The UN denounced that the abuse of pesticides in Paraguay

UN denounces that the abuse of pesticides in Paraguay “is poisoning the country”

The special rapporteur on toxic substances and human rights of the United Nations, Marcos Orellana, denounced this Friday that the “excessive use” of agrochemicals in Paraguay “is poisoning the country”, and affecting the life and health of its citizens, since Pesticide control laws are not followed.

After visiting the country, Orella warned of the consequences of the agroindustrial production model favored by the Paraguayan state.

The international observer understands that its use has victimized peasant communities due to the incessant increase in aerial and ground spraying of dangerous pesticides.

In addition, he stressed that pesticides are one of the main challenges facing the South American country, not only in environmental matters, but also in the field of human rights, for which he recalled that their use is not necessary to carry out quality harvests. .

“I would like to emphasize, as several special rapporteurs have repeatedly done, that it is a myth that pesticides are necessary to feed the world. It is worrying to see the undue influence of companies in public policy on agrochemicals in Paraguay,” the expert said in a statement.

Orella also stressed that the concentration of land in a few hands and the consequent exclusion of large segments of the population has aggravated the situation in the country.

Likewise, it has called on the State to ratify the Escazú Agreement on environmental rights and to apply what is stipulated in the opinions of the Human Rights Committee on the cases of Campo Agua’e and Colonia Yerutí.

In addition, it revealed that despite the approval, in 2004, of a law known as ‘Zero’ Deforestation, satellite mapping shows that from 2006 to 2016 an average of 60 hectares per day was deforested, a phenomenon that occurred “in a context of inequity territory and illegally granted lands” during the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989).

Pesticide control in Paraguay

On the other hand, he expressed concern that the country “does not have a definition or classification of hazardous waste, nor actual reports of hazardous waste generation.”

Specifically, it stated that in 2017 the National University of Asunción detected methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) -used as an oxygenating agent in gasoline- in an aquifer that supplies the approximately three million inhabitants of the Asunción metropolitan area, and demanded “measures urgent” to avoid contamination with that substance.

He also exposed the “serious impacts” caused by the use of mercury and cyanide in gold mining in the district of Paso Yobái, in the department of Guirá (south), where, he stated, “high levels of mercury contamination have been revealed in the fish of the streams and the workers of the mines”.

Finally, the rapporteur, who will present his final report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2023, recommended that the State ratify the Escazú Agreement “without delay”.

In this regard, he considered “alarming” the information on violations against human rights defenders and the “use of criminal law” to repress protest and social articulation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *