By Dario Aranda
This fourth and final interview is with Ángel Strapazzón, a community educator and member of Mocase-Vía Campesina (Mocase-VC), the largest peasant organization in the country. Mocase-VC comprises 9,000 families.
Interview by Dario Aranda
“With the current agribusiness model, [genetically modified Roundup Ready] RR soybeans and glyphosate fumigations, the losses have been substantial over the years. Community territories where ancestral peasants and indigenous families have lived for generations have been totally destroyed. Indiscriminate deforestation has caused the loss of flora and fauna, which represented sustenance for the population of indigenous peasants. It meant having medicinal herbs and wild fruits as food for the people and the animals. In addition, land has been taken away from the people and fenced by wire, damaging the economy because families have been forced to reduce their livestock. In some cases, families had to get rid of their goats, sheep and cows altogether because they have nowhere to take them.
“In other cases, families were forced to leave just because they were defending their right to the land. People were put in jail, even children and the elderly. They have violated the rights of those who worked on the land for generations and even treated them as criminals. The judges and the police are the right hand of the multinationals in the agribusiness. They don’t respect schools. Children who attend school in rural areas are often sprayed on site, causing them dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.
“The spraying of RR soybeans has caused irretrievable damage to native and traditional seeds and has increased the mortality of species that have specific functions in the cycle of nature. Spraying has caused and continues to cause damage to the health of entire families who live near the plantations. It pollutes the water, the soil and the atmosphere, and causes health problems such as miscarriages in pregnant women, birth defects and skin allergies. You can see malformations in animals as well, especially in lambs and chicks. Loss of forest fruits is terrible because some of the spraying coincides with the flowering of the little land that is still guarded by peasants. Glyphosate makes the fruit go bad.
Read the full interview at GM Watch