Producers accuse the use of cloud-breaking planes in Oaxaca
Peasant families from 19 municipalities where hundreds of Chocholtec and Mixtec towns in Oaxaca are located suffer from a shortage of corn due to the loss of more than two thousand tons of grain in the spring-summer 2023 cycle, due to drought and irregular rainfall.
Justino José Pérez, farmer from San Cristóbal Suchixtlahuaca, said that the Mixtec and Chocholtec peoples, as well as the Mazatecs of the Canada regionthey live in uncertainty because The drought puts the lives of its inhabitants at risk by preventing the replenishment of the aquifers.
However, for the also member of the Municipal and Agrarian Community Government Council of the Chocholteca Nation (Ngigua-Ngiba), the lack of rain is not only due to climate change, but also to the deployment of rented aircraft by poultry and pork companies “to dissolve the clouds and thus prevent their egg and pork production from decreasing.”
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He explained that for 20 years farmers have warned about the flights of some small planes to spread supposedly unknown substances to dissipate them, but as time passed they are more constant.
This rumor was heard more and more frequently and in nearby towns, suggesting an intimate relationship between the route of these small planes and the increase in poultry and pig farms in the area,” he stated.
He explained that in recent years, “the overflight of these aircraft occurs every day, mainly in the rainy season, which has considerably reduced precipitation to highly worrying levels,” he stressed.
Another Council participant, Bernardo Serra Santiago, added that small planes—popularly called anti-rain planes—disperse chemical substances. (apparently silver iodide) to dissolve clouds on the verge of precipitation in a matter of 10 minutes.
The small planes are deliberately dedicated to avoiding the rain,” he said. “By dispersing the clouds, they leave the rainfed agricultural producing communities without water,” he added.
He said that the affected farmers demanded the withdrawal of the poultry and pig farms from Coixtlahuaca, Tequixtepec and Tepetlapa, for allegedly resorting to this practice, because the decrease in temperature caused by rain affects the decrease in egg production.
With the rains, the chickens do not lay at the same rate and they even get sick,” he noted.
He observed that the rain also causes a decrease in the milk production of the sows to feed their offspring with the same intensity.
In demand of the prohibition of flight of the anti-rain planes, On August 16, 2022, authorities and citizens that make up the Chocholteca nation took over the federal toll booth of San Cristóbal Suchixtlahuaca, demanding an end to the cloud bombing, “because it alters the hydrological cycle.”
However, the only thing we achieved was for the federal Public Ministry to initiate 11 investigation files against authorities and farmers for the crime of attacks on federal communication routes, but nothing was resolved; The small planes continue to fly over, we have captured images of their presence,” said Serra Santiago.
Given the concern of the Mixtec, Chocholtec and Mazatec peasants, Local deputy Horacio Sosa Villavicencio proposed reforms to the Penal Code to punish those who use small planes to disperse rain with up to 25 years in prison.
In an interview, he commented that The dispersion of the rains has caused serious damage to peasant communitiesbecause they subsist mainly on seasonal crops, especially corn.
Besides, He observed that the lack of rain has impacted rivers, streams and wells because it prevents the recharge of aquifers.
The reform proposal implies the inclusion of the crime of dispossession in the Penal Code by hindering, reducing or preventing rain by dispersing clouds.
It plans to punish those responsible for the companies with up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to one thousand two hundred times the value of the property. Updated Unit of Measurement (UMA).
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