Sunday, August 17, 2008

Strike 2 coming up

What you´re about to see in the movie is why a Strike 2 in Argentina is inevitable
and sooner than you expect.

Grass fed cattle ranchers are cornered by very little or zero margins. Everywhere in the beef producers´world ranchers are pushed for "innovative" solutions to keep on in the business.

Here in Argentina, land of the grass fed cattle, a deaf government is irresponsibly pushing ranchers to bankruptcy and they are already thinking in going back to the roads in protests.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Strike 1

On Monday morning I saw the cow coming right to the trough.
I noticed that she had lost some weight. She looked dirty and walked with a limp.
After a long drink she sat down and sighed. She looked terrible.

- I need a rest, she said.
- Hi Negrita! Everybody here was waiting for you. Where have you been?
- Hi 99. I was out there on the roads.
- On road 51? All this time?
- Not only on road 51, I walked all the way to road 9 in the North, to road 14 on the East, I even went to the Patagonia roads.
- You must be very tired Negrita. Why did you travel that much?
- I´m exhausted. 99, are you the only person in the country that doesn´t know what happened in the last 4 months...?

- I know a little. The campo made big headlines and the protest hit hard on all of us. Hey... I didn´t know you were an activist, please tell me more.
- When your very own flesh is in dangerous hands you have moo out loud, she said.

- Danger?

- Sure! Don´t you know that Argentina´s National debt payments depend on cow´s flesh? The value of the notes has my name and my herd friends names written on them. Look, prices of meat are linked to the value of the restructured Argentine External Debt bonds through INDEC indexes. While the government wants to keep the value down at all possible cost more and more cheap cattle are being slaughtered at younger ages... even pregnant cows are sent to the market! It´s not even about food it´s about money. You didn´t know? You´re supposed to know!

She gave me such a look that I shut up.

- I´ve been in the pickets all this time and talked to many others,

and she continued,

On road 205 I met truckmen striking in support of farmers and farmers helping them with food and shelter.

On road 8 I met an angry bull that told me about the past months drought in the North and the displacement of cattle for soy.

He also told me about the big soybean oil and cereals exporters and the tremendous deals they were doing by buying cheap from captive farmers and selling at very high prices without paying the right taxes.

- I read about that. It´s a shame, I said. Although it was crazy and violent even in the big towns you don´t think that I hid my head under the ground, do you?

- Of course not, I know you. Sorry if I was rude 99, she apologized. I am so tired and heard so many stupidities from fundamentalists in favor of the government measurements, she took a breath... allegedly to feed the poor people when they were only favoring soy plantation´s concentration in their own friends hands, she took another breath... I´m a little sensitive.
- Negrita, half of the people are below average, I said, trying to make her smile but it didn´t work. Try to look at the bright side, the Congress finally stood up and ended the escalation.
- Some people at the Congress did but the nonsense is still there. Have you heard any kind of change in the agricultural politics?
- Nope
- Me neither, she yawned. I gotta get some sleep 99, please wake me up when the hay truck comes there´s almost no grass to eat here. I´ll tell you more later...

- Sleep with the little angels Negrita.
I don´t think she heard me. She was already snoring.

Friday, August 01, 2008


- Where´s Negrita?

- I heard she´s coming back on Monday

- ah, ok. I´m sure she has a lot to tell us about the past 4 months...

- You bet!