12-07-2014, Alicia Baja- Colonia Aurora, province of Misiones Lucas Techeira is three years old and he was born with ichthyosis, a skin disorder that causes the skin to be dry and cracked. He is locally known as the crystal boy. His father Arnoldo left his job at the tobacco fields when his son was born. 32-year-old Rosana Gaspar, Lucas’s mother, says that she always manipulated glyphosate at home to use in her vegetable garden.
[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]
The first survey of areas affected by glyphosate spraying in Argentina revealed that 13.4 million people — one third of the country’s population — are affected.
In 2012, 370 million liters (98 US million gallons) of agrotoxins were used over 21 million hectares, which represents 60 percent of the country’s cultivated land area. This meant that in a decade, cancer cases in children increased threefold and malformations in newborn babies went up 400 percent. So far, in spite of the weight of the formal complaints, there has not been any official systematized information.
The turning point occurred in 1996, when the Government approved the commercialization of transgenic soybeans and the use of the herbicide glyphosate. From then on, the arable lands of the country became an experimental field where dozens of scientific studies and medical surveys speak of the sanitary disaster.
Argentina approved the GMO (genetically modified organism) without conducting their own studies, taking as scientific evidence only the works published by the Monsanto Company. The transgenic soybean cultivation was authorized in only three months through an administrative procedure.
12-11-2014 Fracrán, province of Misiones Since Jesica Sheffer (11) was seven years old, she suffers from a tendon malformation that prevents her from standing up straight. In spite of her condition, she practices the art of Chinese embroidery, tends her vegetable garden and occasionally cooks for the whole family. Her mother, Ramona Angélica de Lima, is of African descent and has six children. Ramona and her husband came to the village of Fracrán 30 years ago when very few families were living there. Fracrán is a tobacco producing area with a high incidence of people affected by agrotoxins.
11-18-2014. Basavilbaso, province of Entre Ríos. Fabián Tomasi worked many years in an agrochemical spraying company, in charge of loading and pumping. He suffers from severe toxic polyneuropathy and is being treated for a generalized muscular atrophy that keeps him home-bound.
12-11-2014 Fracrán, province of Misiones When Cándida Rodríguez gave birth to Fabián Piris, he was given one year to live. He is now eight years old and suffers hydrocephalus, an irreversible brain disorder that causes mental disability. During her pregnancy, Cándida manipulated Roundup in the tobacco fields together with her husband. Their house is located a few yards away from a sawmill where they use highly toxic chemicals to season the wood. Only in the area around the National Highway 14 where this family lives, twelve hundred people were born with cleft lip, hydrocephalus and other disabilities that could be a consequence of the poisons used in the tobacco and yerba mate fields.
11-20-2014 San Salvador, Province of Entre Ríos. María Alejandra Arbizu suffers from disseminated high-grade breast cancer (13 x 6 cm). Her house is located in the Centenario neighborhood, a high impact zone where neighbors registered at least nine cancer cases in three blocks. In this area, there used to be a lindane spraying crop duster airfield. They left behind chemical cans buried in the ground that contaminated the water the neighbors drink.
2-12-1014 La Leonesa, province of Chaco A halt in the road of the same village where Doctor Andrés Carrasco was insulted for relating monoculture crop farming to severe illness and children malformation.
21-11-2014 San Salvador, province of Entre Ríos. Mirta María Velzi (1966) visits the tomb of her adolescent daughter María Daniela Leyes (1995-2012) who died of a brain tumor. Her father, Daniel Leyes worked for many years in a farm and was exposed to multiple chemical substances biologically potent.
09-04-2015 Pozo Azul, province of Misiones. Marilena is Estefania Vargas Mailin’s mothers a little girl living in a “Pozo Azul” area in the province of “Misiones”, just by fields cropped with transgenic corn where fields it is being continuously irrigated with glyphosate and other poisoning subtance.
20-11-2014 San Salvador, province of Entre Ríos. Teresita Raquel Oteiza (1979) is the mother of two children and is pregnant at present. She is recovering of an extractive surgery of a benign cancer. She lives near a plant for the treatment of grains that airs rice and dispatches trucks impregnated with fungicidals. Her home is located in one of the areas with greater concentration of severe cancer cases of the city of San Salvador.
06-04-2015 San Vicente, province of Misiones. Sandra Sosa is Leonardo Lorenzo’s mother, suffering from brain paralysis and epilepsy as result of the repeating fumigations. The currently live in the “Progeso” neighbor, where the children and teenagers handicapped cases repeats in alarming number.
11-12-2014 Alicia Baja – Colonia Auror, province of Misiones. Andrea Gotin was a healthy girl until one afternoon, when she was eight years old, she inhaled bromomethane and had to be hospitalized and stayed nine days in intensive care. The fever she ran a few hours after inhaling the substance affected the motor function of her brain. She needs a kidney transplant and has to undergo dialysis three times a week. Her brother Ademir (20) suffers severe mental disability.
30-11-2014, Saenz Peña, Province of Chaco. Fields of sunflowers.
This work has been driven by my love and tribute to Mother Nature. A critical view of bad use of knowledge and technology that over time drags the “civilization” into losing memory on our ancient sacred relationship with nature.
Important media enterprises have perversely hidden the outrageous numbers of affected population, and became accomplices of those directly responsible like Monsanto, politicians, important landowners and seed pools.
That is why I decided to work to take evidence on this situation, spending long days by my own, travelling over 6000km on my own 20 years old car, and my camera as my contribution to stop this to continue.
11-18-2014, Libero, Province of Entre Ríos. Marta Elsa Cian (1947). Poultry farmer. In town, they call her “the masked crazy woman” because every time she leaves her home she has to wear a protective mask to avoid inhaling the continuous drifts of agrotoxins sprayed in the vicinity of her house. In 2001, she suffered exposure to multiple agrochemicals employed in soybean and rice monoculture crop farming which affected her health causing chronic respiratory failure, hypertension, neuropathies combined with hematological and cardiologic symptoms.
12-11-2014 Fracrán, province of Misiones In the Province of Misiones, five in a thousand children are born with myelomeningocele (MMC), a severe malformation of the central nervous system in which children are born with the spinal cord open and left with urinary and fecal incontinence and problems in their lower limbs. The misuse of agrotoxins causes contamination of precious resources such as water and soil. The pollution is more severe in the areas where agrotoxins are more widely used (in the localities of Aristóbulo del Valle, San Vicente and Colonia Aurora, in the center of the province). It is estimated that nearly 13 percent of their population has some form of disability, doubling the national average
06-12-2014 Colonia Aurora, province of Misiones Marcos Alejandro Kaddaztz suffered from leukemia when he was 10. His father has been working as an air sprayer of fungicide on the tobacco fields for 32 years, his mother was in hospital due to an intoxication before Marcos was born. Today he is 20 years and his family had to move from the farm where they live and establish in the town. Marcos has been on the waiting list for three years waiting for a kidney transplant in Posadas hospital.
29 -11-2014. Napenay, province of Chaco. Anita Sosa (2011) can’t walk by her own means but she plays that she is a dancer together with her elder sister. Liliana Dworak, mother of both points at numerous sources highly toxic that complicated her last pregnancy; among others, the spraying of her home against dengue by order of the municipal administration.
07-12-2014 Colonia Aurora, province of Misiones Lucas Techeira lives in an area of tobacco plantations very near the Uruguay River. The population of fishes decreases at the same rhythm as the use of agro chemicals.
18-11-2014, Santa Anita, province of Entre Ríos. A village road permanently used by rural machinery.
20-11-2014 Jubileo, province of Entre Ríos Nelson Vicente-Frene suffers from abdominal cancer. He underwent surgery in 2014 and continuous treatment with a reserved prognosis. He was continually exposed to agro toxics. He worked in the rice, soy and poultry farms. Nelson used to spray manually rice, soybean and in a poultry farm.
20-11-2014 Jubileo, province of Entre Ríos Eduardo Hector Sosa (1960) former worker en “Molinos Alas”, an ensilage and processing enterprise of rice, suffers of carcinoma in the base of his tongue.
10-12-2014 San Vicente, province of Misiones Monica Gabriela Rais (21 years old) suffers from paraplegia and maturity retardation. Her mother gave birth to Monica while working in the tobacco farms, of February 13 at the age of 15.
12-08-2014 San Vicente, Province of Misiones. Talía Belén Soroco (14 years) has a congenital malformation. She underwent heart surgery and suffers severe motor problems. Her father Juan and her mother Anita worked in the tobacco fields since they were children and manipulated forbidden pesticides such as Furadan and bromomethane. Soon after the birth of their daughter Talía, they decided to leave the fields and undertake sustainable horticulture. Tobacco companies force almost all smallholding farmers to use a high quantity of agrochemicals. The cost of these substances represents roughly half the product’s final value.
12-1- 2014. Roque Sáenz Peña, Province of Chaco. Twins Aldo and Maximiliano Barrios (2004) and their mother Elena Alderete (1977) posing on their home street. Both children suffer from a severe condition, congenital microcephaly, one of the illnesses associated with the use of neurotoxic substances in transgenic agriculture. The Barrios twins attend one of the many facilities for the disabled that increase in number considerably year after year.
Pablo Piovano was born in Buenos Aires on September 7, 1981. He has been a staff photographer for the Pagina/12 newspaper in Argentina since he was 18 years old.
In 2005 and 2014, he received scholarships from the Garcia Marquez Foundation.
During 2001, he documented the tragic events occurred during the social and political crisis in Argentina, and in 2002, he published the book Episodios Argentinos, Diciembre y Despues.
From 2004 to 2008, he coordinated a photography workshop for children and teenagers at risk at Isla Maciel neighborhood in the City of Buenos Aires.
Since 2006 until the present, Piovano has exhibited every year at the Palais de Glace at the ARGRA (Photojournalists Association of Argentina) Annual Exhibition.
In 2014, he presented an individual exhibition, “Portraits 2004-2014” at the Documentary Photography Biennale of Tucuman, featuring portraits of many influential figures in the country’s politics and culture.