We heard from our longtime LAWG partner Nancy Sánchez, who has worked many years in Putumayo, Colombia, about this sorry case of fumigation of pineapple crops of the Association of Women Pineapple growers, Oroyaco Hamlet, Municipality of Villagarzon, Putumayo.
See the video here:
Aerial fumigation continues to harm legal good crops grown by farmers in Putumayo, according to the Association of Women Pineapple Growers of the municipality of Villagarzón. On January 25, 2013, their pineapple fields were fumigated and destroyed, along with forest and pastures, in a region with no visible coca.
“Day by day, these women have dedicated their work to the planting and cultivation of the pineapple crop. They harvest it by hand and carry it on their backs on dirt, often mud, paths, so that the fruit can be sold for one thousand pesos (US$0.70) in small bags to cars that drive along the road. It is a tremendous effort that should be valued. They have nothing. The land that they cultivate is loaned to them or rented. How are they going to pay the banks their loans? How are the banks going to deal with this situation? This situation leaves us desperate,” said Fatima Muriel, the president of the Putumayo Women’sAlliance “Weavers of Life.”
In addition to the loss of the crop and their families’ livelihood, the women are left with approximately US$13,000 debt to private banks and to the Women World’s Fund for loans taken out to rent the land and finance their agricultural work.
The complaint was made public by the Putumayo Assembly Representative Sorrel Aroca, and was documented on the ground by Nancy Sánchez and Zoraida Rueda (advisors to Andean Congress Representative Gloria Florez), by the women who were affected and by the Women’s Alliance of
Putumayo “Weavers of Life,” on Saturday February 2.
As one of the women farmers lamented, “Eran puro piña. They were just pineapples!”