Soybean Wars: Militarization, Agribusiness Exploitation, and Community Resistance in Paraguay

Leticia Galeano, a Paraguayan student concerned with the effects of agribusiness on the campesino community, spoke at the CUNY Graduate Center on the particular nature of Paraguay's situation. Besides the well-known environmental risks of monoculture (including starvation, such as the Irish Potato Famine), Galeano's presentation included accounts of hostile takeover of peasant land by large farmers and the devastating health effects of pesticide sprayed indiscriminately on crops and villages alike.

Even as the landless peasantry has mobilized (including controversial land occupations), the situation is complicated by the fact that, though the produce and grain in large scale farming comes from seed from and is later to international agribusiness (such as Cargill and Bunge), these corporations don't actually own the farms-- rather, those are run by Paraguayans or, increasingly, Brazilians.

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