NACLA Update 08/27/09 - Industrialized Farming in Argentina/Guatemalan Genocide Cases

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Change on the Pampas: Industrialized Farming Comes to Argentina
by Nick Kusnetz

The agricultural sector that is emerging has fewer, bigger, more industrial farms. It relies on imports of pesticides more than ever. And the quality of its famed meat is being traded for cheap production. It is a trend that will be difficult to reverse. Cattle farming takes such a large up front investment that once a farmer sells his herd, it is hard to get it back. Historically, Argentines have treated cattle as walking bank accounts— the word for the industry, ganaderia, shares the same root as the verb "to earn." For many farmers, the bank is broken. They are now fully dependent on the volatile international prices of soy and other crops.
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Spain Steps Down: Universal Jurisdiction and the Guatemalan Genocide Cases
by Lisa Skeen

The announcement on June 25 that Spain will begin to limit its application of universal jurisdiction garnered no more than a humble blip in international media coverage. The principle, which asserts that certain crimes are so egregious that they are an affront to all humanity and therefore prosecutable by any nation, is at the center of fierce philosophical debate in international law. But for survivors of genocide in Guatemala, universal jurisdiction has represented something much more tangible—an important avenue for justice against the lingering impunity left in the wake Latin America's dirty wars.
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Environmental Politics in Paradise: Resistance to the Selling of Vieques
by Sherrie Baver

The most notable instance of a massive and successful social protest in Puerto Rico in recent years has been on the island of Vieques between 1999 and 2003. This was a rare case in which Puerto Ricans were able to overcome their partisan divisions to end the U.S. Navy's 60 years of training on this small, 51-square-mile island off the main island's east coast. Part of the reason for the Vieques victory, including gaining support from some influential U.S. politicians, was that leaders framed the protest in terms of human rights, public health and environmental degradation rather than Yanqui imperialism.
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