Argentina to Maintain Use of Agrochemicals
Susana Marquez couldn't stop crying when she heard the sentence in the courtroom in Cordoba. She was hoping that the men accused of spraying the town of Ituzaingo with agrochemicals would serve a prison sentence. But that did not happen.
August 24, 2012 | Source: Common Dreams | by Teresa Bo
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Susana Marquez couldn’t stop crying when she heard the sentence in the courtroom in Cordoba. She was hoping that the men accused of spraying the town of Ituzaingo with agrochemicals would serve a prison sentence. But that did not happen.
Two of them were found guilty of environmental contamination and sentenced to three years probation The third one was acquitted of all charges.
“Nobody went to jail. This trial shows that in this country there is only justice for the rich, for farmers. Nobody cares for the poor”, said Maria Godoy who lives in Ituzaingo, not far away from the provincial capital.
‘They are murderers’
Susana Marquez has had 15 miscarriages and of the two children she was able to deliver both were born with heart defects. Only one of them is still alive. Lourdes is seven years old and blood tests show high levels of agrochemicals in her system. Susana blames two ranch owners and a pilot who are currently on trial for spraying her town with pesticides and herbicides.
“They are murderers how they sprayed the area indiscriminately. This is no coincidence. I lost 16 babies because [of] those beasts. And I live in fear because my daughter is sick, we have no money to pay for the surgery she needs”, she told me.
It all started when the newborn baby of Sofia Gatica, one of the mothers, died of kidney failure in the same town in 1999. That’s when women in this poor town started to gather information about what was going on. They realised that cancer rates in their town where at 40 per cent higher than in other parts of the country. A study carried out in 2010 showed that 80 per cent of the tested children here had agrochemicals in their blood.