Nearly two thousand activists explored extractivism over three days in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, at the Continental Conference for Water and Pachamama, debating the problems created by the extractive model and possible alternatives. The Conference Ethics Tribunal condemned militarization and the criminalization of protest, which are integral parts of the extractive model.
Two objectives guide the United States and transnational companies in Central America: geopolitical and military control and enormous profits from mining megaprojects. Militarism, drug-trafficking, and violence complete a picture in which the same ones always lose.
Congress could vote any day now to strike a new blow against already-battered U.S. workers and the unemployed in the form of three Bush-era Free Trade Agreements. The Obama administration and corporate interests are urging their passage. Read why unions and human rights groups say no.
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The Qom community of The Primavera is made up of some 4500 inhabitants. As is true with almost all indigenous communities in Argentina, their circumstances are virtually ignored in a society that thinks of itself as “descended from ships.” However, the fight for land and territory that continues in their state of Formosa has grown to such a size that it has broken through the media barrier that usually keeps the interior of the country invisible to those in Buenos Aires.
For two days, Capulalpam de la Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca turned into a modern Babel of land disputes. The town was the site of the Third National Forum Building Resistance to Protect our Land, May 20 and 21. The organizers said the goal of the event was, “a critical analysis of the current model of development, and the compilation of a list of demands so as to allow the communities to form a united front in the defense of their lands.”
China is fast overtaking and displacing both the United States and Europe in Latin American trade. Latin American business elites and governments on the left and the right, hungry for foreign investment and exchange, welcome the opportunity to do business with the Chinese. But environmentalists and progressives in the region are concerned about China’s growing influence, decrying that much of its investment is going into environmentally unsustainable activities and is putting local and national sovereignty into question.
Monsanto has turned the drop in international corn reserves and the havoc wreaked on Mexican corn production by an unexpected cold snap into an argument for speeding up commercial planting of its genetically modified (GM) corn in Mexico. The transnational is claiming that its modified seeds are the only solution to scarcity and rising grain prices.
The advent of progressive governments in South America in the last decade gave environmentalists the hope that this would be the beginning of a truly sustainable economic development. But post-neoliberal “progresismo” has brought new complications in the environmental front, according to numerous activists and experts.
International cartels use their control over the global food supply to make huge profits. There are six major corporations that control the purchase and sale of agricultural products: Cargill, Kraft, Bunge & Born, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Nestlé and General Mills. Food prices are set at exchanges in Chicago, New York and London.