Paraguay's soy harvests a new set of victims

Paraguay's soy harvest is in full swing, and with it comes disturbing news of poisoning by agrochemicals.

On Friday 7 January, 17 inhabitants of 'Colonia Yeruti' a small community near Canindeyu in Eastern Paraguay were taken to hospital.

They were suffering from symptoms such as fever, coughing, stomach aches, vomiting, headaches and skin eruptions.

26-year-old Ruben Cáceres arrived dead at the hospital.

Family in danger

An investigation by the Paraguayan Ministry of the Environment found Ruben's mother, wife and 2-year-old son also suffering fevers and skin complaints.

Their house was on a low lying area surrounded by soy fields.

Neighbours complain that they are subjected to constant aerial and tractor spraying, regardless of the wind, humidity and time of day.

Business as usual

Sadly in Paraguay, this is not unusual.

Environmental legislation is regularly flouted and expansion of soy drives people from their land, speeding destruction of forests and contamination of land and water.