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Wed Sep 19, 2018, 11:42 PM

Forced labour in Paraguay: the darkness at the bottom of the global supply chain

Experts believe that action is urgently needed to expose horrifying labour conditions across Paraguay’s Chaco region

Carlos Juliano Barros and André Campos in Paraguay and Jo Griffin
Tue 18 Sep 2018 09.00 EDT

“For me, there are two very important anthropological concepts,” says Patrick Friesen, speaking Spanish with a thick accent. He is a descendant of protestant Mennonites who left Europe to found agricultural colonies in the arid region of the Paraguayan Chaco; he is also the communication manager of Chortitzer, one of the three large Mennonite cooperatives that dominate the economy of this inhospitable part of the country.

“The first [concept] is that people from the north[ern hemisphere] need to stockpile. They work from sunrise to sunset, investing, so they can survive the winter. But a person from the south, to put it crudely, can sit under a mango tree and wait for a mango to fall on his head. Nature provides security,” he says, differentiating what he believes to be the mental maps of the Mennonites and the indigenous peoples who have been living together in the Chaco for a century.

Formed by dry forests resistant to drought and scalding temperatures, the Chaco occupies more than half the land in Paraguay. Over the past decade, cattle farming in this region has grown rapidly and it now has 43% of the country’s livestock population, and is increasingly becoming the crucible of Paraguay’s growing export industry, selling soybeans, meat and leather to the rest of the world.

But as Paraguay’s export market develops and the country becomes a bigger player in the international market, the darker side of the Chaco region is coming into focus, with reports of illegal deforestation and slave labour among the indigenous population.


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Reply Forced labour in Paraguay: the darkness at the bottom of the global supply chain (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 OP
Uncle Joe Sep 2018 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 02:01 PM

1. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread Judi Lynn.

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