January 2, 2014 - Monsanto Protester Sofia Gatica Threatened and Beaten

×
 
Follow-up to the story posted Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 - "Argentinians protest Monsanto as pesticide usage increases rates of birth defects and cancer" - See article here

For 13 years Sofia Gatica has organized opposition to the aerial spraying of agrochemicals that threaten human health and the environment in Argentina -- and for almost as long, she and her children have faced physical threats from anonymous agents.

She describes a recent episode: "I had just come back from the corner store, and I never lock my door. I always just come and go in our neighborhood, and I came in and he followed behind me and put the gun against my head in my kitchen and said that I needed to ‘stop f**king with the soy.’" Gatica said she held perfectly still and complied with the gunman’s wishes. "He made me sit down in a chair," she said. "He said not to leave, and so I didn’t leave. I waited until he drove away and then I went to the police."

Gatica continued to receive threatening phone calls and was once told she would have "two children instead of three. Police have been unable to identify the culprits.

On November 23, 2013, two men attacked Sofia Gatica just a few meters away from where she works. The attack occurred just 72 hours after the environmental activist received the terrifying death threat.

Sofia said, "They didn’t speak. One jumped on top of me and they kicked and beat me. I screamed loudly and the neighbors came out to help me." The assailants did not steal anything and they took off on motorcycle shortly after the attack. Sofia filed a complaint this afternoon with local police. The identities of the attackers are still unknown.

Sofia has been spearheading a blockade against construction on a new Monsanto plant in Malvinas, Argentina. The blockade is in place 66 days and will remain indefinitely. It appears Monsanto has taken notice of the disruption.

Despite the threats on her life and attacks Gatica refuses to leave the Malvinas campsite and will continue to protest the new Monsanto plant construction in Argentina. There is now an armed guard stationed on her property.

Learn more below, or at the original article here


Monsanto protester Sofia Gatica attacked

Just days after receiving a death threat, the Argentine anti-agrochemicals activist has been beaten up.

Two men attacked Sofia Gatica in district Acosta, Córdoba today, a few meters away from where she works. Just 72 hours after environmental activist Sofia Gatica received a terrifying death threat, she continues in fear for her life.

[Sofia said] "They didn’t speak. One jumped on top of me and they kicked and beat me. I screamed loudly and the neighbors came out to help me."

Sofia has been spearheading a blockade against construction on a new Monsanto plant in Malvinas, Argentina. The blockade is in place 66 days and will remain indefinitely. It appears Monsanto has taken notice of the disruption.

The assailants did not steal anything and they took off on motorcycle shortly after the attack. Sofia filed a complaint this afternoon with local police. The identities of the attackers today as well as the man who threatened Sofia earlier this week are still unknown but it seems obvious who sent them.

"I didn’t want to have guards watching over me" Sofia told Canal 10 of Cordoba. "I just want the people of Monsanto to leave me in peace."

Despite the threats on her life and attacks Gatica refuses to leave the Malvinas campsite and will continue to protest the new Monsanto plant construction in Argentina. There is now an armed guard stationed on her property.

Sofia is mother of three children and has one grandchild. Her fourth child died shortly after birth due to exposure to agrochemicals. Her remaining children have all tested positive for agrochemicals in blood analysis.

Gatica won the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize for her environmental work with Madres de Ituzaingó Anexo. The Goldman Prize is the world’s largest prize for grassroots environmentalists. Each of the winners, chosen from the planet’s six inhabited continental regions, demonstrate exceptional courage and commitment, often working at great risk to protect our environment.

Learn more here