Sodré and the Dialectics of Brazil’s Social Formation
by Marcos Del Roio
By Michael Galant,
Thousands of migrants sit in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. policy makers and media debate their proper treatment as if they have appeared out of nowhere - fleeing hardships that are, to us, unknowable and unavoidable.
Two thousand miles away, one labor struggle reveals how false this narrative is.
In a microcosm of the conditions that have forced millions around the world to leave their homes in search of a better life in the global North, farmworkers in Honduras are fighting for their rights against the violent exploitation of a powerful multinational corporation and a global economic system designed to marginalize them.
Fyffes plc is the fourth-largest banana distributor in the world and the top importer of winter-season melons to the United States. Despite an annual $1 billion in revenue, the Japanese-owned and Irish-headquartered corporation remains a virtual unknown compared to its competitors: Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte. But in Honduras, Fyffes is infamous.
Fyffes employs up to 8,000 seasonal workers in its Honduran melon fields, the majority women. These workers have faced unendurable and often illegal exploitation. Fyffes pays sub-poverty wages, fails to provide legally mandated benefits, and leaves workers without savings for retirement. According to The Guardian, workers report that Fyffes regularly refuses to supply adequate drinking water, toilets or safety gear, and the company has been known to illegally fire pregnant workers.
When these dangerous conditions reach their inevitable conclusion - when, for example, 17 women are hospitalized from exposure to dangerous agrochemicals - Fyffes fails to deliver adequate medical care or compensation.
By Luis Gómez Romero,
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is celebrating an agreement avoiding U.S. tariffs as a major political and diplomatic triumph for his government.
“We didn’t win everything, but we were able to claim a victory with there being no tariffs,” said chief negotiator Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, on June 9.
The two neighbors have been at odds since United States President Donald Trump on May 30 threatened to hit all Mexican imports with steadily rising tariffs unless Mexico successfully halted the northward flow of Central American migrants fleeing extreme poverty and violence through Mexico toward the United States.
Approximately 80% of Mexican exports are destined for the United States. Tariffs would have devastated Mexico’s economy.
To keep its goods untaxed, Mexico had to convince President Trump that it was serious about stopping migration. After a week of frantic negotiations, Mexico said it would deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala to stop migrants from entering Mexico.
As part of the agreement, a Trump administration program known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces some migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed in the U.S., will also be expanded.