Thursday, April 9, 2009

NAFTA's Impact on Food Security and Migration in Oaxaca: A Lecture

Baldemar Mendoza Jimenez, an agro-ecologist from Oaxaca, Mexico, will speak April 13 at 7pm, in Room 175 of the UO Law School, 15th and Agate, Eugene.

Mr. Mendoza weaves connections to demonstrate how globalization, the neoliberal economic model and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have contributed significantly to the increase in migration and poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico. 


Baldemar Mendoza JimĂ©nez works for the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO) by supporting indigenous communities to practice organic and traditional agriculture.  He has participated in UNOSJO’s informational campaign regarding the contamination of native corn by genetically modified corn.  Mr. Mendoza promotes sustainable agriculture using the farmer to farmer 

method to attain food sovereignty. 


"NAFTA took away price guarantees for corn and other products,” said Mendoza.  “Farmers could not make ends meet and looked for alternatives that would generate income.  They abandoned their lands, they left to work in maquilas and they emigrated to the United States.  Migration has brought the abandonment of the countryside, family disintegration and a decomposition of the tightly-woven community.  Community practices that were an integral part to indigenous Oaxacan communities have been lost.”   


Mr. Mendoza will be hosted by Witness for Peace Northwest, with complete Spanish to English interpretation provided by Witness for Peace Mexico Team member Ann Thiesen.  Witness for Peace is a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. WFP’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.  


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