Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Roadblocks in Argentina
We were lucky to make it out of Argentina! Fortunately we decided to take a boat rather than a bus from Uruguay to Buenos Aires to catch our flight to Peru, or we would never have made it past the farmers roadblocks. While on a taxi to the airport, the taxi driver filled us in on what was happening. The government of Argentina decided to raise the taxes on soy beans to 50% from about 20% in a few days time. They have a somewhat good reason for doing this; With high Soy prices most of Argentina's farmers have sold off their livestock and other crops and turned to Monsanto's "Round up Ready" GM Soy Bean monoculture. With the mass export of cash crops, Argentina is beginning to have problems with food supply within the country. But this pissed the farmers off and they started a mass protest, choking off all the roads to Buenos Aires with tractors and other farm equipment. As we drove, we could see long lines of people waiting to get into the grocery stores to stock up on food, as supplies were beginning to run low. On the news at the airport we saw footage of massive truckloads of spoiled food being dumped, unable to reach its markets in time. Anyhow, we made it out of Argentina without being affected by all this excitement and are now in Cuzco, Peru, getting ready to head to Macchu Picchu.