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Verdict in International People's Tribunal Trial of World's Largest AgroChemical Corps for Gross Human Rights Violations- Video


Health & Wellness  (tags: Permanent People's Tribunal, PPT, International, verdict, India, agrochemical TNCs, Big 6, corps, pesticide poisoning, victims, human rights, health, toxic-free environment, food sovereignty, livelihood, Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, Bayer, DuPont, BASF )

LucyKalei
- 2023 days ago - agricorporateaccountability.net
PesticideActionNtwk hails verdict agnst Big 6 after historic 4-day trial: victory for peoples most affected by Big 6 control over food/agriculture. Pesticide industry to blame for systematic poisoning of health & environment, loss of food sovereignty, +



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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday December 8, 2011, 3:04 am
Tribunal verdict vs. 6 agrochemical TNCs hailed, urgent action on recommendations urged

12/07/2011
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International hailed the verdict of the Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) against the world's six largest agrochemical companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont and BASF after a historic four-day session that culminated in Bangalore, India yesterday.

Victims and survivors of the pesticide industry from all over the world, represented by PAN International, testified before a distinguished international jury to indict the "Big 6" for human rights violations. Based on evidence presented before it, the Tribunal found the Defendant agrochemical TNCs "responsible for gross, widespread and systematic violations of the right to health and life, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as of civil and political rights, and women and children's rights." (see the verdict here)

The Tribunal also found agrochemical TNCs responsible for violation of indigenous peoples' human rights, and further found that "their systematic acts of corporate governance have caused avoidable catastrophic risks, increasing the prospects of extinction of biodiversity, including species whose continued existence is necessary for reproduction of human life."

Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific Executive Director, said that the Tribunal's verdict is a victory for peoples who have been most affected by the Big 6's control over food and agriculture. "We are elated with the verdict. It affirms what people all over the world already know and are experiencing: that the pesticide industry is to blame and should be held accountable for the systematic poisoning of human health and the environment, loss of food sovereignty and self-determination, and increased world hunger and poverty," she said.

The PPT, founded in 1979 in Italy, is an international opinion tribunal that looks into complaints of human rights violations. Borne out of the tribunals on the Vietnam War and Latin American dictatorships, the PPT has held 37 sessions so far using the rigorous conventional court format. While its verdicts are not legally binding, these can set precedent for future legal actions against Defendants, and can pressure governments and institutions.

Jurors for the PPT Session on Agrochemical TNCs are Indian legal scholar Upendra Baxi, British scientist Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, African environmental lawyer Ibrahima Ly, German economist Elmar Altvater, Italian professor Paolo Ramazotti, and PPT Secretary General Dr. Gianni Tognoni. (see profile of jury here)

The Tribunal said that the home States of the Big 6 (US, Switzerland, and Germany), have "failed to comply with their internationally accepted responsibility to promote and protect human rights," by not adequately regulating, monitoring and disciplining these corporations. The Tribunal further said that these States have "unjustifiably promoted a double standard approach prohibiting the production of hazardous chemicals at home while allowing their own TNCs unrestrained license for these enterprises in other States, especially of the Global South."

The Tribunal also found host States responsible for failure to protect the human rights of its citizens by offering "magic carpet type hospitality" to agrochemical TNCs and therefore not adequately protecting social movement activists or independent scientists from harassment, not limiting the "global corporate ownership of knowledge production in universities and related research sites," "not recognizing the value of indigenous knowledge and social relationships they create and sustain," and "not fully pursuing alternative and less hazardous forms of agricultural production without having learnt the full lessons from the First Green Revolution."

The Tribunal also found that the policies of World Trade Organization in relation to Intellectual Property Rights are "not balanced with any sincere regard for the grave long-term hazards to humans and nature already posed by the activities of agribusiness and agrochemical industries." International financial institutions, named in the indictment as the International Monetary Fund-World Bank, do not follow "a strict regime of human rights conditionalities" and "have yet to develop policies concerning their support for hazardous manufacture, application or process," said the Tribunal.

The Tribunal recommended that national governments should "prosecute the Defendant agrochemical companies in terms of criminal liability rather than civil liability." It also urged governments to take action to "restructure international law" to ensure the accountability of transnational corporations, to "accept a less heavy burden of proof on the victims and to fully commit to and legislate for the precautionary principle," and "to prevent TNCs from directly or indirectly harassing and intimidating scientists, farmers and human rights and environmental defenders."

It also urged international organizations and intergovernmental institutions to uphold human rights and the welfare of populations, and protect of biodiversity and ecosystems by subordinating the interests of corporations pursuing patents.

"The Tribunal's recommendations must immediately be acted upon, for they echo what civil society and people's organizations have been demanding for a very long time. The prosecution of the Big 6 must be started to bring justice to fruition for the thousands of victims and survivors of the pesticide industry. The precautionary principle must be put into place and the patent regime abolished, as recommended by the Tribunal. That is the only way to stop these human rights violations, which continue every day with impunity," said Rengam.

Rengam further added that the Tribunal just marks the beginning of an escalated international people's movement against agrochemical TNCs, which is now armed with a powerful verdict that can be used in every part of the world. "The next step towards justice and liberation from the Big 6's control will be determined by the people's unity, strength, and determination to stand up against corporate greed and aggression, just as was shown in this victorious PPT Session," she concluded. ###

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Support the tribunal. Sign the petition to show support for this landmark quest for justice at
http://www.agricorporateaccountability.net/petition.


Watch the trailer
 

Pamylle G (461)
Friday December 9, 2011, 6:53 am
Great news, particularly if it generates enough political will to pursue corporate accountability - signed gladly !
 

patricia lasek (317)
Friday December 9, 2011, 7:15 am
Thanks, Jill. In case you missed it, there is a petition on the site to sign for agricorp accountability. It's on the top, right hand side.

Here in the US, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed a $42 million verdict for farmerswho suffered economic losses when a strain of GM rice seeds contaminated the food supply and hurt crop prices. The company was Bayer CropScience, a German cooperative.

Let's hear it for the little guys!
 

Sally M (72)
Friday December 9, 2011, 8:24 am
All this good news makes my holidays seem a lot brighter....thank you everyone who had the guts and were brave enough to take on these evil corporate entities! There are outcry's all over the world and people are winning cases against these horrid companies....from Canada to India there is justice being upheld!
 

Mike S (86)
Friday December 9, 2011, 5:38 pm
Gladly signed, noted and shared. Thank you for posting.
 

linda b (186)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 3:29 am
Gladly signed thank you.
 

P A (117)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 3:34 am
Thanks PeasantDiva and Abdessalam - it makes a good start to bringing some of these appalling people to book!
Would have sent a green star to Patricia M L but couldn't as already had this week - thanks!
 

P A (117)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 3:36 am
Patricia M L's info about the petition most useful - signed with pleasure!
 

Nancy C (806)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 4:58 am
Thanx all. This is a positive step, finally on the right direction. The little guy has become a sheeple unless directly affected by these companies. The more info and truth that is circulating the globe, the more strength we'll have against them. The Tribunal is a tower of justice against Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont and BASF. Holding their harboring states accountable for neglect of control is brilliant. The pressure is on and that's a start.
 

penny C (91)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 5:38 am
Good news.signed petition,thanks Abo.
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 5:48 am
Thank you PeDi for posting this essential information; I think it is the best news I have heard in a long, long time.

Each second, industrial facilities around the world, release 310 kg of toxic chemicals into our air, land, and water. This amounts to approximately 10 million tons of toxic chemicals released into our environment by industries each year. Of these, over 2 million tons per year are recognized carcinogens (cancer causing substances). This amounts to about 65 kg each second. Please check on WorldOMeters: http://www.worldometers.info/view/toxchem/

One of the worst polluters of our soils, waters, air and food chain is the US Corporation Monsanto. If you are not aware of the actions of that corporation, here is a brief summary of their history:
http://bestmeal.info/monsanto/company-history.shtml

Thus, the global chemical industries are poisoning us, and those who should protect us – our governments – condone this slow but certain killing of society and nature worldwide by toxic substances. Due to greed for economic growth and profit making, our leaders are not taking the ethical right action against these corporations. The reason seems obvious: like the CEO and owners of the corporations also our political leaders are benefitting from the huge profit gained from such anti-life activities. Even the judicial system worldwide has been hijacked by the greedy political and economic elites. We cannot anymore expect justice in cases where people have been harmed, violated, handicapped, or killed by distribution of chemicals or from eating food that has been contaminated via the process of genetically engineering.

Due to this obstacle the world’s population needs to create their own judicial system that is able properly to deal with ethical issues like our right to life. Permanent People's Tribunal is such an initiative and it is the way to go for the 99 percent who are dominated by the small political and economic elite.

This is therefore wonderful news to hear the world’s people speak up about the injustices the elite is forcing us to live with. We must never ever give in or give up our right to clean water, unpolluted soils, fresh air, and healthy food. Together, we can stand up against the greedy political and economic elite worldwide, and tell them that enough is enough.

Please sign the petition in support of the initiative. Here is the direct hot link: http://www.agricorporateaccountability.net/en/page/general/17

If you like to be better informed about the dangers of genetic engineered food and its chemicals, you may consider becoming members of our group Global Alliance to Ban GMOs hosted by Zen Whisperingtree. This is the home page: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/BanGMOs

 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 6:04 am
By the way, when we are busy with these criminals. Would you all please sign this petition http://www.change.org/petitions/drop-dow-chemical-as-partners-for-the-london-2012-olympic-games-bhopal

It is against Dow Chemicals bid to advertise at the London Olympics. Dow are as from 2001 the owners of Union Carbide, which caused the dreadful Bhopal catastrophe in India and which they still have failed to resolve responsibly. Hence it is not a corporation one would want to be part of a sustainable and environmentally friendly event as the Olympic Games.
 

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 6:49 am
these corporations are like fire.the more they are fed the more they consume,no heart,no mind,no goal except for growth lie a parasite on the planet that eventually kills its host and moves on....space exploration is not just from innocent curiosity.
 

Penelope P (222)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 6:50 am
Wish I knew from this how much influence overall that this tribunal has round the world. With backers like Gates it seems that the financil interests may be rather strong.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 6:55 am
Thank you. Already signed the Change petition but when tried to sign the other one, it said "page not found".
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:01 am
I am sorry dear Olivia, I easily can get to the page, perhaps you may try later on.
 

penny C (91)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 9:09 am
Abo already sent me one which I signed. I just signed & shared the other one in your post futher down.Thank you dear Jytte these are such important issues.
 

Henriette M (154)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 9:32 am
Signed both petitions, Thanks Abdessalam for the forward, PeasantDiva for posting & Jytte for petition link. Good to see people are coming together to fight the evils creating this for their sole purpose of greed! All the while destroying environment, sustainable living & getting away with such crimes on Mother Earth & the inhabitant of this planet!
 

Cornelius McHugh (81)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 9:58 am
Both signed.
 

Jenny Dooley (830)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 11:29 am
both signed
thank you PeasantDiva
thankyou Jytte, and Penny for sharing.
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 12:31 pm
There was some confusion regarding the two petitions here they are:

1) http://www.agricorporateaccountability.net/en/page/general/17

2) http://www.change.org/petitions/drop-dow-chemical-as-partners-for-the-london-2012-olympic-games-bhopal
 

. (0)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 12:43 pm
s&n..I pray that justice will prevail..thanks Barbara
 

Stelizan L (258)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:04 pm
Signed and shared - kudos to all who commented! And, most important of all - AMEN to success!! Thanks for all the links too!
 

Cynthia B (74)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:21 pm
Signed and shared.
 

Nicole W (646)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:22 pm
noted, signed and shared
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:25 pm
TY sweetie! I agree this is HUGE! I was just saying last night that I belive there has been an increase of successed due to the fact activists are "going to the mat". "THEY" cannot ignore the roar of the lion anymore! I'll take every "crumb" they "offer".

Althought I thought I had already signed these petitions, this is what I learned...
'There is already an existing individual sign-on associated with the information you have submitted!
Thank you very much! In other words you can sign these petitions under every account you have set up!!!

Jytte~ Thank you (as usual) for mentioning Global Alliance. A fund raiser from "Global Alliance" and I spoke last night for quite some time. (I have yet to unpack my suitcases from beeing gone 5 weeks or so~ but this was a call I would take). I am thrilled they are in California either at the present moment or very soon, and was informed they would personally phone me with info this upcoming week. They need volunteers!!! Not only did I sign up for me~ I signed for many of here in Ojai!!! (I said I had many people I knew would be interested in volunteering).
I will begining reading/printing to distribute info locally/and signing all of your info Jyte!!! :)
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 1:26 pm
...an increase of SUCCESSES...
 

Michela M (4003)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 2:56 pm
SIGNED and Noted!! Thanks!! Ciao!! Michela
 

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 6:55 pm
Signed & noted!:)
 

H Nick H (1826)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 8:17 pm
I agree. More people need to know what these big corporations are doing to the people all over the world for their own profit and greed. And they pay of our policicians now, with secret money. Makes me think that the whole republican party (and some demos) are in their pockets. The own them.

Thanks for helping everyone to be aware of this.
 

Constance F (418)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 10:38 pm
Thank you for posting, to Cinzia for sending out. Signed both with pleasure!
 

Michael Carney (218)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 1:31 am
Noted, and gladly signed...Thanks for the post PeasantDiva, and thank you Connie for forwarding it to me...
 

glenda b (2)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 4:37 am
It's good to see someone is finally going after these people who think they are GODS AND DON'T HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE. I don't understand why these people think they have the right to destroy the planet so they can get richer.
 

Regina P (67)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 8:05 am
Noted & signed, Thank you Contance for forwarding.
 

Elsie Au (259)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 8:08 am
Noted and signed. Thanks for the post.
 

Cary Mostly-Away (94)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:33 am
The Vote Heard Round The World: L.A. Votes To Abolish Corporate Personhood

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1483/976/The_Vote_Heard_Round_The_World:_L.A._Votes_To_Abolish_Corporate_Personhood.html
 

Sime Validzic (244)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 2:14 pm
I "signed" the 2 petitions listed in the above comment by Jytte Nhanenge. Also joined the group to ban GMOs but do not have time to look into it now.

Although I have fallen into the trap of online activism; I think that offline (street) activism is more effective although in that case I can only work on very few issues. We have banned the growing of GMOs in Croatia and most of Europe. I think that African governments are also against GMOs. One area where I am probably living unethically is by relying on conventional (vegan) processed food; if I were to rely only on organic food and prepare everything from scratch, I would have very little time for activism (and at least some food would go to waste) but I do not know how to solve this dilemma.
 

Dandelion G (383)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 4:51 pm
Article said:

The PPT, founded in 1979 in Italy, is an international opinion tribunal that looks into complaints of human rights violations. Borne out of the tribunals on the Vietnam War and Latin American dictatorships, the PPT has held 37 sessions so far using the rigorous conventional court format. While its verdicts are not legally binding, these can set precedent for future legal actions against Defendants, and can pressure governments and institutions

My comment: Well this is certainly a good start and right in time for the International Human Rights Day, as it stated above, it was started due to complaints of human rights violations.

For more information about that please go to:
INERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Thank you Jytte for the forward, the petitions links, I certainly signed.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 7:06 pm
Jytte, forgive me for misspelling your name. I am horrified.
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Monday December 12, 2011, 2:22 am
I just made the link from Cary hot, since it is worthwhile reading this small article:
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1483/976/The_Vote_Heard_Round_The_World:_L.A._Votes_To_Abolish_Corporate_Personhood.html

Do not worry SuSanne. Many people find my name difficult to spell, even more complex to pronounce. I am so used that I admittedly did not even notice. It is a Danish name, and most English speaking people cannot catch it out of good reason. But as PeDi once said it sounds a bit like Yule.

I see your dilemma dear Simon, however, we have to prioritize: Thus give a bit of your time to healthy eating, another bit to your street activism, and a third part to your on-line activism - and do not forget to enjoy your life in between, then I believe you will feel in balance and satisfied :)

I very much agree Dandelion. We need to start somewhere. And this is a very good place to start. It is big enough to rock the boat and to falsify the statements of the political and economic elites. I believe in the people, we are the majority and we can change this terrible situation if we stand together.
 

Susanne R (237)
Monday December 12, 2011, 8:58 pm
Wonderful news! I was shocked when I clicked on PAN's site and read the information that was provided. Even more upsetting were the accounts and visuals documented in the video trailer. The power and influence of the Big 6 is so much greater than I had expected! No one should be at the mercy of large corporations when it comes to their health, safety, livelihood, etc. I hope that justice is served.

Thanks for sharing this important information!
 

Mary T (178)
Monday December 12, 2011, 9:17 pm
Thanks so much for sharing this I signed both petitions, It is time to hold these people accountable for their actions for destroying our planet.
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 2:54 am
May I kindly add an article and video that confirms what Cary mentioned. These Californians they are progressive I must say. They may also be the ones to force through GMO labeling. Great work.

http://permaculture.org.au/2011/12/09/unanimous-decision-by-l-a-council-makes-the-city-first-to-vote-against-corporate-personhood/
 

Jolyne R (19)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 3:27 am
Signed !
Thank you so much. It's a pleasure for me to sign these petitions.
Have a nice day with a lot of sunshine.
 

Erika M (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 7:15 am
signed
 

Jim P (3261)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 10:49 am
Petition signed.

I get mighty tired of corporations getting away with many things...
They must be stopped in any way possible...

There is a video out there that examines what a corporation does to other peoples and contries.
Worth watching: "The End of Proverty" This can be obtained through the library or Netflix.

TY, PeasantDiva for the article and Sam for the forward.
.
 

Many Feathers (139)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 11:55 am
noted abd signed... these corporations are destroying our planet
and i wont stand for it,
and That's the Bottom Line !!!
 

michael sullivan (1022)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 4:28 pm
noted and signed, sealed, and delivered~
 

Julia R (295)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 5:34 pm
Signed both petitions! Thank you Peasant Di. It is commendable that this tribunal is doing what our own governments are failing to do - protecting their citizens! When a group of people such as the PPT maintain their objectivity and integrity because they aren't getting campaign contributions, it sure seems to make a difference in their ability to see the need for corporate accountability and necessary regulation to protect ordinary citizens from the abuse of financial and political power.
Hopefully, we will now see a new trend developing with people seeing the need to put an end to the domination of mega agrochemical corporations that are depriving people on a global scale of their essential rights to participate in important decisions that effect their food, their human rights, and economic and social justice.
 

Douglas S (47)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:58 pm
Noted and signed. Thankyou for the opportunity to lend my name.
 

Harsha Vardhana (58)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 12:21 am
Noted and signed Thanks for the spread of awareness!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:00 am
Thanks, noted and signed.
 

Jim P (3261)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:32 am

Here is a web site designed so you can see what lands around the world are being "grabbed" by
the big corporations and other countries. LINK:

farmlandgrab.org weekly provides a list of the latest postings to farmlandgrab.org by email each week
farmlandgrab.org is an open-publishing website, initiated by GRAIN, tracking today's global land grab for food production and people's movements against it

Worth a look and read.

TY, PeasnatDiva.
.


 

Shirley S (185)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:30 pm
Noted & signed
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 11:28 pm
That is right Jim Philips. Farmlandgrab.org is an excellent website giving relevant and regretfully scary information about how the political and economic elite now are buying up the lands of the poor - that very land on which indigenous peoples are supposed to grow their food. No wonder there are around 1 billion people going hungry and 1.2 billion absolute poor in this world. The result of this and other kinds of economic domination is that 50,000 people are dying every day from effects of poverty - in our world of plenty.

I am subscribing to farmlandgrab.org, receiving weekly updates that come in both English and French. Thus maybe some want to read this interesting website. I made the link hot for you:

http://www.farmlandgrab.org/
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday December 21, 2011, 3:16 am
This brilliant film is a must-see for anyone interested in getting to the root of the poverty issue, changing the system that is designed for the benefit of the 1%, ending the gross economic inequality that characterises it, understanding how the neo-colonial, 'free trade' economy marginalizes indigenous people everywhere & systematically creates underclasses that represent the vast majority of the global population. It also exposes the dishonest charade of foreign aid for poor countries & why is doesn't help.

From the YouTube description:
"Activist filmmaker Philippe Diaz examines the history and impact of economic inequality in the third world in the documentary The End of Poverty?, and makes the compelling argument that it's not an accident or simple bad luck that has created a growing underclass around the world.

Diaz traces the growth of global poverty back to colonization in the 15th century, and features interviews with a number of economists, sociologists, and historians who explain how poverty is the clear consequence of free-market economic policies that allow powerful nations to exploit poorer countries for their assets and keep money in the hands of the wealthy rather than distributing it more equitably to the people who have helped them gain their fortunes.

Diaz also explores how wealthy nations (especially the United States) seize a disproportionate share of the world's natural resources, and how this imbalance is having a dire impact on the environment as well as the economy. 'The End of Poverty?' was an official selection at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival."


The title, in fact, is phrased as a reply to Jeffery Sachs' 'The End of Poverty' which gained a lot of followers & support even though he completely fails to address the root causes of poverty ("The title is a play on a book by economist Jeffrey Sachs -- without the question mark -- who, Diaz told IPS, "runs all around the world with Bono and these guys claiming that if we bring mosquito nets and fertilizers, it will end poverty."):
"The End of Poverty? Think Again" (YouTube post of the ENTIRE documentary, 1h44min)

Diaz connects all the dots -economic, social, cultural- from the colonial past to the present!
My post of the Alternet review of the documentary, "The Story of 500 Years of Global Greed and Misery" -" 'The End of Poverty?', a documentary by Philippe Diaz, paints a lurid picture of globalization's role in the First World/Third World rift", which I entitled, for the C2NN, "Can We Really End Poverty Within Our Current Economic System? Think Again."

The beginning of the Alternet review:
To end poverty, you have to know how it began -- with globalization. No, not the 20th century variety engendered by multinationals and their friends at the IMF, World Bank and WTO. They just codified practices that kept developing countries poor.

French filmmaker Philippe Diaz, in an illuminating documentary opening in New York Friday, traces globalization back 500 years to the Spanish and Portuguese conquests of the Americas. Diaz shows how the colonial North used the South’s resources to build its industrial base and how its continued control over resources, global trade and debt rules prevents developing countries from ending poverty.

...skip...

The drama of the new film, "The End of Poverty?", is as startling as anything he could invent.

The title is a play on a book by economist Jeffrey Sachs -- without the question mark -- who, Diaz told IPS, "runs all around the world with Bono and these guys claiming that if we bring mosquito nets and fertilizers, it will end poverty."

For example, Diaz is incredulous that Sachs’s book ascribes Bolivia’s economic failure to high altitude. He points out that 30 years ago, Sachs advised the Bolivian government to privatize everything, and today the country is essentially owned by foreign corporations.

Abel Mamani, Bolivia’s water minister, says in the film, "In the case of railroads, they have practically disappeared since they were privatized. In the east we don’t have trains anymore. They have been entirely dismantled."

The filmmaker says that the year "1500 is when everything started, the time where Europe expands outside its borders and takes everything it can from Latin America, Africa, Asia -- the land and all the other resources.

The moment you take the land away, the only way people can survive is to sell their work for food. You take resources away, you create slavery, poverty."

The film shows how European industrial development was not, as widely asserted, based on the Protestant ethic but on riches accumulated via colonialism.

"How do you think countries [like] Belgium, small countries with no resources, built empires? Existing industries were destroyed, even those of better quality, and colonies were forced to buy manufactured goods and equipment from colonial masters," Diaz told IPS.

Eric Toussaint, head of the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt in Belgium, describes in the film how "The Dutch destroyed the Indonesian textile industry and built a textile industry in Holland. Same for ceramics. The textiles and ceramics that we are told are Dutch are in fact made with techniques they took from Indonesia and specifically from Java, brought them back to Holland and built a wealthy industry."

He adds, "In the 18th century the Indian textiles were of a much better quality than those of the British. The British destroyed the Indian textile industry and prevented merchants within the British Empire from importing fabrics and other manufactured products from the colonies."

Diaz takes us inside Bolivian mines. He says, "In the early days, miners had to work inside mines for six months without ever going out; many died."

"Sixty to 80 million still live in slave-like conditions all over the world on plantations and in mines," he explains. "It was the same system, we just changed the tools. We don’t have the guns to keep slavery; we have the programs of the IMF and World Bank, the unfair trade system."

He says ex-colonial powers assured the new countries would be weak and forced to heed the North’s demands by saddling them with debt. When countries won independence, debts of colonial powers used to exploit stolen resources were transferred to new governments – though they had never incurred or benefited from them. This was enforced by the North via the IMF and World Bank.

Toussaint says that the World Bank, in the guise of helping, increased the debt: "Take more loans to build big infrastructure to export your riches.” Weakened, countries couldn’t escape the colonial trading system.

Take Kenyan coffee. Diaz points out, "The minister of agriculture, Kipruto Arap Kirwa, says in the film that Kenya doesn’t have the right to roast its coffee. They are forced to sell their coffee to the North which refines and packages it. It’s in the trade agreement with the former colonial power. Today, Germany is the biggest coffee exporter, and it doesn’t have a single bush of coffee."

Diaz says, "People never got their land and resources back. We interviewed a general of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya that threw the British out. He said, ‘We were naïve.We thought we would get our land back. The British were better organized, they transferred the land from a white minority to a black minority.’" Liberation leader Jomo Kenyatta became the biggest landowner in Kenya.

Kenyan villagers tell how the Dominion Group of Companies in the U.S., which exports vegetables to the United States, destroyed their livelihoods and health. The company built a dam that overflowed and flooded homes and farms.

A woman reports an increase of mosquitoes, malaria, and typhoid. The company does aerial spraying over people working, and a man says that, "when you go to nearby public health centres, quite a number of children has been reported dead." He adds, "We are now subjected to a life of servitude in our own ancestral land."

The film shows the popular uprising in Cochabamba, Bolivia, after the multinational Bechtel privatized water and doubled prices. A farmer protester says, "It didn’t affect only the water cooperatives and water-wells… but rainwater was included in that as well."
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday December 22, 2011, 4:03 am
I am so pleased to return (thank you PD) reread, and see so many links that I truly can't wait to open. I apologize for my crazy posts. I was quite confused, after getting out of hospital once again. It looks as if there are several hours of history and information in store for me and I look forward to commenting when I "have a clue". Gratitude to those whom explained everything so clearly.
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Thursday December 22, 2011, 4:13 am
Forgive me Jytte, as I forgot to thank you for the grace you showed in your explination of my misspelling your name. I have written you so often that it was definately an embarrassment to me. I hope we'll speak soon:)
 

Patricia C (852)
Wednesday December 28, 2011, 12:52 pm
Noted and signed. Thank you.
 
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