> >Cecile Mills wrote:
> >> I personally feel the change in Mexico's constitution regarding land
> >> ownership should be cause for a new revolution.
> Douglas M. Hinds wrote:
> >You really think that? Try it first in your own back yard. Here, few
> >want more of that destructive, never ending cycle.
> A good revolution stops the cycle. And, I am trying in my own back yard. I
> have worked for economic, environmental, and social justice for many many
By taking up arms? Is that what you are proposing? (Is that what you
are doing in your own backyard)? If you are NOT proposing armed
revolution, what's happened here since Miguel de la Madrid became
presideent has been nothing short of revolutionary, on each and every
front, and most changes in policy have been positive. It started slowly
and has taken a while to get to the present state of affairs, but in
terms of the depth and scope of the changes made, it it's been - yeah,
revolutionary. Things are wide open. Nobody who's corrupt is safe
anymore - nobody. And it doesn't matter a bit how much money or how
much political power they have.
Unfortunately, there are other factors involved also, that haven't allow
a resolution of the poverty that's still so pervasive. There are
already pockets of rejuvenation though.
> >People have been migrating to the US to resolve their economic problems
> >since long before the reforms done in the early 1990's.
> Yes, but the numbers are now staggering. Our community of 32,000 usually
> gets about 11,000 workers in a year, but now estimates from non-profit
> (not government) social service organizations working to assist people with
> immigration say those numbers are closer to 35,000. The employers are in
> hog heaven, now putting nearly everyone on part time, no contract work. The
> schools cannot keep pace with the population growth and are on year round
> sessions with portable classrooms at nearly every site. The housing here is
> non-existent. A friend took four months to find a house this year. After
> the major earthquake here in 1989, it took me one year to find a house to
> rent. The most recent census is being challenged for not counting as much
> as 30% of the residents of this area.
All these people are immigrants from Mexico? I doubt it. Are they
documented? In any case, no one goes to the US for it's beauty, and
less so what with the racism, violence, high cost of living, language
barrier, harsh winters, visa problems etc. They go for the money.
Therefore - I strongly suggest to all US investors, that they take
advantage of the many viable opportunities to invest in Mexico, where
people know how to work, and would rather do so at home, and not
immigrate. In fact, I would be glad to direct any interest parties to
secure, socially and ecologically responsible investment opportunities
that will create productive jobs here in Mexico.
> Land reform laws don't allow foreign corporations to own land [except in
> limited quantites, i.e. to erect a factory], and even nationals are limited to
> set amounts
> When our food processing plants moved to Irapuato, they *bought* the fields
> that had been used to grow corn and vegetables, and moved people off their
> family lands.
What do you mean, when you say your "food processing plants" "moved
people off their family lands". Are you talking about chickens, donkeys
or people? If it's the latter, what kind of people are going to put up
with that? Today that couldn't happen. And where I've lived, it
wouldn't have happened then, either.
> They began growing broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries for
> processing and export. Mexico during this period of time, in the '80s, did
> not import corn. Shortly thereafter, she began importing corn for domestic
> use. Whether the corporation *bought* the land legally or not is moot. In
> actuality, the land was no longer available for use by the locals.
If something incorrect was done, it can still be reversed. If "the land
was no longer available for use by the locals", then who IS using it,
and by what right? You are going to have to be more specific.
I see you're putting *bought* inside asterisks. I assume that means the
land WASN'T bought legally. You say that's moot. I say it isn't, and
I'll tell you why - because if something illegal was done, it won't
last, once tested. (If you know anyone that was unjustly victimized,
them give me a call, and I'll be glad to look into it).
> Without food, and without jobs paying more than about $4 U.S. a day, families
> couldn't live. They moved to larger cities and the U.S.
Wages are low (too low) but so is the cost of living. The main point is
(and I've said this before) is that in order to get to where you want to
go, you have to depart from where you are. I can recall when the only
Japanese products available were throwaways. Salaries in Korea and
Taiwan were also much lower than now some time back. Perhaps Mexico's
independence has held back investors, but that's only right. All
investors need is a solid regimen of comprehensive laws that are upheld,
and that's consolidating.
As for importing corn - If corn can be imported cheaper than it can be
grown, and other crops are more profitable, why grow it? Most corn and
sorghum farmers I know want to diversify.
> >And the existence of a market for
> >organic food outside Mexico is helping drive a move toward the use of
> >more environmentally friendly. technology.
> That may be so where you are but people researching this from here find DDT
> and other pesticides banned in the U.S. being used on crops grown in Mexico
> for export to the U.S. Some crops have been brought into the U.S. and
> transferred to different boxes so as to appear grown in the U.S. The local
> Teamsters union has documented this on numerous occasions, with pictures
> and testimony.
DDT can not legally be used in Mexico.
As for the repacking being done, you say that's done inside the US, and
therefore subject to US laws.
> >> With our current law setup, far more males than females are involved in the
> >> system from police attention to arrests all the way up to prison time.
> >Does that represent choices made, doors closed, or both?
> Don't know--I'd say that it represents the means by which the power elite
> retain their control--by generating divisiveness at the lowest levels of
> our social triangle. Poor minority youth are an identifiable group and have
> the highest rate of mortality by homicide of any in the U.S. Something
> interesting is going on; I have a friend investigating and will let you
> know what her findings are.
> >3 kinds of land ownership now exist in Mexico - small private,
> >collective and communal. Only communal land is subject ot the above.
> >Collective ownership is cooperative to a degree established by those
> >involved. They are are no longer subject to the will of often corrupt
> >leaders and govt. officials, as a result of the reforms.
> So why do we hear up here about indigenous lands being taken over and
> forests burned to provide lands to grow coffee or other crops?
Coffee grows in the shade. Are you talking about problems in Chiapas?
I don't know what you hear. What are your sources?
> Why do people here with families in Mexico talk of their relatives losing their
> land to U.S. corporations?
Where, when? What corporations and on what basis? You're giving me
nothing I can look into. It's as if you were to come down and someone
would say to you, "why do gringas kidnap children and sell them for
their organs? Where are you coming from? I can follow up on these
> Why is more land being used to grow beef for
> export than before-- this means fewer acres for Mexicans and fewer Mexican
> crops grown and more hunger.
I need sources for this data. Are you talking about land unsuitable for
agriculture (i.e. arid or steep) that before now had no cattle on it due
to lack of funds?
It may mean more income for mexicans, as well as more crops grown, some
of which is exported. Some of what I eat may be a # 1 melon (for
example) with an external blemish that I buy for a fraction of what it
will sell for in the US. But the crop was grown for export, which
permits an increase in acreage, jobs in the field, in the packing sheds,
for truckers, box makers etc.; and income for providers of the services
and goods those people spend their income on.
> I understand your point about growing for export but the crops in Irapuato
> don't count as the plants there are considered maquilladoras (even though
> they are more than 400 miles from the border) and therefore are treated
> differently for import and export. Mexico gains much less than say export
> of oil or minerals than from maquilladora products.
Oil & minerals can not be grown. You either have them on your property
or you don't. And a lot of those agroindustrial plants that export are
owned by Mexican nationals (including some in the Irapuato / Bajio
Some folks from Green Giant assisted a lecture I gave in Guadalajara a
few years back on Contract Growing, in which I let farmers know how to
protect their rights and maintain control of the operation as much as
possible. CeDeCoR is a Mexican corporation of course, as well as non
profit. I don't think the Green Giant people liked it a lot.
It seems to me that many of the multinationals offer a package designed
to lull participants into submitting - "We'll take care of things for
you". I tend to wake them up - "Here's what's possible, this is how it
works, and this is what you need to watch out for". But not everyone
wants to take on the responsibility. Many don't - they want you to
handle it all, and give them a guarantee that all will work out as they
want it. But they are not going to sleep through it and work with me.
Let them look for someone else to tell them lies. Many are going to
have to get burned before they learn - and many won't, not even then.
However it doesn't take many to set a precedent, and the stage has been
set. Things will continue to develop, and no ones hands are tied.
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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