“Ten years ago Javier Perez could provide for his family. He grew enough corn and beans on his small plot of land in southern Mexico to feed his wife and five children and sold his extra harvest to buy shoes, schoolbooks and other necessities. Over the years Javier earned enough to send his five children to primary school and to fix up his modest, dirt floor house.
About five years ago Javier lost his market for corn and beans. Upon Mexico’s entry into the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and the United States in 1994 imported US corn and other basic foods flooded the Mexican market, leaving Javier with no place to sell his crops. At the same time cuts in government supports to small farmers raised his cost of production.
In recent years, Javier has planted papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon and tomatoes in turn. But without resources, technology, or a secure market he ended up with a barn full of rotting fruit and a growing debt with the bank. Like the majority of Mexicans Javier is now poorer than his parents were. In order to keep the family afloat financially, his oldest son has left for the United States where he has found work as a migrant farm worker and sends money home periodically. Another son and daughter are seriously considering emigrating.”
Testimony given the group Witness for Peace and quoted in School of Assassins: Guns, Greed and Globalization by Jack Nicholas-Pallmeyer printed by Orbis Books in 2001.
Reading this I realized that our taxpayer subsidies to Big Ag are never going to end. They play too big a part in the on going foreign policy efforts to break the economies on the smaller countries to bring them into line with toxic capitalism. In this world view Javier and his family are simply collateral damage. Pretty sick isn’t it?