Fighting (and Dying) to Reclaim the Commons in Latin America

Land of Corn

Peace Brigades International (2015)

Film Review

Land of Corn is a documentary by Peace Brigades International about four environmental and land rights activists fighting to protect the commons in Oaxca Mexico, Santa Helena Honduras, Choco Columbia and La Primavera Guatemala. In each case, activists are fighting collusion between US-backed corrupt governments and international corporations to end their communal land rights and destroy their livelihood.

In Oaxca, a multinational corporation seeks to illegally evict residents to construct a giant wind farm.

In Santa Helena Honduras, a US-backed corporate giant seeks to displace local farmers for a giant dam and hydroelectric project. This illegal eviction stems directly from the 2009 US-backed coup, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton supported the overthrow of the democratically elected Honduran president.

In Primavera Guatemala, a multinational seeks to clear cut a rain forest residents’ ancestors have fought for generations to preserve.

In Choco Columbia, land rights activists are seeking to reclaim land they lost in the 1980s and 1990s to a corrupt public-private partnership that converted their land to large scale cattle ranches and palm oil and GMO crop plantations.

It’s extremely dangerous to be a land rights/environmental activist in US-backed Latin American countries. One-hundred-sixteen were assassinated in 2014 alone. Those featured in the film face constant death threats. On March 3, 2016 Honduran activist Berta Caceres was murdered by gunmen in her sleep.

As a woman fighting to reclaim community land in Columbia bitterly observes, non-farm jobs are virtually non-existent in her country. If her family is unsuccessful in reclaiming their land, their only other option is to  illegally immigrate to the US, as so many other displaced Latin American peasants have done.

5 thoughts on “Fighting (and Dying) to Reclaim the Commons in Latin America

  1. Reblogged this on auntyuta and commented:
    Fighting and dying – In Santa Helena Honduras, a US-backed corporate giant seeks to displace local farmers for a giant dam and hydroelectric project. This illegal eviction stems directly from the 2009 US-backed coup, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton supported the overthrow of the democratically elected Honduran president

    And so it goes on and on
    The multinationals have all the power. Why?

    Like

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