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12 pesos, 30 pesos, 156,000,000 dollars… and up

13 January 2007

Photo courtesy la Jornada

There are already women banging their pots in front of congress and the Secretary of the Economy’s office in DF, where the new tortilla price is “ONLY” 12 pesos per kilo. There were reports of prices up to 30 per kilo in Durango. A few weeks ago, 8 per kilo was high.

What’s going on? Theories range from speculation and monopolistic hoarding (some truth to that one) to “savage capitalism” (also very likely true) to the success of U.S. “farmers” (i.e., agri-biz, Conagra, ADM, et.al.) at maintaining subsidies for everything from fuel and transport costs to fertilizer to EXPORTS… while Mexico ended agricultural subsidies… and will be allowing corn imports.

(Which, of course, means INDEPENDENT LANDOWNING MEXICAN FARMERS will be exporting themselves to Iowa and Nebraska and California and New York and… to work as laborors for those corporate farmers. What in Mexico used to be called peonage, in the bad old days of the haciendas… you know, those foreign owned agribusineses that Mexicans got rid of in the 1930s).

In the short run, the new administration of the homeland of corn is buying 450 tons from the U.S. (Corporate farms, underwritten by U.S. taxpayer export subsidies) and another 250 tons from elsewhere.

Even with the new salario minimo (50.57 pesos per DAY in Mexico City, now… 47.60 in the rural zones), nobody could pay 30 pesos a kilo for tortillas.

Milk prices are also going up, up, up… More on this later.

I haven’t hunted down all my sources yet… but I’ve been saying for a long time that when the barriers to corn imports fell, there were going to be even worse problems in rural Mexico. It almost seems as if the only crops Mexico can sell are marijuana and opium poppies… but that seems to be creating problems (or opportunities for the DEA and the U.S. government to spend their money in Mexico) right now.

It doesn’t look like the neoliberal Calderón administration will have any choice but to intervene in the market place, but they’re not in a bad position to do so… the national debt just dropped another 156 million U.S. DOLLARS (not pesos) thanks to early payouts on bonds maturing in 2019, 2022, 2026, 2031 and 2033.

Maybe they’ll be able to loan some money north of the border…

Cost of the War in Iraq (as of 3 AM, 13 Jan, 2007:

$357,889,000,000 … that’s Dollars, too)

To see more details, click here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 13 January 2007 2:50 am

    i just read about the tortilla scam earlier. it really really angered me.

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