By Dra. Graciela Gomez
We ate under the wing of the plane where the bars that drip the poison are. We drew the water from the nearest mill, we drew the water with the same hose through which the poison passed minutes before, we submerged it there and contaminated everything.
They don't mind being called fumigators. His job is to get on the airplane and spill the lethal poison with its own name: glyphosate over fields and towns. Many of these pilots have troubled consciences and failing health. “I did aerial work and my disagreements and discussions with foremen and my own lack of sensitivity were constant. I refused to spray the banderilleros, who were generally always children or adolescents, without first being provided with a waterproof layer with a hood to prevent the chemicals used, which were extremely toxic, from harming them. I had to listen to answers to my requests, such as that they were the "sons of the peons" or if I was a pilot or defense attorney, to which I replied that I simply did not want to be a murderer. Many times, although reluctantly, they accepted my suggestions, "said Eduardo Gimenez.
“Much is said that the GPS makes the banderillero unnecessary, but this is another mendacity. No one can think of navigating an instrument aircraft at low altitude. I have been a user of browsers of the same type used to fumigate and the errors they throw, plus the time they take to navigate, make them obsolete for this use. They are used to find the field or the track, to know how much lack of travel and thank you ”, added Arturo Avellaneda, who writes for the blog" Permahabitante ", which was intervened or" fumigated ", as he prefers to denounce it.
The testimony of both was joined by Fabián Tomasi, another "fumigator" who bears the mark of the poison on his body.
All stated that SENASA allows fumigations respecting the laws and that in relation to those affected, both "go up in smoke."
In a videoconference with the agronomist Patricia Roccatagliata -in the framework of the Conference on Agrochemicals that took place on October 30 at the College of Engineers of Buenos Aires- Tomasi related from his native Entre Ríos, in the town of Basavilbaso, the drama that he has to live and calls for an end to what he describes as “genocide”.
- Hello Fabian. Good day. Can you tell us when you started fumigating with the planes?
In 95-96. It was ground support preparing all the products, without any previous course to understand what he was manipulating. We laughed at the photos on the labels, those people who showed astronaut type, we never had the possibility of seeing each other like that, out of ignorance, underestimating the disaster.
- What medication are they giving you?
Applications that Dr. Kaczewer donated to me, German therapy and acupuncture, with his disciple from Entre Ríos, because before he had no income, he had no retirement. I thank Assembly for Life, Tenaglia, Guillermo Torres, Romano, who have done everything possible so that I am talking with you today.
- How is your diet?
I am diabetic, let's start from that base. It was easier to treat me like this, to minimize the problem of pesticides. I was treated for a year for a diabetic, Dr Lezcano, who has been fighting this for years, everything was fine ... until one day I began to lose my muscles, decreased lung capacity, the body denoted something else and the doctor told me: "Take off your shirt because I notice something strange in you that is not normal ... we have been wrong for a year, diabetes is not, here is something else. Diabetes is controlled "With the exposure that I had for six years with poisons, enhanced by my diabetes that diminishes my reaction capacity, what I have is a great poisoning by agrochemicals, whatever is said. Otherwise Someone show me
We work with chemicals in leathers and shorts and sometimes barefoot. We would stop for lunch at noon, washing our hands with water that we carried in a cart behind the truck. We ate bread from a conservatory with ice that we stored in a box in the back along with the agrochemicals. It is understood?
- Here they are horrified ...
We ate poisons our entire lives. It should be noted that sometimes when we went to work in the fields we brought rural teachers because we knew them, we made room for them among the products and they would sit in the boxes of the truck, among the poisons, at 40-42 degrees and they would sit there. The containers were inflated by the gas and they leaned there, on that poison taking mates. We must be aware that ignorance kills more than silence ...
I believe that here there are many culprits and many accomplices. In this they advised me not to talk about politics, but this is all a bit of politics.
- Tell us about the topic of doctors, how medicine minimizes everywhere and this accustoming that chemicals are not bad and that it is a general culture that nothing happens ...
In the public hospital where I go in my city they treat me to this day for diabetes because they do not know what my problem is, this is something new the common doctor, without detracting from his work, does not interpret it. So far my medical history shows that I am diabetic and they treat me as such every time I go to the hospital ... I have not managed to do more than a lot of surgical interventions, to clean my joints, to get rid of the calcium that my body forms around the poison. I could never do biopsies of that or they were lost ... or I don't think anyone wants to figure out what my problem really is ...
- How was your job?
We work in the sunshine on makeshift tracks in the field. We ate under the wing of the plane where the bars that drip the poison are. For us it was normal to play with our fingers in the little streams of poison that fell on the floor while we talked and drank mate.
Usually we ate crumb bread that we used for cold cuts that absorbed everything we had in our hands like a blotter. We drew the water from the nearest mill, we drew the water with the same hose through which the poison passed minutes before, we submerged it there and contaminated everything.
- Did someone ever tell you about the risks that this entailed?
No one ever explained the quality of the water to us, I learned it later. We used a woman's stocking, a can-can over the mouth of the beak so that the verdigris that covers the beaks does not pass to the bar of the plane. That was the only treatment we did to the water. And many times I have been a "banderillero" that even if they deny it to the doctor (Graciela) Gómez. I know that until now they continue to do it for a matter of practicality. There are many airplane pilots who do not know how to use GPS, therefore it is easier to put an employee in the field with a bag in the lot marking and usually one crouches to avoid wasting time, we crouched when that little rain fell on the back, which was poison, but we were happy and thanked the pilot for cooling us down.
- Thank you very much Fabián ...
One last little thing, engineer. Those who have been lucky enough to study to know how to apply this, I only ask for me and for all those affected who are more than two million that once and for all raise awareness that sooner or later this is going to kill us all.
I ask God to intercede with these people; I am referring to agronomists, who I think there are many there. Please be sensible in what you try to explain and that once and for all help us because they are killing us, perhaps unintentionally because they do not understand it. Whatever this activity is done is going to cause death ... this is genocide.
Please, those who study for this, give us the possibility to continue living because I believe that if these meetings are held it is because someone is understanding something. Please, for all the babies that are born, that allow them to live, do everything possible to save those lives. Nobody says to stop doing farming, but let's try to formulate new expectations and that nobody imposes anything on us. Let no country decide what we have to do with our countryside to be able to go back to being the barn of the world that we once were.
Dr. Graciela Gomez, Ong Echoes of Romang - November 2009
Source: Argentine Association of Environmental Journalists