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Very near Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay, the conflict between a soy producer and the community affected by the agrotoxics used could result in a historical economic fine imposed on the businessman. This would set a precedent to ensure the safety of sprayed rural communities. The decision, ultimately, will be a political one.
Paso Picón is a rural town located in Canelones, Uruguay, a department featured by family production and small landowners. Aerial sprayings were banned in Canelones in 2010 due to different cases of contamination recorded.
The regulation in force also bans terrestrial mechanized application of agrotoxics in crops less than 300 meters from an urban or suburban area. But this is not always complied with, and there are many people suffering from the actions of their neighbors.
Rural producer and doctor Máximo Castilla made news again in Uruguay due to his conflicts with the Paso Picón community. Castilla has many denunciations against him because when he sprays his soy crops, he subjects the inhabitants of near-by houses to pesticide drift.
This time he assaulted and threatened Adriana Pascual once again, a teacher of the rural town who lives across Castilla´s soy crops.
In defense of her health and that of her daughters, Adriana has led the denunciations against Castilla for non-compliance with regulations each time he attacks them or exposes them to pesticides. The Canelones Departmental Board (territorial Parliament) is discussing the imposition of a fine that could amount to one million dollars. However, since a special majority is required, this could ultimately turn into a political decision.
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
En Argentina un joven está desaparecido por la represión estatal a una protesta mapuche; en Guatemala indígenas denuncian la violación del Convenio 169 de la OIT. Viajamos también a Costa Rica, Honduras y Venezuela, por otras demandas y agresiones a los pueblos.
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