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Geopolitics

Brazilian Foreign Minister Quits Over Bolivian Senator Scandal

BBC, O GLOBO (Brazil), LA RAZÓN (Bolivia)

Worldcrunch

BRASILIA — Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota resigned last night in the wake of a diplomatic row with Bolivia, the BBC reports. He sent his resignation to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after it emerged that a Bolivian senator accused of corruption who had been sheltered in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, fled the country for the Brazilian capital in a diplomatic car over the weekend.

Senator Roger Pinto, a Bolivian opposition politician, was given asylum just under 15 months ago. According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, 22 charges have been filed against him, including corruption. Pinto is also said to be involved in the massacre of native Bolivians in 2008. He denied the charges, however, saying they had been fabricated and that he was being persecuted by President Evo Morales' government.

Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca expressed the government’s concern, explaining that “the mechanisms of cooperation between the two states had been violated,” La Razón reports. He therefore demanded explanations from the Brazilian government, saying that the actions of the embassy created a “negative precedent for the international community, since drugs, weapons or other illegal merchandise could be taken out of the country in the same way that Pinto was.”

It is not clear whether Antonio Patriota knew that the Bolivian politician was being transported to Brazil. He will switch posts with Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil’s ambassador to the United Nations.

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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