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BE INDEPENDENT L LLL Book A Community Bound By Books. Bookstore Giftshop Coffeehouse 9 am 11 pm everyday 603 N. Lamar 472-5050 shop online at: Milagros, Retablos and Arte Popular 0, TRADING COMPANY FOLK ART & OTHER TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 209 CONGRESS AVEAUSTIN 512/479.8377 OPEN DAILY 10-6, FREE PARKING BEHIND THE STORE Sulu Naga International Headquarters Enjoy our organic, in house roasted coffee. Watch the kids play as you catch up with a friend. Listen to local musicians and relax with a beer or wine. Come see our new space. 3601 S. Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar it meeting in Puebla in June. But the handwriting is already on the wall. Amanda Galvez, representing the biosecurity commission, and former National University rector Jose Sarukhan, both Villalobos proxies, insist that Mexico must relax its moratorium on planting GM corn or the nation will be left behind in the biotech derby. For Galvez, the transgenic outbreak in Oaxaca is like “an experiment that is out of controlwe must do everything to bring it back under control.” Her assessment tends to underscore suspicions that the Mexican government, in complicity with the biotech industry, has targeted Oaxaca as a vast experimental station and its Indians as guinea pigs \(conejillos de indios for the brave new world of genetically modified corn. Despite the Indian outcry, it’s unlikely that the role of Maize in the Indian cosmovision will temper the scientists’ final recommendations in June. In Oaxaca, we will exercise autonomy, the only legitimate sover eigntythat of the peopleto defend our corn. In each community, each neighborhood and town, we will give battle in a peaceful and democratic way. Que Viva Nuestro Maize! Confronted by transnational biotech conglomerates, the NAFTA czars, scientists who consider themselves little gods \(“the optimization of risks” was a and the complicity of their government, the Indians’ best weapon was their own corn. In Oaxaca, where 30 out of the 60 Mexican varieties of corn take root, there are 600 ways of preparing Maize but the most ubiquitous, of course, is the tortilla. This past March, the women of Zaachila, out in the Zapotec district, rose before dawn and removed the corn from their great pots where the kernels had soaked overnight. They ground them on stone matates into 100 kilos of masa, which they then fashioned into bushels of warm tortillas. Then, after lugging the bulging baskets into the grand salon of the Hotel Victoria, they passed out piles to the NAFTA czars, their scientists, and their bureaucrats. “Take a taco,” one grizzled farmer named Ruben advised. “It will help you to feel more human.” John Ross is the author of Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left, to be published by Nation Books. 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 4/23/04