Rural and indigenous communities in Guatemala march for their rights
On March 19th, 1,500 rural and indigenous community members in Guatemala began marching for nine consecutive days to defend their natural resource rights. Tragically, state-sanctioned practices are destroying forests and mountains, contaminating rivers and water sources, and preventing rural Guatemalan communities from sustainably producing their own food.
Nearly one year ago, hundreds of rural Maya Q’eqchi’ families were violently evicted from their homes in the Polochic Valley, Alta Verapaz. Under Guatemala’s Colom administration, the Maya Q’eqchi families were evicted in favor of large landowner and business interests including the production of agribusiness exports such as sugar cane and African palm trees for biofuels. Read More
Originally posted on the Global Circle blog.
We read in Parshat Chukkat about the death of Miriam: “Miriam died and she was buried there. There was no water for the assembly, and [the Children of Israel] gathered against Moshe and Aharon.” This odd and disjointed sequence of verses is puzzling, and leads the Talmud to connect Miriam’s death with the disappearance of water: “From here we learn that all forty years [in the desert, the Children of Israel] had a well because of Miriam’s merit.”
I learned a bit about water at my seder. Turns out water is a big deal– for better and for worse.
Which, of course, we already know. The Nile plays a huge role in the Passover story —the death of Israelite boys; the rescue of baby Moses; the meetings with Pharaoh by the river. Water-based plagues are inflicted upon Egypt; frogs emerge from the Nile; fire-breathing hailstones fall from the sky; and of course the water supply of Egypt turns entirely to blood. Upon leaving Egypt, the Israelites immediately complain about lack of water, a complaint that 40 years later causes Moses’ ultimate downfall. And of course, the splitting of the Red Sea remains arguably the most dramatic event in the Bible. Read More
A few global food justice highlights from the past week:
Today is World Water Day and, exactly one year ago, there was some big news in India: a government report found that Coca-Cola’s bottling operations had caused $48 million in damages for depleting and polluting India’s water supply. Then, just last month, India’s state legislature in the southern state of Kerala passed a law allowing people who had been affected by Coca-Cola operations in Plachimada District to seek compensation from the company. The action was welcome by communities throughout India in addition to being celebrated at the international level as an important step towards holding multinational corporations accountable for their actions. Yesterday’s New York Times article sheds some light on this.