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4/18/08

Argentina's agro sector decides to smoke the enemy out

A satellite image taken today, showing the path of the thick smoke

It started last week, when some landowners near the city of Buenos Aires burned their cropped fields at the same time, and caused a blanket of smoke to waft through the capital city. Everyone thought it was a one-off, but instead of just doing a 'gone with the wind', a combo of the wind dropping and what it looking suspiciously like a successful revenge tactic by the agro boys has covered Buenos Aires in thick, dark smoke. Ironically, it has also affected large swathes of Uruguay, the country accused of polluting Argentina with its new paper mill close to the border between the two countries. Here are some photos taken today (courstesy DyN newswires, La Nacion and Clarin). As usual, click to enlarge if you want.

The gov't says that up to 160 landowners in the Buenos Aires and Entre Rios provinces have deliberately burned their fields at the same time.

Weathermen say it's not going to disperse before the end of the weekend, with Tuesday earmarked as the most likely day to breathe easy again.
To give you an idea of how bad it is, this weekend's games in the national religion of El Futból may be called off, with doctors warning of respiratory problems for many normal people, too. Hospitals have been inundated.
There have been various pile-ups on interprovincial highways, with at least 3 people dead because of reduced visibility accidents.
I've seen some revenge tactics in my time, but this one ranks near the top. Whatever happens, you can safely assume that any support for the agro sector in the city has gone bigtime byebyes. You haven't heard the end of this one.