haitian farmers burning seeds in defiance of Monsanto's gift of 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds to Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. After a journey to Haiti to learn why hungry farmers would burn seeds, the real awakening of what has happened to our food in the US, what we are feeding our families, and what is at stake for the global food supply unfolds in a trip across the United States and other countries in search of answers. Are we at a tipping point? Is it time to take back our food? The encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, seed take over, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing resistance of organic farmers, concerned citizens, and a burgeoning movement to take back what we have lost.
Today in the United States, by the simple act of feeding ourselves, we unwittingly participate in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Massive agro-chemical companies like Monsanto (Agent Orange) and Dow (Napalm) are feeding us genetically-modified food, GMOs, that have never been fully tested and aren't labeled. This small handful of corporations is tightening their grip on the world's food supply—buying, modifying, and patenting seeds to ensure total control over everything we eat. We still have time to heal the planet, feed the world, and live sustainably. But we have to start now!

Etiquetas: , , , ,

martes, julio 06, 2010

Open letter to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant

By Peter Costantini ~ Seattle

Mouvman Peyizan Papay demonstrators at Hinche June 4,  2010.jpg
Mouvman Peyizan Papay demonstrators at Hinche June 4, 2010. Photo credit: La Via Campesina

To: Hugh Grant, President and CEO, Monsanto

As you are no doubt aware, your offer to donate hybrid corn and vegetable seeds has stirred up quite a controversy in Haiti.

I'd like to call your attention to an article I wrote on this issue recently for Inter Press Service. While I was in Haiti for the month of May, I had a conversation with Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the head of a major Haitian peasant organization and a leader of the international confederation La Via Campesina. He criticized your donation from a perspective on seeds and agriculture based on a very different world view that might be worth your time to understand.

Your company blog says that the idea to donate seeds to Haiti came to you and Executive Vice President Jerry Steiner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As you worked the crowd at that upscale ski resort, the place must have been crawling with Corporate Masters of the Universe and Brilliant Thinkers, who congregate yearly there to deliberate on the world's problems and how to solve them. But - going out on a limb here - I'm guessing there were not many Haitian Peasant Farmers.

While I'm sure some of the ideas on Haiti discussed there are worth pursuing, if you want to understand what Haiti's farmers need in the wake of the January 12 earthquake and the hurricanes of two years ago, I highly recommend going to Haiti to talk to some of them and to people who work closely with them. Travel in most rural areas is excruciatingly difficult on the ground, which is a reality farmers have to live with, but you could always rent a helicopter. I expect you would encounter a very different range of perspectives.

Your communications people say you did contact the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture and got their approval to donate seeds. That's a good first step, but it doesn't take a Macarthur Grant to figure out that even the best-intentioned people behind the desks in a ministry, especially one that has just suffered heavy losses in an earthquake, might not always represent the final word on what impoverished farmers deep in the countryside are thinking. And perhaps they wouldn't want to offend a corporation as wealthy and powerful as yours.

The U.S. Agency for International Development says they are going to use the seeds for a project called WINNER. They may have some interesting ideas on how to use them. Perhaps they have found some Haitian farmers who are willing to try them. But they are an arm of the U.S. State Department, and they ultimately represent the interests of the U.S. government, not Haitians.

Fortunately, though, it's not hard to find a wide range of opinion in the Haitian countryside. During my time in Haiti, I encountered large, sophisticated organizations of peasant farmers there that were very happy to talk to me. And there are plenty of smart, experienced Haitian agronomists and economists who are in intimate contact with realities in the fields. I spent a week outside of Port-au-Prince and more time in the city interviewing farmers, agronomists and others. I'd be glad to put you in touch with some of them.

Even if your travel budget is a little thin after those outrageously overpriced hotel rooms in Davos, I want to reassure you that right on the Internet you can find some excellent information from these people and organizations.

Jean-Baptiste's group, Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP - Peasant Movement of Papaye), is one of the biggest peasant organizations and has a web site that talks about its philosophies and practices. Having survived decades of political violence and the recent destruction by the 2008 hurricanes and the January earthquake, groups such as the MPP and Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen (Heads Together Small Haitian Farmers) remain among the strongest democratic grassroots organizations in the country.

Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif (PAPDA - Haitian Platform to Argue for Alternative Development) is a coalition of many urban and rural groups. Surfing its site, you can find articles on agriculture, economic development and democracy from a range of Haitian and international perspectives.

A non-profit that has long worked closely with small farmers' groups, Grassroots International, has done a sad but compelling documentary on the destruction of Creole pigs at the behest of the United States and international financial institutions in the 80s: Haiti's Piggy Bank. You should really watch it if you're interested in avoiding the mistakes made back then that helped to cripple Haitian agriculture.

For a thoughtful outline of agricultural policies that would benefit the majority of Haitians, read: A Future for Agriculture, a Future for Haiti by Beverly Bell of Other Worlds, who has decades of experience with Haitian popular organizations.

A macroeconomic and historical perspective on how to correct some past mistakes is offered by Tim Wise, the Deputy Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University in Medford, MA, in Aiding Haiti: Let's get it right this time.

And if you're looking for a model of how to do a detailed on-the-ground study of agricultural needs, try Edward Walters & Dina Brick's study, A Rapid Seed Assessment in the Southern Department of Haiti. It's the kind of data you should have collected before deciding to make a donation of seeds.

Bill Clinton recently apologized before the U.S. Senate for the U.S. trade and aid policies that led to the destruction of Haiti's capacity to feed itself. Monsanto is a charter member of the industrial-agricultural complex that has long driven those policies in the U.S. government and international institutions, exploiting every opening to break down local agriculture and open the floodgates for subsidized U.S. products and technologies. The large-scale export agriculture model imposed on Haiti then seems to be exactly what you are promoting with the donation of hybrid seeds. Or can you propose a way Haitian farmers could use them that would not ultimately end up costing most of them more than they can afford and driving them off the land?

Unfortunately, Monsanto's own corporate history doesn't inspire a lot of trust, and Haitian farmers are not alone in their skepticism of your model and embrace of alternatives.

Beginning with its production of the carcinogenic defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, Monsanto has been a lightning rod for criticisms by environmental, agricultural and public-health groups. In a more recent example, your company reportedly provided the potent herbicide Roundup Ultra to the U.S. government for anti-drug fumigation efforts in Colombia, drawing criticism from community and human rights groups there that the chemical destroys their food crops, poisons their water, and has led to increases in cancer and birth defects.

Your lawsuits against small farmers who protest that their fields have been contaminated by neighboring Roundup Ready GMO crops have not made you a lot of friends. Monsanto's genetically modified alfalfa has been challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, with mixed results, and will no doubt face further opposition.

Perhaps you'd like to put all this behind you. So would small farmers around the world, who can't afford to forget that history because it frequently comes back to bite them.

The question is not ultimately how productive your hybrid corn seeds are, whether they can be used without manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, or whether they can be saved and reused under some circumstances. You are not, as your donation suggests you believe, sending those seeds into a vacuum full of ignorant, benighted people looking for any kind of help you decide to offer them.

Most of the Haitian countryside was not directly damaged by the earthquake, but rather has been ruined and impoverished over decades by human practices and human-made disasters, many of them imported. Haitian farmers, along with small farmers in neighbor countries like Mexico, have a deeply rooted culture of peasant agriculture. They have agronomists and scientists to back their efforts with research, and they have networks to share knowledge and best practices around the Haitian countryside and across the globe.

The peasant organizations at the demonstration in Hinche weren't simply rejecting your model of agriculture: they are proposing an integrated one of their own. After burning the batch of Monsanto seeds, they handed out native Creole seeds to the farmers there.

Straw hats and burning hybrid seeds
Straw hats and burning hybrid seeds. Photo credit: La Via Campesina

READ THE WHOLE LETTER: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/crossover-dreams/an-open-letter-on-haitian_b_635751.html?ref=fb&src=sp


Etiquetas: , , ,

jueves, junio 24, 2010

Haitian Peasants March against Monsanto - By La Via Campesina


On June 4th about ten thousand Haitian peasants marched to protest U.S.-based Monsanto Company’s ‘deadly gift’ of seed to the government of Haiti. The seven-kilometer march from Papaye to Hinche—in a rural area on the central plateau—was organized by several Haitian farmers’ organizations that are proposing a development model based on food and seed sovereignty instead of industrial agriculture. Slogans for the march included “long live native maize seed” and “Monsanto’s GMO & hybrid seed violates peasant agriculture.”

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. About 65 percent of Haiti’s population lives in rural areas as subsistence farmers. On January 12 2010, a devastating earthquake leveled Haiti’s capital city Port au Prince, and 800,000 urban refugees migrated to rural areas. According to Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, coordinator of the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) and a member of La Via Campesina’s international coordinating committee, “there is presently a shortage of seed in Haiti because many rural families used their maize seed to feed refugees.”

With sales of $11.7 billion in 2009, U.S.-based transnational corporation Monsanto Company is the world’s largest seed company, controlling one-fifth of the global proprietary seed market and 90 percent of seed patents from agricultural biotechnology. In May Monsanto announced that it had delivered 60 tons of hybrid seed maize and vegetables to Haiti, and over 400 tons of its seed (worth $4 million) will be delivered during 2010 to 10,000 farmers. The United Parcel Service is providing transport logistics, while Winner—a $127 million project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and focused on ‘’agricultural intensification’—is distributing the seed.[i] Monsanto stated that it made the decision to donate seed to Haiti at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: “CEO Hugh Grant and Executive Vice President Jerry Steiner attended the event and had conversations with attendees about what could be done to help Haiti.”[ii] It is unclear whether any Haitians were included in the conversations in Davos.

Some have charged that the Monsanto representative in Haiti is Jean-Robert Estimé, who served as foreign minister during the brutal 29-year Duvalier family dictatorship.[iii] While Monsanto vehemently denies this claim[iv], Estimé is included in an email exchange about the donation between Elizabeth Vancil, Director of Global Development Partnerships at Monsanto and Emmanuel Prophete, a Haitian agronomist working for the Minister of Agriculture.[v] The domain for Estimé’s email address is Winner (www.winner.ht), which implies he works for the U.S. government.

The Haitian rural organizations consider Monsanto’s seed donation part of a broader strategy of U.S. economic and political imperialism. “The Haitian government is using the earthquake to sell the country to the multinationals,” stated Jean-Baptiste. Vancil stated that opening up Haitian markets to Monsanto’s products “would be good.”[vi]

READ THE REST: http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/2591

Etiquetas: , , ,

miércoles, junio 23, 2010

Campesinos haitianos forman barricada contra Monsanto

Por Peter Costantini


PÉTIONVILLE, Haití, jun (IPS) - Pequeños agricultores de Haití temen que gigantes trasnacionales como Monsanto procuren ganar más terreno en la economía local bajo el disfraz de la ayuda a la reconstrucción tras el terremoto.

"Las semillas representan una suerte de derecho a la vida", dijo a IPS el líder campesino Chavannes Jean-Baptiste. "Es por eso que hoy tenemos un problema con Monsanto y con todas las multinacionales que venden semillas. El agua y las semillas son patrimonio común de la humanidad".

El 4 de este mes, en la plaza central de Hinche, localidad agrícola en la región de Plateau Central, una multitud de campesinos vestidos de camisetas rojas y sombreros de paja quemaron una cantidad simbólica de maíz híbrido donado a Haití por esa firma estadounidense proveedora de insumos y tecnología para la agricultura.

Llamaron a todos los granjeros del país a quemar cualquier semilla de la empresa y exigieron al gobierno que rechazara nuevos embarques.

Las acciones en Hinche fueron encabezadas por Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP), movimiento regional campesino con 50.000 miembros, y la coalición nacional con unos 200.000 integrantes a la que pertenece. A pesar de las divisiones entre las organizaciones agricultoras haitianas, varios de los grupos más importantes se unieron para participar.

Jean-Baptiste lidera el MPP desde 1973 y tiene un rol destacado en el movimiento campesino internacional.

"Nuestra primera meta es defender la pequeña agricultura", añadió, "una agricultura orgánica que respete el ambiente y luche contra su degradación. Defendemos las semillas nativas y los derechos de los campesinos a su tierra".

El movimiento campesino internacional defiende la "soberanía alimentaria", subrayó Jean-Baptiste, el derecho de cada país a definir su política agrícola, de las comunidades a decidir qué producen y de los consumidores a saber si lo que reciben es saludable.

"Además trabajamos con grupos indígenas, y con ellos creemos que, así como los pueblos tienen derechos, la Tierra también y los debemos respetar", indicó.

Las acciones contra Monsanto estuvieron asimismo dirigidas "contra las políticas del gobierno (haitiano) que no ayudan a los campesinos, y en cambio aceptan productos que envenenan el ambiente, matando la biodiversidad y destruyendo la familia y la pequeña agricultura", señaló.

Según Monsanto, 130 toneladas de maíz híbrido y semillas vegetales de unas 475 prometidas ya han sido enviadas a Haití. La primera embarcación llegó en la primera semana de mayo.

Las 345 toneladas restantes serán enviadas en los próximos 12 meses.

La compañía subrayó en un comunicado de prensa que las semillas no eran genéticamente modificadas, como habían señalado reportes iniciales, pero reconocieron que algunas estaban recubiertas con fungicidas y pesticidas.

Monsanto consultó al Ministerio de Agricultura de Haití sobre cuáles semillas serían aceptables para los granjeros locales y más adecuadas para las condiciones del país, aseguró a IPS vía correo electrónico Darren Wallis, portavoz de la firma.

Además, el programa WINNER, de la gubernamental estadounidense Agencia para el Desarrollo Internacional y del Earth Institute, distribuirá semillas con insumos, como fertilizantes, y proveerá apoyo técnico, destacó Monsanto. Se trata de "un proyecto por 127 millones de dólares... que busca mejorar las condiciones de vida de las poblaciones rurales de Haití".

Pero oradores en la manifestación del 4 de este mes cuestionaron el programa, acusando el presidente René Préval de "connivencia con el imperialismo" y de "vender el patrimonio nacional".

Aunque Jean-Baptiste fue un arquitecto clave en la elección de Préval para su primer periodo de gobierno en 1995, el líder campesino cuestiona ahora duramente al jefe de Estado: "Simplemente ha traicionado las ideas que defendía".

Para Jean-Baptiste, la donación de Monsanto es el avance de una batalla entre las organizaciones populares haitianas y las corporaciones transnacionales europeas y estadounidenses que, sostuvo, dominan a Puerto Príncipe y controlan los esfuerzos de reconstrucción.

"El gobierno está vendiendo al país o regalándolo. No sólo Monsanto intenta entrar. También hablan de que Coca Cola quiere venir a plantar mangos. El pueblo haitiano lucha para asegurarse que toda generosa ayuda internacional sea canalizada a genuinos programas de desarrollo sostenible".

La desconfianza hacia las intenciones de las corporaciones trasnacionales y hacia el gobierno de Estados Unidos es fuerte entre muchos haitianos y se basa en una larga historia.

La plaza en Hinche donde se celebraron las manifestaciones lleva el nombre de Charlemagne Péralte, líder un levantamiento campesino contra la ocupación de Haití por los infantes de marina (marines) de Estados Unidos entre 1915 y 1934.

La historia de los daños causados a los agricultores haitianos por la ayuda extranjera es también larga y dolorosa.

En los años 80, los cerdos criollos fueron prácticamente erradicados en Haití bajo la fuerte presión del presidente Ronald Reagan (1981-1989). Los animales eran otrora conocidos como "las cuentas bancarias del campesino haitiano", y su crianza era parte importante de la economía.

Una epidemia de gripe porcina africana que comenzó en la vecina República Dominicana fue matando a los cerdos, y las autoridades estadounidenses temían que se propagara a América del Norte.

La variedad de cerdos enviados de Estados Unidos como reemplazo era mucho menos resistente y requería de insumos e instalaciones más caras. Prácticamente ninguno de los animales sobrevivió. Muchas familias haitianas nunca fueron compensadas y su sustento se vio duramente comprometido. En algunos casos, sus hijos debieron abandonar la escuela, según la organización estadounidense Grassroots International.

El grupo ha estado trabajando con organizaciones campesinas haitianas desde 1997 para repoblar el país con cerdos criollos.

Etiquetas: ,

martes, junio 08, 2010

Al Jazeera reports on Monsanto's "gift"

Fotos de protesta haitiana contra Monsanto

Cortesía de Isabella Kenfield



Etiquetas: , ,

lunes, junio 07, 2010

Haití: marcha contra Monsanto y por la soberanía alimentaria

VIA CAMPESINA

"El viernes 4 de junio del 2010, se manifestaron juntos y juntas todos y todas saliendo del centro de formación del MPP 'centro Lakay' hasta Hinche (alrededor de 7 Km.) para exigir el respeto a la soberanía alimentaria del país y en contra de Monsanto y sus cómplices en Haití".

Varios miles de campesinos y campesinas de todo el país se manifestaron contra Monsanto y sus cómplices en Hinche después de la convocatoria del Movimiento de Papaye (MPP), de las organizaciones campesinas y movimientos sociales como Movimiento de los Campesinos del Congreso de Papaye (MPNKP), de TK (Tèt Kole), de la Coordinación Regional de las Organizaciones del Sur Este (CROSE), del Movimiento Reivindicativo de los campesinos de Artibonite (MOREPLA), de la Plataforma haitiana de apoyo por un desarrollo alternativo (PAPDA), Red Nacional Haitiana por la Seguridad y la Soberanía Alimentaria (RENAHSSA), de la Plataforma de las organizaciones campesinas haitianas (PLANOPA), del grupo « Kaba grangou » (para acabar con el hambre) junto con la Vía Campesina (Haití , Republica Dominicana, Brasil y Canadá) y otros países amigos como Estados Unidos, Francia e Italia , sin olvidar a los periodistas de varios medios de comunicación nacionales e internacionales.

El viernes 4 de junio del 2010, se manifestaron juntos y juntas todos y todas saliendo del centro de formación del MPP “centro Lakay” hasta Hinche (alrededor de 7 Km.) para exigir el respeto a la soberanía alimentaria del país y en contra de Monsanto y sus cómplices en Haití.

El día 3 de junio por la noche, se emitió un documental en la sala cultural de la iglesia Católica en Hinche, explicando las consecuencias negativas de los productos de Monsanto en lugares como América Latina y el apoyo que recibe dicha empresa multinacional por parte de la Administración para el Control de Alimentos y Medicinas de EEUU (FDA) para distribuir sus productos en el territorio americano.

El viernes 4 de junio, para iniciar la marcha los y las manifestantes sembraron simbólicamente maíz criollo en una granja experimental de MPP que simboliza la determinación de consumir maíz criollo a partir de semillas locales orgánicas y también plantaron árboles para marcar el día internacional de medio ambiente.

Después, al ritmo del tambor e instrumentos de viento como el bambú, la música y los gritos, los manifestantes caminaron hasta Hinche con sombreros artesanales en los que se podía leer “ABAJO Monsanto” y “ABAJO Preval” y con camisetas rojas reclamando, entre otras cosas, el fin de la soberanía alimentaria. En la plaza Charlemagne, el director ejecutivo de MPP y miembro de la CCI de la Vía Campesina, D. Jean Baptiste Chavannes, leyó la declaración final escrita por las organizaciones campesinas haitianas y movimientos sociales haitianos para luego quemar parte del maíz en venenoso como gesto de rechazo del regalo mortal de Monsanto al gobierno haitiano. Después de quemar el regalo maldito, se distribuyeron semillas criollas como maíz y varios tipos de frijoles a los y las participantes.

Los y las participantes no solamente se solidarizaron con el sector campesino, sino que también aprovecharon el momento para mostrar su oposición a la política del gobierno de Rene García Preval (Presidente desde el 14 de mayo del 2006) y Joseph Jean Max Bellerive (Primer ministro desde el 11 de noviembre del 2009), acusándoles de ser cómplices del imperialismo al vender el patrimonio nacional del país.

Vía Campesina Caribe
E-mail: viacampesinacaribe@yahoo.es
Tel :(509)3427-5622

Fuente: Vía Campesina

Etiquetas:

viernes, junio 04, 2010

Solidaridad con la marcha de los campesinos haitianos contra la Monsanto

Vía Campesina Brasil

Profunda indignación y preocupación provocó en los movimientos sociales que componen la Vía Campesina Brasil la noticia del regalo mortal que Monsanto está ofreciendo a los campesinos y campesinas haitianos.

Indignación por saber que las terribles consecuencias del terremoto que asoló a Haití el 12 de enero del 2010 - que dejó más de 300 mil muertos y millones de desamparados – están siendo utilizadas como pretexto para el ingreso en suelo haitiano de esta multinacional estadounidense que es líder mundial en el mercado de semillas y que produce más del 90% de todos los transgénicos plantados en el mundo.

La donación de las 475 toneladas de semillas de maíz y hortalizas puede ser publicitada como una acción de generosidad de la Monsanto con el pueblo haitiano. Pero conociendo el historial de esta multinacional, como la conocemos quienes pertenecemos a la Vía Campesina Brasil, tenemos la certeza que se trata de una infame táctica empresarial para el aumento inescrupuloso de sus ganancias. Ganancias que obtendrán a costa de la explotación de familias campesinas así como también a fuerza de destrucción de la soberanía alimentaria de Haití.

Preocupación por ver en este regalo mortal una trágica repetición de lo que ocurrió en nuestro país en la última década. En menos de 10 años, la multinacional Monsanto inició un proceso de contrabando de semillas transgénicas y su introducción clandestina a Brasil. Cuando las autoridades brasileras resolvieron tomar medidas, había ya decenas de miles de agricultores utilizando las semillas genéticamente modificadas de forma ilegal.

A pesar de las protestas y las fuertes movilizaciones de los movimientos sociales, el gobierno brasileño da muestras de su subordinación y aprueba el cultivo de 4,5 millones de hectáreas cultivadas ilegalmente con semillas transgénicas de la Monsanto. Resultado: Hoy día Brasil es el segundo país que más planta semillas transgénicas en todo el mundo. Con un área cultivada de más de 21 millones de hectáreas esta atrás solo de EEUU. 55% de las semillas plantadas en el país son transgénicas. Monopolizado este mercado – la trasnacional controla el 70% del mercado nacional - Monsanto está en libertad para imponer sus precios a los campesinos.

Además, todo campesino que planta semillas transgénicas de la Monsanto se ve obligado a pagar ‘royalties’, o sea, un porcentaje de la cosecha se entrega a la empresa productora de semillas transgénicas. Otro factor es que los productores no pueden replantar las semillas, siendo obligados a comprar para cada siembra nuevas semillas a la Monsanto. Esto viola gravemente la soberanía alimentaria y la autonomía de los campesinos.

Junto con las semillas transgénicas, Monsanto tiene también su paquete de agro tóxicos. Sus semillas son alteradas genéticamente para soportar los efectos dañinos de los herbicidas y pesticidas. El más famoso de ellos es el ‘Roundup’, un peligroso veneno acusado de ser agente cancerígeno y prohibido en varios países. Lamentablemente en Brasil el Roundup es comercializado libremente. Somos también el mayor consumidor en el mundo de venenos (en la zafra pasada se consumieron 1 billon de litros de agro tóxicos): una temible ración de 5 litros de veneno por habitante. Esto degrada nuestros suelos, afecta a las capas subterráneas de agua, contamina las lluvias y por ende nuestros alimentos. La ANVISA (Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria) y el Instituto Nacional de Cáncer han alertado acerca del aumento de casos de cáncer en el país, directamente ligados al creciente uso de agro tóxicos.

Los movimientos que integramos la Vía Campesina Brasil defendemos y luchamos por la soberanía alimentaria del pueblo brasileño y de todos los pueblos del mundo, incluido el de Haití. Nuestro compromiso solidario con el pueblo haitiano se lleva a cabo a través de nuestra Brigada Dessalines de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Haitiano, compuesta por más de 30 campesinos y campesinas brasileños/as que desde el 2009 están en suelo haitiano trabajando en conjunto con los movimientos campesinos en la construcción de un Haití más justo y soberano.

No podemos permitir que la catástrofe del 12 de enero sea utilizada como pretexto para abrir las puertas de Haití a los intereses mercantiles de multinacionales delincuentes como Monsanto. Además de una ilegítima y violenta ocupación llevada a cabo hace seis años por tropas de la MINUSTAH- vergonzosamente liderada por el ejército brasileño- y teniendo que lidiar con los desafíos de reconstrucción el país, el pueblo de Haití no puede sufrir este nuevo terremoto social que representaría el ingreso de semillas transgénicas.

Es por ello que manifestamos nuestro irrestricto apoyo a las movilizaciones que se desarrollarán el 4 de junio del 2010 en la región de Papay, en el departamento Central de Haití, con el objetivo de denunciar y combatir la entrada de la multinacional Monsanto y sus semillas transgénicas al país. Esperamos que esta sea la primera de muchas otras manifestaciones que impidan los planes de muerte de Monsanto y del capitalismo neoliberal en Haití.

Toda nuestra solidaridad con el pueblo luchador de Haití, heredero de la fuerza y el coraje de Capóis La Mort, Toussaint Louverture, Alexander Petion, Henri Kristophe e Jean Jacques Dessalines, ¡primeros libertadores de Nuestra América!

Etiquetas: , ,

Haitian Farmers Say “Burn Monsanto’s Seeds”

Canadian groups support Haitian rejection of Monsanto’s seed donation

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 3, 2010 - Today farmer and environmental groups from across Canada stated their support for tomorrow’s farmer march in Haiti, organized to protest a donation of 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds from the U.S.-based multinational biotechnology corporation Monsanto. The seeds will be distributed by the U.S. government aid agency to Haiti’s farmers.

Tomorrow, Friday June 4, in Montreal, representatives from groups including Union Paysanne, Action SOS Haiti, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, HAITI: One Seed One Land, and Greenpeace will hold a symbolic solidarity action outside the Haitian Consulate and deliver a letter in support of the farmers.

Chavannes Jean-Baptist of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) in Haiti called Monsanto’s donation “a new earthquake.” MPP organized the protest march for tomorrow and has called on all of Haiti’s farmers to burn Monsanto’s seeds. “If people start sending us hybrid seeds that’s the end of Haitian agriculture,” said Chavannes.

So far, Monsanto has said that the donated corn seeds are not genetically modified but are hybrids, which means that they may not be suitable for replanting in the subsequent seasons. By cultivating Monsanto’s corn, Haitian peasant farmers will be forced to make annual purchases of seeds.

After the earthquake, much of Haiti’s rural seed stocks were used to help feed people who fled to rural areas from devastated towns and cities. In a message to Haitian farmers, Chavannes stated, “Monsanto is taking advantage of the earthquake…to open the country’s doors to this powerful company. We cannot accept this.”

“With friends like Monsanto and its governmental allies, who needs enemies,” said Benoit Griouard of Union Paysanne, “This so-called donation is an attack on Haitian farmers and the future of their local seeds.”

“Haiti’s farmers are telling us that the future of Haiti depends on local production with local seeds and local knowledge, for local consumption,” said Colleen Ross of the National Farmers Union, “This is called food sovereignty and we support Haiti’s farmers in their struggle.”

“Our people will never be automonous if Haiti has to suffer through what is called generosity but makes us dependent on corporate control in agricultural production,” said Catherine Thélémaque of Action SOS Haiti in Montreal, “We are already working with Haitian farmers on sustainable, environmental and fair projects,”

“Food sovereignty cannot be attained with hybrid or genetically modified seeds” said Sebastien Roux, Coordinator of the Quebec group HAITI: One Seed One Land which has already sent more than $15,000 worth of organic and open-pollinated seeds to Haiti. “We strongly denounce this shipment of seeds from Monsanto which will jeopardize the future of Haitian agriculture.”

Canadians are responding to a call for international solidarity from Haiti’s peasant movement which is asking all people to “Struggle against Monsanto and its accomplices.”

“Haitian farmers are building their own, locally-relevant ecological farming solutions and are resisting dependence on the false solutions promoted by multinationals like Monsanto,” said Eric Darier, Agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace Canada.

“Monsanto’s corporate give-away of seeds will secure a future for Monsanto, not for Haiti’s farmers,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

The solidarity action in Montreal will be front of the Haitian Consulate: 1100 René-Lévesque West, Friday 4th June 10h00.

-30-

For More Information: Chavannes Jean Baptiste, Peasant Mouvement of Papaye: +509 34 55 15 86 ; Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext 6 or cell 613 263 9511; Benoit Griouard, Union Paysanne, 450 495 1910; Colleen Ross, National Farmers Union, 613 213 1522; Eric Darier, Greenpeace, 514 605 6497; Catherine Thélémaque, Communications Director, Action SOS Haiti, 514 298 5538; Sébastien Rioux, Coordinator, HAÏTI One Seed, One Land, 438 275 9805.


Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Take action to Stop "Envriopig™": No GM Animals http://www.cban.ca/enviropig
Donate Today http://www.cban.ca/donate
Subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve http://www.cban.ca/About/CBAN-e-News

Etiquetas: ,

domingo, mayo 23, 2010

Haití dice NO a Monsanto

Oportunidad de negocios

Campesinos de Haití se movilizan contra “ayuda humanitaria” de Monsanto

Descargar: MP3 – 5.4 MB

La corporación Monsanto y la embajada de Estados Unidos en Haití decidieron donar unas 475 toneladas de semillas de maíz transgénico a los pequeños agricultores de la isla caribeña, con la excusa de ayudar en la reconstrucción nacional después del terremoto del 12 de enero.

La medida conjunta provocó la ira de los campesinos haitianos, que están convocando a una movilización nacional de repudio para el próximo 5 de junio, en ocasión del Día del Medio Ambiente, según confirmó a Radio Mundo Real la activista Iderle Brenus del Movimiento Campesino de Papaya (MPP por sus siglas en francés), grupo que integra La Vía Campesina.

La denuncia de la polémica donación se conoció a través de un artículo escrito el 10 de mayo por el religioso inglés Jean-Yves Urfié, quien alertó que junto al “regalo mortal” de las semillas modificadas genéticamente la Monsanto le ofreció al gobierno haitiano los abonos y pesticidas asociados. “El terremoto de Haití del pasado 12 de enero ha sido una afortunada oportunidad de negocios para algunos”, manifestó Urfié en su nota.

Por su parte, Brenus recordó que más del 65 por ciento de la población haitiana depende del campo, aunque las autoridades locales no han aplicado políticas dirigidas a mejorar la situación de los pequeños productores agrícolas. “Ellos trabajan para las multinacionales y contra el pueblo haitiano”, marcó Brenus.



http://www.radiomundoreal.fm/Oportunidad-de-negocios

Etiquetas: , ,