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October 7, 2010
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications

Cultivating Alternatives to Migration: Food Sovereignty on Both Sides of the Border

POULTNEY--When migrant farm worker José Obeth Santiz Cruz was killed in an accident at a Franklin County dairy farm in December 2009, the Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project (VMFSP) organized a delegation to return his remains to his home in Mexico. They brought back the story of his family and community members coming to terms with his death.

The resulting film “Silenced Voices” shows that the small, rural indigenous village in Chiapas, Mexico is deeply interconnected with Vermont and highlights the hardships and challenges of this largely invisible community as they work to sustain Vermont’s struggling dairy farms. The film, followed by a presentation by activist Kiado Cruz, will be shown at Green Mountain College October 19 at 7 p.m. in the East Room, Withey Hall.

Vermont's farms employ at least 1500 migrant farm workers, and nearly one-third of them come from Chiapas. Cruz, a community organizer from Oaxaca, Mexico working with RASA (the Autonomous Network for Food Sovereignty), will speak about sustainable agriculture and the community organizations that have been instrumental in the current autonomous movements in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico. He will address questions about the effects of U.S. trade policies and increasing privatization that have damaged the Mexican economy and led to unprecedented migration.

The program is free and open to the public.


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