HAVANA TIMES, Jan 24 — Some 2,000 small farmers from the northern states of Chihuahua and Zacatecas arrived in Mexico City to ask the government for resources to address the crisis in agriculture and livestock caused by a severe drought – the worst in 70 years.
The farmers traveled roughly 900 miles since last Monday to demand Mexican authorities provide $750 million to tackle the drought and frost that has hit the Mexican countryside, reported the Pulsar news agency.
During a rally at the Monument to the Mexican Revolution, campesino leader Heraclius Rodriguez asserted that climate change is affecting the lands of Sinaloa and Sonora. These agricultural areas located in the north of the country produce staples for the nation.
Rodriguez said that both states lack necessary water supplies due to lack of rain caused by constant deforestation in forested areas, as he charged the Mexican government with tolerating excessive logging.
Likewise, Alfonso Ramirez Cuellar, the leader of the campesino group “El Barzon,” explained that the small farmers are camped out in the area surrounding the Interior Ministry as they call for the Mexican government to issue a declaration of “national emergency” in the agricultural and ranching areas of Mexico.
The drought — which has meant the death of at least 42,000 head of cattle — will also result in significant increases in the cost of chicken, beans, eggs, corn and milk, added Ramirez Cuellar. He called on the authorities to address the expected pressures on prices.
In this context, the campesino organization “El Barzon” confirmed that six indigenous Tarahumaras died of hunger in the Carichi municipality in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.