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By Jorge Rulli
We are at the epicenter of the biotech bomb mounted and activated by corporations. That is precisely the policy of the round tables organized from Europe by Banks and Corporations.
The day before yesterday an English journalist called me at home, he gave me his name, the name of the friend who recommended him and the agency he worked for. All right, I said, how can we help you? He tells me then, with considerable difficulty in the use of Spanish, that he is doing research on Biofuels and that he wants to know if the GRR is working on this issue. I explain that yes, we have a campaign on Agrofuels, that you can go to our page and find out. So he asks me if I would agree to do an interview and I answer yes. Then he asks me if we work with small producers evicted from their lands for biofuels. I explain that the Argentine situation is not exactly like that, that it is not the biofuel production companies, as such, that expel peasants, that in any case these are events inherent to the soybeanization process, painful but marginal events, situations that they would not allow themselves to understand the Agrofuel production model that is just beginning in Argentina. I may add, perhaps, unnecessarily, that, in reality, talking about peasants and aborigines has become fashionable lately, as an easy response to the crisis posed by the countryside, but that it is just an escape or perhaps a shelter for the incomprehension of certain sectors of the progressive left that took time to see the model of transgenic monocultures installed, and that cannot understand what is happening. The English journalist asks me if we are not defending the peasants. I answer that yes, we have done what we could for them and that we are in solidarity with their struggles, but I insist with some impatience, that if you want to understand the biofuel production model, it is not the best way to start with who are expelled from their lands in the Monte del Chaco areas. He asks me what other victims there are. I explain that the fumigations have had a devastating impact on populations throughout the industrial agriculture territory and that the health situation in soybean and peri-urban areas is, from an epidemiological point of view, catastrophic. His mistrust now is clearly perceived, and then bluntly, he questions me, since we do not defend peasants, which country we propose ... I explain to him with a patience that is exhausted, on a particularly difficult day, that we do defend peasants and that as GRR we propose a National Project with State recovery, with Social Justice and Food Sovereignty. His performance surprises me. So they are nationalists, he interrupts me. Yes, I concede, I suppose it may be a way of explaining ... At that moment the communication is cut off, but as the number is registered on the cell phone I make the mistake and the excessive courtesy of calling him. He attends me surprised and explains that he has been confused by my comments and that he actually believed that what he was looking for were peasants or small producers expelled from their lands by Biofuels, that he asks me for time to think better and apologizes. He says goodbye telling me that he will call me again and when he cuts me I am left thinking that, not only will I never hear from him again, but I have had the experience of how central countries build or “us” build, ways of thinking and understanding our own reality. They do not want us to explain to them how the model works, they know it because they are implementing it, what they strangely need now is the testimony of their victims, because registering them could lead to putting ethical limits on a fuel that they will absolutely need, but not they want it with the burden of bad conscience that excessive exploitation or abuse would carry ... That is globalization, even more complex than we imagine. We are ultimately the mirror of Europe, a broken mirror, but a mirror at last ...
Do you know how much the experts, who have taken in recent years exporters like Cargill and Bunge, are calculating, thanks to the corruption and incompetence of our legislators and officials in the area, and above their profits, bypassing state controls , appropriating part of the withholdings that they take from the producer and through legal traps that they have set up, sometimes from the Senate itself and that the Secretary of Agriculture has long consented to? Well, nothing less than five billion dollars. Yes, you heard well. The whole confrontation that made us all suffer so much and I include the smoke from the burning in the islands, no matter who the perpetrators were, all that confrontation is debating much less than half that figure. Strong, right? And with regard to the English journalist who wanted to interview me about the production of Biofuels but with images of peasants expelled from their lands, it seems to me that now we could try to make a new reading, not only of him, but of how and in what way , the information is manipulated from the agencies and how our thinking is modeled from the media powerhouses, to lead it to areas where it is not risky.
Many, during the last twelve years in which this model of production of transgenic soybeans was installed, looked the other way and did not want or could not see it. They did not want or could not see him, due to various circumstances. Because in those years they supported the demands of the unemployed in agriculture who cut the routes asking for more plans and also bonuses for their plans. Because they were doing socialism in some urban area from piqueteros bakeries and small businesses subsidized by the withholdings on soy. Because they were dazzled by that supposedly "revolutionary" slogan: picket and saucepan the fight is one…. Because they shared the idea of progress or perhaps they placed a certain faith in transgenic technologies. Because they envisioned the businessmen Urquía and Grobocopatel as the new progressive bourgeoisie that was going to fulfill Bolívar's dream; or whatever ... Today, striving to reposition themselves existentially in this scenario, a scenario brutally modified by the roadblocks of farmers, they cling like castaways to the peasants and the aborigines to stand up to the crisis, and try respond to what they strive to understand.
Rodolfo Kusch told us in "Denial in popular thought", that… ”The thing is known, but what is fundamental is the possibility that what is known enters into knowledge. Knowing implies an openness to the world, and also taking into account what that world offers me as clear and different. But this does not make sense if there is no prior emotional position in front of that data, something that totals it and makes it become part of my existential horizon ”.
Certain environmentalists in turn, who put stones at us for years in the way of the denunciations in which we were committed, today they explain to us from the chair, that the peasants and indigenous people are "hostages of the model" and remind us of the victimizations they suffer, such as if we did not know it and had not denounced a thousand times and in solitude, the human and population devastations caused by the model throughout these years, especially by the fumigations and the devastation of the ecosystems ... If even the progressive media, and say This is almost a banality, at least since Magneto bought Page 12 and since this government extended in 2005 for another ten years, the licenses granted by the Broadcasting law, if even the media that play to be progressive suddenly put us ahead of the victimized peasants and even Hebe de Bonafini worries about organizing them from the University of Mothers. One wonders, what is happening? Yes, what is happening when Castells and Nina Pelosso summon a Peasant Workers Front on the first of May?
Let us ask ourselves now, seriously, how much does it matter to Cargill, Bunge, Dreyfus, ADM and Vicentín that at this moment of the crisis and when the corporate model is exposed in all its horrible excess, we demonstrate in favor of the native peoples or peasants? It happens that the model cares a lot, that the corporations remain invisible, they care a lot that in the crisis we do not develop awareness about the dependency model, and that both in the field of understanding and in that of political action Let's take the wrong path Likewise, and it is hard to say it, it also happens that vast sectors of the left once again operate as functional to the corporate model and cling to the victims that exist in the expansive agricultural frontier, simply because they were left without speech, because they do not understand what happens ... and also, they dramatically declare that this is not talked about, when the official page of progressivism does not seem to talk about something else every day while, despite the scandalousness of corporate looting, it is difficult to find a journalist who mentions the exporters.
Only Cargill and its corporate partners would be taking some five billion dollars a year stolen from the people and the Argentine State, while some radicalized assumptions, from the margins of political action, denounce our Nation State…. Who do you serve by denouncing the Nation State in times of globalization and the fall of all regulations, at a time when international markets prevail above all laws? Who do they play the game?
Throughout the Paraná immense Biofuel plants are raised that anticipate and configure the globalized country that we will have. Huge pens are built next to each of them to fatten millions of heads… Investment funds keep coming in and buying land. What do we want to do with our claims, what do we want with our speeches? Do we want them to return the Social Agricultural Plan to the peasants as they had it the previous year? We really believe that from the expanding frontier of the model we can shout they WILL NOT PASS and that they really will not happen? On the other hand, do we want them not to pass or do we want a fairer country and with the recovery of the state for the people and for a national project? I ask myself these questions because as GRR we are at the epicenter of the biotech bomb mounted and activated by corporations, we are striving to disarm it, and what we see is that for many, it seems that the best way to push back the Corporations is by putting it limits and stripping them of commitments in defense of the forest or small producers. That is precisely the policy of the round tables organized from Europe by Banks and Corporations, and where they agree with groups such as the WWF of the panda bear and in Argentina with the Fundación Vida Silvestre and with FUNDAPAZ. They try to appease the resistance of the populations and especially of European consumers, generating new certified markets in which soybean and biofuel productions comply with regulations regarding the defense of forests, peasant life and supposed sustainability criteria. We have called these policies the green make-up and have denounced them as a lie and as a way to increase global controls and close the way to protest. We have said that Soy is responsible, but for death, disease, depopulation of the countryside and setting up mechanisms of colonial dependency.
In these same days, numerous international delegations of banks, European supermarkets and large NGOs, arrived in Argentina to promote those round tables in which they usually sit victims and perpetrators, thus legitimizing their agribusiness and opening new certification and cover-up markets for your global privateer operations. They have come to Argentina to present their proposals for alleged Responsible Soybeans in Puerto Madero and with them they intend to stop the processes of struggle and resistance, to change the destiny of having a homeland again, for a mere factory destination. As everyone will have realized, circumstances, chance or perhaps divinity, were not on his side. They could not choose a worse time to meet, in a Buenos Aires in the middle of smoke and when soy has become a bad word for Argentines. But they are Europeans, and the agendas have been set for a long time, the huge budgets agreed and the invitations issued. They couldn't back down and came despite the poor prognoses, but they tried hard to be inconspicuous. They did not succeed, because we are denouncing them and will continue to do so over and over again. Let's bear it in mind: although for other, much higher reasons, we cannot go backwards either.
* Jorge Eduardo Rulli