10/20/2011, "NAFTA Is Starving Mexico," Laura Carlsen, Foreign Policy in Focus
"Free trade has starved Mexico and stuffed transnational corporations."
"A 2008 NAFTA tribunal ruled that Mexico had to pay $58.4 million to CPI. The government paid up on January 25, 2011. CPI posted $3.7 billion dollars in net sales the
year of the decision. The fine paid by the Mexican government could have
provided a year’s worth of the basic food basket to more than 50,000
CPI’s wholly owned subsidiary Arancia Corn Products is among the most
powerful food transnationals operating in the country, along with
Maseca/Archers Daniel Midland and Cargill. Large agribusiness companies
allegedly played a key role in the 2007 tortilla crisis
by hoarding harvest as the international price went up, artificially
drying up the national market and selling at nearly double the price
they paid for the harvest. That crisis brought tens of thousands of poor Mexicans out into the streets to protest a 50 percent rise in the price of tortillas.
NAFTA and other FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] give corporations the power to define what we eat, what we buy at the store, who will have a job and who won't, and
whether a village sustained by local food production will survive or
witness the end of generations of livelihoods." (subhead, "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose")