Published on Oct 1, 2013
“9.70 documentary” tells the story of a group of farmers from which the Colombian Government seized and destroyed 70 tons of rice.
In a very short amount of time, the Colombian government approved a series of laws and resolutions in order to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States as quickly as possible. One of the conditions set by the US was to create a legislation for the ‘privatization’ of seeds.
The documentary examines the impact caused by these decisions, exemplifying them by using the case of Campoalegre, a southern Colombian town where the resolution was set in motion. In 2011, the Agency responsible for monitoring agricultural activities in Colombia (ICA) came to the town and seized 70 tons of rice, then returned with the police, and finally destroyed the seeds by burying them in a landfill for considering them illegal.
UPDATE – 6 September 2013
Thanks to the huge mobilization that took place on August 19, the Colombian government has just announced that it is suspending Resolution 9.70, which was one of the motives for a massive and public outcry in recent weeks. The Resolution, adopted in 2010 and sometimes referred to as Law 9.70, made it illegal for Colombian farmers to store seeds, giving private companies and transnational corporations control over the market, monopolizing it.
Resolution 9.70 will be suspended for a period of two years, and will only be enforceable for domestically produced seeds (not imports). The government states it will use the two-year freeze period to write new regulations on seed use “that will not affect small farmers”.
This is NOT a reversal of the policy. It is a public statement from the government. People are waiting to see it written and enforced as a legal document, and are insisting for the Resolution to be repealed instead.
by Victoria Solano & Marco Cartolano