Friday, January 12, 2007

Amas de Casas Desesperadas

Archer Daniels Midlands strikes the poor of Mexico:

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has pledged to intervene to tackle the soaring price of tortillas, the flat corn bread which is a local staple.

The price of tortillas, the main source of calories for many of Mexico's poor, rose by more than 10% last year.

Mr Calderon said the government would clamp down on speculators and search for cheaper providers of corn.

But he ruled out imposing subsidies or price controls, which were lifted in the late 1990s.

....Earlier this week, angry housewives heckled Mr Calderon at his public appearances, pleading with him to bring tortilla prices down.

"When there isn't enough money to buy meat, you do without," one woman in Mexico City, Bonifacia Ysidro, told the Associated press. "Tortillas you can't do without."

....Under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico used to get cheap corn imports from the US, but Mexico's Economy Minister Eduardo Sojo said that with more US corn being diverted into ethanol production, supply was dwindling.

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