Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

By Genner Llanes-Ortiz

This article describes the fiestas y ferias de semillas movement that take place in the Yucatan region, in Mexico, and offers an interpretation that stresses its importance not just as a site of Indigenous resistance, but as a strategic opportunity for the construction of alternatives to development. Celebrated in different sub-regions of this culturally distinctive area, these events bring together Maya-speaking peasants, anti-GMO activists, and organic produce aficionados from the federal states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Here, Maya understandings of welfare and prosperity are historically and politically reconfigured within a Pan-Yucatec Maya cultural perspective, at the same time leaning on and leading to what I call Cosmayapolitan ways of locating communities and social actors in the global situation.

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Commodity Hubs: Production of Space and New Geographies of Capital

Commodity Hubs: Production of Space and New Geographies of Capital

By Maria Eugenia Giraudo

The commodity boom and consequent expansion of production has encouraged the emergence of logistical and processing hubs that are functional to the expansion of a commodity production chain and necessary for the extraction of natural resources. It is by creating these corridors designed to reach global markets that the soybean complex has been able to expand and increase its profitability, deepening the extractivist nature of agribusiness in the region. This post looks at the case of the complex of Gran Rosario, an agro-industrial cluster installed on the shores of the Paraná River that has become one of the largest and most efficient hubs for commodity transports in the world, and argues that while usually natural conditions are claimed to be the reasons for its formation, it is a process of concentration of capital and production of space that gives birth to these commodity hubs.

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The ‘Commodities Consensus’ and Valuation Languages in Latin America

The ‘Commodities Consensus’ and Valuation Languages in Latin America

BY MARISTELLA SVAMPA

The ‘commodities consensus’ underscores the incorporation of Latin America into a new economic and political-ideological global order, sustained by the international boom in prices of raw materials and the continually increasing demand for consumer goods in both  central and emerging economies. This order is consolidating a neo-extractivist development style that generates new comparative advantages — visible in economic growth — at the same time that it produces new asymmetries and social, economic, environmental and politico-cultural conflicts. These tensions signal the opening of a new cycle of struggles, centred on the defense of the territory and the environment, as well as on the discussion of development models and the boundaries of democracy itself.

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