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Mayan People's Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

World  (tags: Guatemala, Monsanto, Monsanto Law, gm seeds, protests, food sovereignty, Mayan communities, organizations, traditional farming, biodiversity )

- 1722 days ago -
After 10 days of widespread street protests against Monsanto expansion into, groups of indigenous people joined by social movements, trade unions & farmer & women's orgs, won a victory when congress finally repealed the legislation approved in June


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Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 30, 2014, 3:33 am
awesome! lets hear it for the little guy!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 30, 2014, 6:57 am
YES! One 4 the people 4 a change...thanks

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 4:05 am
Organic Consumers repost of RT News, September 3, 2014 - Guatemala Defies 'Monsanto Law' Pushed by US as Part of Trade Agreement: excerpt - "The 'Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties,' dubbed the 'Monsanto Law' by critics for its formidable seed-privatization provisions, is an obligation for all nations that signed the 2005 CAFTA-DR free trade agreement between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. The agreement requires signatories to adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties."

Kathleen M (208)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 9:25 am
Noted with pleasure! Thanks, LucyKaleido! Would like to arrange deportation of Monsanto and it's nefarious cohorts to some asteroid in a galaxy far, far away.

Stephen D (58)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 10:16 am
Very good! There may be hope for us yet. noted.. ty Lucy for some good news.

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 2:02 pm
Way to go! I love it.

Elizabeth brown (20)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 3:06 pm
Brilliant,wonderful,well done!Monsanto is a poison that is spreading like a fog across the planet.It has to be stopped.WELL DONE great news.I note this with EXTREME pleasure

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 3:18 pm
Noted. So glad to see this! Thanks for posting, Lucy.

pam w (139)
Wednesday October 1, 2014, 5:41 pm

Sheryl G (359)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 7:04 am
Those of us in the USA could learn something from these people. Good for them. They know how to organize and stand in Solidarity with each other. Something we are beginning to do again, I'm hopeful after seeing the 400,000 for the Climate March.


Bruce C D (89)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 7:46 am
Changing U.S. patent laws, shortening the length of patents, could be one way to stop Monsanto. Control of most of the world's food supply should not be held in the hands of a few corporations. This is good news, but just one battle one, with many more to go.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 9:16 am
But what I'm wondering is how they will manage, the country I mean, because they've signed the trade agreement.

Even the RT site that reports the suspension of the 'Monsanto Law' ends by saying, "It is unclear what options the Guatemalan government has, given the obligations under CAFTA-DR. The US would likely put pressure on the nation to pass the law, part of a global effort using trade agreements to push further corporate control over trade sectors like agriculture in the name of modernization. Upon further refusal, the US could drop Guatemala from the trade agreement."

This suspension of the so-called 'Monsanto Law' may be only temporary as government leaders & elected representatives are unlikely to choose to opt out of the CAFTA trade agreement.

I looked up CAFTA & found an article which is quite negative; this is just the introduction:

10 years have passed since the passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), an expansion of NAFTA to five Central American nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua), and the Dominican Republic.

While CAFTA was intended to spur economic growth for all parties by eliminating certain tariffs on exports between CAFTA countries, this trade agreement has primarily benefited U.S. trade and agribusiness while it has pushed small and medium-scale Central American farmers further into poverty. Of course, we should have known that CAFTA would not benefit the people of Central America. Prior to passage, an estimated 1.5 million Mexican campesino farmers had lost their livelihoods under NAFTA’s agricultural terms, on which CAFTA’s agricultural provisions are based.

- See more at:

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 10:08 am
Well done! Thanks for sharing.

Robert B (55)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 3:07 pm
Monsanto and companies like them have NO right to patent seeds and force farmers to use them. This is so damn IMMORAL that it just mystifies me how ANY court allow Monsanto to rip off farmers like this. Monsanto is pure greed driven evil.

Robert B (55)
Thursday October 2, 2014, 3:11 pm
Google "boycott monsanto products" Here is one of the sites: You can print a list of products to boycott.

Robert O (12)
Friday October 3, 2014, 12:00 am
I wish them the best in this battle since Monsanto is hellbent on world domination via the food supply. Their corporate whoredom knows no bounds and they must be stopped. Thanks Lucy.

Syd H (0)
Friday October 3, 2014, 9:12 am
This is some good news for once.
It sets a great example for the rest of the world to follow. It is just such a pity that the rest of the worlds governments have not got the BALLS to stand up for their people against these greedy multi-national companies like Monsanto. If only the Governments of the USA, Britain and Europe and others were less corrupt and would stop taking the BRIBES from BIG-AG, BIG-PHARMA and BIG-OIL, this world could once again become a decent place to live.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 2:56 pm
Right you are, Ros! It's exactly the same tactic being used - countries want to join these trade agreements, hoping that aligning themselves with the West will bring prosperity, but the agreements seem always to contain 'special' clauses requiring them to open their markets to imported GM agricultural products & their fields to GM seeds.

I call that a dirty deal! Promoting Monsanto & biotech firms is the cornerstone of US foreign policy & commerce, pushed in every trade deal the US formulates, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. And they always kill the indigenous agriculture of the countries concerned, which find their markets swamped with US export agricultural produce, their small farmers destroyed & their agriculture 're-adjusted' to produce single 'cash crops' for export, what the US is interested in buying, rather than for feeding local populations.

However, even when the US does not seem to be the driving force or the creator of a trade deal, the same clauses of requiring biotech agriculture are included. To what extent, then are the World Bank & the IMF controlled by the US?? You can't help but wonder, can you?
The earlier post that you're referring to: "World Bank & IMF Deals Open Ukraine Up for Monsanto, Land Grabs & GMOs - US Corporations Jubilant at 'Goldmine' In Store"

SuSanne P (193)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 6:33 am
Thank you Lucy! I was over the moon the first several times I read this article, but not fear the same questions you have shared. "You can't help but wonder, can you?"
"Lolita Chávez from the Mayan People’s Council summarized the essence of what has been at stake these last weeks of peaceful protests as follows: “Corn taught us Mayan people about community life and its diversity, because when one cultivates corn one realizes that there is a variety of crops such as herbs and medical plants depending on the corn plant as well. We see that in this coexistence the corn is not selfish, the corn shows us how to resist and how to relate with the surrounding world.”
I am fortunate to grow most of my own crops...most, although the recycled ground H2o system we use is so polluted with insecticides it makes it all mute.
I've said many times before, the USA SUCKS and I am embarrassed to hold an American passport.

SuSanne P (193)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 6:34 am
...but NOW fear the same questions you have shared.

Lady Suki (446)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 9:52 am
Good for them. Thanks for the forward Susanne.

Sheila D (194)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 11:15 am
May Americans learn to work together the same way...Monsanto and Buddies Must be stopped, though I fear it may already be too late. Thanks Lucy for the post and thank you SuSanne for the forward.

Charlene Rush (79)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 11:27 am
Thank goodness for their perseverance.

Sunday October 5, 2014, 1:31 pm
Good for them..."the power of people!" Never be intimidated by big corp/business. Thanks for sharing Lucy K.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 1:56 pm

Susanne P, your Lolita Chavez quote about corn (aka maize) --the importance of corn for Guatemala & in Guatemalan indigenous culture-- reminded me of an article I recently read about the annual celebration of corn in Mexico on September 29, 2014.
I would have liked to post that article, but unfortunately didn't have time.

As in the case of Lolita Chavez, a strong committed woman who heads an org defending the rights & food sovereignty of indigenous people, the Mayan People's Council, there is a strong, committed woman activist in Mexico, too: "Adelita San Vicente Tello is an agronomist with a master’s degree in rural development and a doctorate in agroecology. She is director of Seeds of Life (Semillas de Vida), a group promoting agro-biodiversity and protecting native corn. San Vicente is also a convener of the Mexico-wide food sovereignty coalition 'Without Corn, There Is No Country' (Sin Maíz, No Hay País) and a member of the Union of Scientists Committed to Society (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad)."

Her speech on Mexico's 'National Day of Maize' has been carried on several sites, including 'Common Dreams' & 'Upside Down World.' I chose to link to the latter because along with Adelita San Vicente Tello's speech, they've posted a photo in which you can see both Adelita &, in the background, another great woman champion of biodiversity, sustainable, organic agriculture, food banks, heirloom seeds & food sovereignty, Vandana Shiva!

And also because on the 'Upside Down World' site, they have written an introduction to her speech which demonstrates how Mexico & Mexican indigenous farmers are involved in the same life-&-death struggle for the survival of their traditional corn against the onslaughts of Monsanto & GMO seeds, the US govt, the Mexican govt & trade agreements: "Mexicans celebrated National Day of Maize on September 29, 2014, with demonstrations, marches, and expositions. Known as the Land of Maize, Mexico now imports one-third of this sacred icon and staple food, mostly from the US. A fierce battle is being waged over corn that is still grown in Mexico, with small farmers and seed sovereignty activists pitted against Monsanto and other GMO giants, the Mexican government, the US government, and the World Trade Organization."

On National Day of Maize in Mexico, Protecting the Sacred Plant by Adelita San Vicente Tello


Fiona Ogilvie (562)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 2:14 pm
Beyond awesome, brilliant, wonderful. Thank you for this posting.

Evelyn Z (300)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 5:42 pm
Noted. Thanks Lucy SuSanne for fwd.

Animae C (509)
Sunday October 5, 2014, 11:28 pm
Thank You for posting
& Thank You also to SuSanne for forwarding

Gloria picchetti (304)
Monday October 6, 2014, 5:11 am
Why can't Americans stand up for what is right?

BackSoon Fowler (33)
Monday October 6, 2014, 7:21 am
Fight the good fight! Thanks for the post. Very informative

Charlene Rush (79)
Friday October 24, 2014, 9:31 pm
If Guatemala can do it, so can we.

Melania P (123)
Monday July 13, 2015, 11:05 am
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