The soya train: I’m getting off, are you?

This steak doesn’t make sense

Author: Álvaro Porro

The global agri-food model leaves a trail. For example, if we follow the trail of soya we run into a poverty factory in Paraguay. But it doesn’t only leave a trail in the South; rural livestock owners in the Northern hemisphere use concentrated feed and the rich diet of city dwellers is packed with cholesterol. Nevertheless, there are people who are leaving a different trail. In this article we travel from the countryside in Paraguay to farms in Spain.

They came at night and put my grandchildren, my husband and me in a truck. My chickens and the pig were running around… My son got excited and started shouting. They hit him in the chest with the butt of a rifle. In the truck there were a lot of children. I was crying. They took us to the third area of Tekojoja; a lot of people got hit. I saw smoke in the distance and asked my husband if it was our house. He said no, it was further away. Afterwards they took us to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Vaquería and there we learnt that Ángel and Leoncio had been shot dead. I still remember their mother crying, she was quite old… Rafaela tells me what she remembers about the third eviction of over fifty families in her rural community in the centre of Paraguay, on 24 June 2005. On this occasion 150 people were arrested, 56 homes were burnt down, several hectares of crops were destroyed and two unarmed peasants were shot dead by a soya grower called Opperman. Rafaela is about 60. She’s a peasant who has no land, or at least has no legal title to land, like some 400,000 peasants in a country where 2% of the population own 75% of the land, a heritage of the country’s colonial past and the more recent dictatorship of General Stroessner.

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