From GM Weekly Watch 185 (7/29/06):
EXCERPT from a commentary by Ignacio Chapela:
… internal military and paramilitary repression has found an immediate use in promoting the spread of GMO soy. Herbicide resistant transgenic soy has brought to this South American region a form of agriculture that is incompatible with campesino or indigenous ways of life. Instead of changing agriculture to fit people, the landscape is being cleansed through violence to make it fit mechanized, high-input, monoculture soybean production. National armies are now protecting GMO, export-oriented soybean plants against the diverse ecosystems of the region, but also against the citizens of those countries who insist on rejecting them. Infusing the CIA and the US military into this formula simply adds deadly power to an already raging fire.
A recent article in The Nation exposed how the US military is advising the Paraguayan police and military on how to deal with farmer groups who oppose the illegal take over of their lands for GM soya cultivation.
EXCERPTS: “The US troops talk with the farmers and get to know their leaders and which groups, organizations, are working there, then establish the plans and actions to control the farmer movement and advise the Paraguayan military and police on how to proceed….”
[US military instruction is being used to assist internal repression.]
“The most recent case of this violence is the death of Serapio Villasboa Cabrera, a member of the Paraguayan Campesino Movement, whose body was found full of knife wounds May 8. Cabrera was the brother of Petrona Villasboa, who was spearheading an investigation into the death of her son, who died from exposure to toxic chemicals used by transgenic soy producers. According to Servicio, Paz y Justicia (Serpaj), an international human rights group that has a chapter in Paraguay, one method used to force farmers off their land is to spray toxic pesticides around communities until sickness forces residents to leave.”