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No corn, no country

31 January 2008

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz last week said the United States, Mexico and Canada were pleased at how NAFTA was working and saw no reason to reopen negotiations.

(AFP, 31 January 2007)

50,000 farmers say otherwise…


A CNC (Confederacion Nacional de Campesinas, the Farmers’ Union) sponsored megamarch brought out 50,000 (by government estimates) to 130,000 (by CNC estimates) protesters into the streets.  The 10-lane (with a center mall and two pedestrian walkways on either side)  Paseo de la Reforma was completely blocked off by protesters, who also torched a tractor at Monumento de la Revolucíon.

The farmers — some of whom walked to Mexico City from as far away as northern Chihuahua and Sonora — are protesting the end of tarriffs on Canadian and U.S. imports, especially of corn and milk.

Sugar tariffs  also ended January 1 under the NAFTA agreement.

The 5-million member CNC is looking for renegotiations to NAFTA, claiming that “government subsidies their counterparts in Canada and United States receive are unfair. CNC said farmers get some 20,000 dollars in annual subsidies in the United States compared to only 700 dollars in Mexico.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. zintzun permalink
    1 February 2008 2:30 am

    Do u know about some links where I can back up the information about the subsidies ?

  2. el_longhorn permalink
    1 February 2008 2:23 pm

    So I guess the Mexican government will up subsidies soon. Too bad, because the best thing that could happen would be for the US to cut subsidies instead. And just like in the US, Mexican subsidies will be increased to “save the small farmer”, the corporate farms will get all the subsidies, and the small farmer will still go under.

    Honestly, there is just no hope for the campesino with 40 acres and a burro. They will simply never be able to compete with Mexican farmers that have a tractor and a couple of hundred acres, much less US farmers that have that and more. To me, the question is what do you do with the campesinos that can no longer live on the land, not how do you try and delay the inevitable.

    The answer is obvious: there is plenty of good agricultural work to be done in the US and thousands of good Mexican farmers willing to do it.


  1. The corn is as high… « The Mex Files
  2. Boxing » No corn no country The Mex Files

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