By Ramón Vera Herrera
In a scenario like the one that Africa presents, with the economic distortions imposed by the WTO on agricultural policies, with famines, migrations, endless wars, diseases, etc., the inclusion of a former president of Mexico with a long history genocidal as Ernesto Zedillo, in his capacity as Global Development Advisor to the Gates Foundation, becomes the most ominous sign of this new Green Revolution.
Ten years after the Acteal massacre, perpetrated as part of the war of treason that Ernesto Zedillo waged against the Zapatista communities, the former President, a member of the Union Pacific boards of directors (owner of the privatized railroads during his tenure), Procter & Gamble and Alcoa, is appointed advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Global Development, one of the three panels of “external experts” that he formed in order to “seek advice from outside voices… experts with a wide range of experience and perspectives relevant to the nodal issues of the foundation ”. Patty Stonesifer, CEO, says: "We are honored that these distinguished men and women have agreed to be our critical partners."
And one of those "nodal issues" is the AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) project that the Gates Foundation launches with the Rockefeller Foundation: an alliance to implement a new Green Revolution like the one that devastated the lands, the native systems of seeds, ecosystems and traditional peasant knowledge in Latin America and Asia (and that deepened the industrial path of agriculture and sanctified commercial packages of designer and agro-toxic seeds, hijacking agricultural activity in all its phases).
The continental project announces from the top of business foundations that it will face the problem of hunger for 200 million people (a third of the African population), through an initial investment of 150 million dollars to "improve native seeds" of which Gates would put a hundred million and Rockefeller the rest, for a program with a horizon of 20 years. Through one of the NGOs it finances, africancrops.net, the Rockefeller Foundation sings about the benefits of the African Green Revolution:
“ The original Green Revolution was the product of philanthropy, through a carefully negotiated partnership with governments. This association began in Mexico: after seeking and receiving an invitation from the Mexican government, the Rockefeller Foundation created the Office of Special Studies within the Mexican Department of Agriculture [sic], which initially included scientists on Rockefeller's payroll among its staff. . Later it expanded to Colombia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and to other places in Latin America and Asia. […] The Green Revolution was not only the triumph of science without limits, of western largesse [infinite generosity, says the dictionary] or free trade - three of the favorite solutions that are under popular debate in Africa today. It was in part an act of philanthropy, bringing together experts, governments, and ultimately academics and farmers in a carefully woven partnership that would grow geometrically and deliberately for many years […] Achieving a Green Revolution in Africa is a multi-layered challenge . At its most fundamental level, it begins with improved varieties of crops in order to obtain larger, more diverse and reliable harvests. This requires not only the astute application of science but the development of new generations of trained African agricultural scientists .”
Sounds very bad
As in the first Green Revolution, there is a disregard for African peasant wisdom. There is the enormous scam of presuming the scientific approach when what is at stake is absolute control of the process by the companies involved. In fact, one of the most serious things that happens with the Gates / Rockefeller leadership in their “joint venture” is that it displaces NGOs and communities into the role of maquiladoras. Governments are assigned the role of caretakers of the newly colonized territories. It is the foundations / companies that lead the “transformation”.
Via Campesina, and an alliance of more than 70 African social organizations gathered at the Nairobi World Social Forum, deeply questioned AGRA, as well as the Nyeleni Forum for Food Sovereignty in Mali, which completely rejected the project.
If in the regions that suffered the first Green Revolution, the devastation was enormous, in Africa, with the economic distortions imposed by the WTO on agricultural policies, with the tremendous famines, the unimaginable migration, the endless and invisible wars, the diseases, the neglect of the world and the breakdown of social and hence agricultural systems, the catastrophe may be unprecedented.
The inclusion of a former president with a long genocidal history like Ernesto Zedillo, as an advisor to the Gates Foundation, becomes the most ominous sign of this new Green Revolution.
The most serious famines and apocalyptic epidemics derive from wars, which actually hide an active mechanism of large corporations to disrupt the daily lives of millions of people, establish a perennial climate of deprivation, anxiety, fragility, death and terror in order to plundering every last layer of mud from territories rich in natural resources, such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda. It is well documented that the so-called “civil war” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which already costs more than 4 million deaths in ten years (it is the most lethal war today), was waged by Rwanda and Uganda on Congolese territory. to loot its abundant reserves of diamonds, gold, cobalt, cassiterite and coltan (columbite-tantalite) from which tantalum is extracted, a super conductor that withstands high temperatures and is used in fiber optics, microchips, laptops and batteries for the most of one billion mobile phones worldwide. Guess who are the direct or indirect promoters and beneficiaries of this widespread massacre.
In such a scenario, the inclusion of a former president of Mexico with a long genocidal history such as Ernesto Zedillo, in his capacity as Global Development advisor to the Gates Foundation, spearhead of the "salvation" of Africa and "indirectly" beneficiary of its wars without quarter, becomes the most ominous sign of this new Green Revolution. The hundreds of murdered with their consent or their order in Aguas Blancas and El Charco in Guerrero, and Nixtalucum, Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbalá, Salto de Agua, various areas of Chenalhó including Acteal, Unión Progreso and Chavajeval, in Chiapas, will begin to dance with the millions of ghosts of Africa, as this subject advises more "development projects" in this new privatization: that of the low intensity war that today large companies decide to undertake directly, agreeing with Joseph Conrad when he wrote in 1902, in The heart of darkness, that in Africa the terrible voracity of foreigners carried them, "in order to plunder, the most vile move that has ever disfigured the history of human conscience."
* Ramón Vera Herrera He is the editorial coordinator of Ojarasca.