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It’s settled: fumigation is a death sentence

Argentinian Criminal Justice established that agrotoxics poisoning was the cause of the death of a 4-year-old boy

Foto: Agencia Tierra Viva

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Horticultural producer Ricardo Prieto was sentenced this Monday, December 14, to three years in prison for the manslaughter of Nicolás Arévalo and injuries to Celeste Estévez in Lavalle, in the Argentinian province of Corrientes. The 4-year-old boy died on April 4, 2011 from acute poisoning followed by death, as confirmed by the autopsy, due to the presence of endosulfan in his blood and organs.

“It wasn’t the sentence. The truth was what we were looking for, and we achieved it,” Emilio Spataro said to Real World Radio. “Now Nicolás Arévalo rests in peace while we continue the fight so that there is not one more agrochemical anywhere.”

Hermindo González, lawyer for the Arévalo family, analyzed the ruling and expressed an ambivalent feeling, because the execution of the ruling is “conditional”, although it condemns the producer “for killing and for damaging the health of the population.”

However, the lawyer valued the precedent left by the sentence to promote a change in the production model, without agrotoxics.

“Nicolás Arévalo, a humble, poor rural boy from the deep interior of the province of Corrientes was condemned to the fact that his death would be one of many more, but the great strength of that family, which knew how to build an organization, sustain it over time, carrying out fighting actions, and not lowering their gaze before any of the multiple abuses of the powerful actors who tried to stop their path, achieved the reissue of this historic trial: the first criminal trial that established that the cause of death was agrochemicals,” Emilio Spataro said. “Fumigation kills. This sets a great precedent for the entire country.”

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