Few big and powerfull local agroindustrial companies hold extensive areas used for palm oil, sugar cane, banano and coffee plantations all over the south region of Guatemala.
Aerial fumigation still remain the mayor problem: even if it is not allowed by the national law, every company use it for several agricultural steps. The communities that live near these plantations begin to show serious health problems linked to these toxic and carcinogenic contaminants.
The water footprint of all these mono-cultures is extremely high and moreover it does not exist a national law that manages water use or bans water derivations from rivers to private industrial uses. For 27 years, during dry season, the main river, Madre Vieja in Escuintla Department, did not reach the sea due to more than 30 water derivations on it.
Where the river Madre Vieja flows into the Pacific Ocean there was a precious and essential ecosystem, the mangrove forest, which is still affected by industrial pollution and fresh water supply reduction. Several coastal communities reduced their proteins supply on their daily diet because fishes, crabs and shrimps, that normally live in mangrove forests, disappeared.
Food sovereignty and food security of entire regions are seriously compromised by the presence of these extensive mono-cultures that are violating some fundamental human rights of these populations. Human right to water, to nutrition, to health and to live in a clean and safe environment are violated and the national Government is doing nothing to protect its people!
Source International is working on this new case, supporting local communities against this violent and destructive agribusiness.
Mangrove forest deforestation to make way for sugar cane cultivation.
Water derivation from Madre Vieja River, Escuintla, Guatemala.
Mango burned by fumigation.
Palm oil plantation.