The Tyranny of Soy Agribusiness in Paraguay

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Paraguay’s President Lugo hadn’t delivered on promises to farmers who brought him to power, while transgenic soy farms expanded, and then he was overthrown in a coup.

The Tyranny of Soy Agribusiness in Paraguay – From The Real News

President Fernando Lugo was elected in Paraguay, heading the Patriotic Alliance for Change, as the antidote to over 50 years of dictatorship. In particular, Lugo vowed to confront unequal distribution of land, where two percent of the population controlled 70 percent of the land.

Lugo further promised to deal with the proliferation of Genetically Modified Soybeans, occupying 25 percent of the total arable land in the country. Unfortunately, they have not been able to overcome the power of agribusiness giants Archer, Daniels, Midland, Cargill, Monsanto, and several Brazilian companies.

GMO, soya, Paraguay

San Marcos, San Vicente district, San Pedro, 2008–National police stand guard at the edge of a Brazilian-owned genetically modified soybean farm, after a court-ordered eviction of a landless farmers’ settlement on the edge of the property. Photo By Evan Abramson in UpsideDownWorld.

On June 22, 2012, a new tyrant entered the government palace. The right-wing Federico Franco became president in what has been deemed a parliamentary coup against democratically elected, left-leaning President Fernando Lugo. What lies behind today’s headlines, political fights and struggles for justice is a conflict over access to land.  — Benjamin Dangl in AlJazeera

For decades small farmers in Paraguay have been tormented by a tidal wave of GMO soy crops and pesticides expanding across the countryside. Paraguay is the fourth largest producer of soy in the world, and soy makes up 40 percent of Paraguayan exports and 10 percent of the country’s GDP.  An estimated twenty million liters of agrochemicals are sprayed across Paraguay each year, poisoning the people, water, farmland and livestock that come in its path.  — Benjamin Dangl

Industrial soybean farming has crowded out subsistence farmers, poisoned water sources and exposing humans, livestock, and wild species to dangerous pesticides and toxic contanimation.

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Planners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt