|by Wells Eddleman|
On April 2, WUNC radio aired a report on local farmers who are preserving various breeds of farm animals. The report emphasized genetic diversity and practical benefits, e.g. the animals are well-adapted to local conditions.
Then, out of the blue, the reporter added that the farmers "deny they are against cheap, abundant and safe food." Stunned by this absurd irrelevancy, I wondered if it was still April 1. Who could oppose cheap safe food?
Then I remembered the obnoxious ads from "public" radio "sponsors" like Archer Daniels Midland, price-fixers to the world. These folks oppose cheap food. Pesticide corporations and other polluters effectively oppose safe food, too.
But the only people WUNC asks about opposition to food safety are ecological farmers whom WUNC implicitly accuses of such views. Can you say corporate media madness?
[Last year, ADM agreed to pay $100 million fines for fixing the prices of lysine and citric acid in the largest corporate anti-trust settlement ever. In spite of being seven times larger than the previous anti-trust bust record, the fines were a bargain since the lysine loot alone was $170 million. ADM was also granted immunity from price-fixing charges relating to its corn syrup product. Also, National Public Radio, for which WUNC-FM is an affiliate, has refused to divulge how much money it gets from ADM, claiming that the information is "proprietary." This term is an exceedingly intriguing usage in the arena of public broadcasting. Experts have been unable to penetrate its true significance to date. See Eye on the Media, Prism November 1996-Editor].
Probably News To You! (from Weekly News Update, Mar. 30, 1997):
Bolivian Prisoners Wanted: 30 Years Dead or Alive
On March 27 the Superior District Court in La Paz, Bolivia, concluded a series of visits to La Paz prisons in which it investigated demands by unsentenced prisoners to be released on probation. The review of cases for those who have been in prison awaiting sentencing for a number of years was one of the promises made by authorities after a wave of prison uprisings swept Bolivia in February. . . . Court authorities visited [several prisons]. At Miraflores Women's Prison, all 14 probation requests made on the last day of visits were rejected. . . . Five members of the Bolivian rebel group EGTK. . .were granted conditional release in the recent revision of cases. . . . Seven other militants who requested probation were turned down. . . . All 12 have been imprisoned since 1992 with no sentence; they had all applied jointly for conditional release. . . .
While the Bolivian government is reluctant to release living rebels from prison, it has jumped at the chance to profit from a famously dead one. The route taken by Che Guevara 30 years ago with his Bolivian guerrilla counterparts in the country's southeastern region will soon be reproduced as a trail for adventurous tourists. Bolivian deputy tourism secretary Karen de la Quintana told Agence France-Presse. The path covers 800 kilometers and can be covered in between three and six days, depending on the visitor's desire. The introduction of this new tour by the Tourism Secretariat is timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Guevara's death at the hands of the Bolivian army, which will be commemorated this October.
The Flash at the PAN?
Super Gay, Mexico's latest activist super hero, made his first appearance on March 3 at a demonstration symbolically closing down the Mexico City headquarters of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), which has been pushing a "family values" agenda in the cities it governs. Dressed in a black suit with a pink-edged cape and an inverted pink triangle, Super Gay follows in the tradition of the masked activists Superbarrio Goméz and Universal Superecologist, who both joined the demonstration against the PAN. Super Gay, a self-described "run of the mill" office worker, told Inter Press Service: "I will try to unite the gay community. We must keep together in order to end homophobia."
Weekly News Update on the Americas is available for $25/year at 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012. See their web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~dbwilson/wnuhome.html
Send comments to email@example.com.