At a Jan. 8 meeting of a thousand-plus farmers, fishermen and fish-farmers with opposition presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez, a meeting organized to discuss the needs of farmers and food producers, Baltazar Valdez Armentía, a prominent farm leader from the state of Sinaloa, which is one of the breadbaskets of Mexico, outlined a four-point program for saving Mexican agriculture and the nation’s food supply. The first measure, from which the other three measures flow, is that Mexico must break from the free trade policies through which the financial speculators control the country, which requires it to develop relations with the nations of the BRICS and the alternative system coming together around them.
Valdez Armentía spoke in the name of “National Front To Save the Mexican Countryside,” a new organization representing farmers from more than 20 Mexican states which was formed last spring in order to strengthen the power of agro producers protesting across the country against the combined fall in the prices of wheat, corn and sorghum and steady increase in the costs of inputs for production.
It’s time for Mexican farmers to wake up, Valdez Armentía stated from the outset. There are measures we can take to solve the great crisis faced by agricultural producers. He had in front of him the statement prepared by that new farm group, which identifies the abandonment of Mexico’s 50-year policy of maintaining national food security through parity pricing and government protection from 1934-1982, in favor of the free trade policies of NAFTA and the USMCA, as the root of today’s ag crisis. That policy shift means grain prices are now decided at the whim of international speculative markets.
With the time allotted to speak limited, Valdez Armentía presented the four measures proposed to save Mexico’s food and farmers contained in that longer statement, which EIR News has received:
1) Urgently revise the agricultural chapter of the USMCA, in order to correct all regulations which harm the farmers, and, at the same time, take up proposals that Mexico diversify its foreign and economic relations by turning towards the BRICS for alternative trade relations and joint investment projects, to get around the control by the cartels that manipulate prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, and the like.