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Nyéléni 2007

The food Mexicans eat is controlled by companies"

Radio Mundo Real coverage at Selingué

Tuesday 27 February 2007, by maitreuweb

The Free Trade Agreement signed between Mexico, the US and Canada has
been in force since 1994. In these 12 years the negative impacts on
the Mexican agriculture and the peasant communities have increased,
but according to peasant leader Alberto Gómez, nowadays "the amendment
of laws to favor transnational corporations has become evident". The
government gives more and more opportunities to transnational
corporations with public monies.

It has been estimated that by 2008 agriculture trade within NAFTA will
lack protection measures for the Mexican agriculture.

Alberto Gómez is the National Coordinator of the National Union of
Autonomous Peasant Organizations (UNORCA), an indigenous and peasant
organization that has been resisting and struggling since 1985. He was
in charge of submitting the agreements reached in the work group on
international trade and agriculture before the plenary of the Forum on
Food Sovereignty.

The leader told the plenary "Food sovereignty is the great alternative
to this world, and it will be achieved through the strengthening of
social movements, massive demonstrations, building alliances, raising

Gómez told Real World Radio "the struggles for resistance have to
become stronger at all levels, global, regional and national. Food
sovereignty implies the development of local markets, the pursuit of a
direct relation between consumers and producers, in conclusion,
raising public awareness on how and who controls what we eat".

The Mexican leader said there is currently "a war against peasant
farming". In México "the power granted to transnational corporations
over important and strategic products is growing every day. The food
Mexicans eat is controlled by companies".

"Peasant farming is an issue of food for Mexicans and it is also an
issue of national security. Mexico is a dependent country exposed to
transnational pressure".

To face this, Mexican social movements have been carrying out massive
demonstrations and want to intensify them throughout the year. During
the first weeks of February thousands of peasants and members of the
poorest sectors demonstrated against the absurd raise in the price of
corn tortilla, which is an essential element of the Basic Food Basket
of low-income Mexicans.

Besides "in 2008 will be the opening of agriculture markets, the last
item of the Free Trade Agreement. We have no choice but to mobilize by
including not only people who are members of an organization but the
whole population. We’ve build alliances with farmers’ organizations
from the US and Canada so the fight against NAFTA will not be only of
Mexicans but of all the affected small-scale producers from the three