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Warning cry about the impact of agrotoxics in Latin America and the Caribbean

This report by FIAN sections in Latin America calls out violations of the right to adequate food and nutrition by compiling data and testimony from eight countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brasilia, Brazil. 28 April 2021. Yesterday, the Latin American sections of FIAN International presented the report Toxic Pesticides in Latin America: Violations of the Right to Adequate and Nutrition at a well-attended online event.

This 108-page publication features data and reports on the impacts of these toxic substances in eight countries across Latin America and the Caribbean: Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and Haiti.

The report documents how pesticides affect environmental health and that of humans' as well, as they hinder the full realization of the human right to adequate food and nutrition. It also identifies a widespread pattern in the business strategies of companies in the region which is based on corporate capture of public institutions and territories.

Over 700 participants attended the online release of this report. During the event, Juan Carlos Morales González, from FIAN Colombia, and researcher Leonardo Melgarejo presented the report’s main findings and conclusions. Affected communities in Brazil, Haiti and Paraguay shared their stories about the devastating and destructive effects pesticides have had on their livelihoods. Then, geographer Larissa Bombardi, author of Geography of the Use of Agrochemicals in Brazil and Connections with the European Union, and the UN Special Rapporteur for toxics and human rights, Marcos Orellana, analyzed the results of the report and presented their viewpoints. Rapporteur Orellana clarified:

 "The fact that certain types of pollution are legal does not justify violating human rights ... dangerous substances must be eliminated". He went on to underscore "[the] shared responsibilities of exporting and importing countries...nations’ obligations to prevent exposure to toxic substances are based on human rights".

As follow-up on the work documented in this report, FIAN International will soon file a complaint with the relevant United Nations special rapporteurs regarding the Brazilian case presented during the online event, in which aerial fumigation was weaponized to evict rural workers from a disputed area in Pernambuco.

On May 5th, another online seminar will showcase this report before a global audience: during which FIAN International will explain the results of a study on the experiences of farmers transitioning towards pesticide-free communities and food systems.

Find out how the discussion unfolded and access the report in Portuguese, Spanish or English, and the executive summary in English

View another webinar  Poisoned Food, Poisoned ecosystems: how people are working towards pesticides free communities

For more information please contact: Ana María Suárez Franco