Paraguay: soy spraying sparks controversy
ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — A man in Paraguay lost an eye after police shot a rubber bullet during a protest by farmers trying to stop the spraying of soy crops with herbicides.
Six more people also were reportedly injured in clashes with police that have reignited a controversy about whether the herbicides contaminate the people living near the fields.
A judge had ordered police protection for the soy fields controlled by a Brazilian landowner some 280 kilometers (174 miles) north of the capital, Asuncion. The clashes broke out Wednesday when a group of farmers tried to block a tractor from spraying the fields.
The National Peasants Federation on Friday protested what they called “police repression and the government’s lack of support for small-scale farmers.
Paraguay is the world’s third-largest soy producer.