Onay Martínez holds a sugar-apple on his farm, Tierra Brava, in western Cuba, where he practices conservation agriculture and has turned this sustainable system that minimally disturbs the soil into a model in his country. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Conservation Agriculture Sprouts in Cuban Fields

At the entrance, the Tierra Brava farm looks like any other family farm in the rural municipality of Los Palacios, in the westernmost province of Cuba. But as you drive in, you see that the traditional furrows are not there, and that freshly cut grass covers the soil. “For more than five years we’ve been practicing conservation agriculture (CA),” said Onay Martínez, who works 22 hectares of state-owned land. He was referring to a specific kind of agroecology which, besides not using chemicals, diversifies species on farms and preserves the soil using plant coverage and no plowing.

No Picture

Is water the new drug for Mexico’s cartels?

Source: The New Internationalist

What it’s like when narcos run your privatized water system.

It’s rainy season here in Puebla, Mexico, and water is dripping through my concrete roof, taking chunks of plaster and paint from the ceiling with it. Ironically, we still don’t have enough running water to shower everyday. Other people here have no running water at all, and our drainage system is in a state of utter abandonment.

Yet we all pay 10 times the rates of the rest of Mexico, because here in Puebla – unlike the rest of the country – our water is privatized. What’s more, the men at the helm of the consortium that run it are a collection of corrupt millionaire and billionaire businessmen who have allegedly laundered money for some of the region’s biggest drug cartels. read more

A woman sits with her child next the barrier separating the protesters from the Presidential Palace. All photos by Jeff Abbott.

Guatemala’s Government Palace and the Street: Indigenous Campesinos Occupy Capital to Protest Land Conflicts

One hundred Q’eqchi Maya families have established an encampment next to the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City to protest the government's unwillingness to resolve agrarian conflicts in their territory. “We are here in front of the National Palace because of the failure of the state," indigenous activist Carlos Choc explained. "Our Q’eqchi communities have risen up."