LAS CHUNAS, CHACO, ARGENTINA: Juan Carlos Cardoso, 23, has suffered from Cerebral Palsy and a type of Spina Bifida since birth; his mother Carmen takes care of him. In Argentina, there is no national law regulating herbicides, and fumigations in the agricultural fields have been denounced as the cause of an increasing number of birth defects and a 30% spike in cancer cases.
Chaco native Katherina Pardo, 21, recalls that when she was a student and a plane passed overhead, some of the children would pass out. “We just took it as something normal, at a certain time of the year, at the time of the fumigations. People would begin to feel sick; there would be headaches and fainting. I always blamed the drinking water.”
From Stories of a Wounded Land, by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala.