Pura Vida: film screening in memory of Carlos Arguedas Mora

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A film screening in memory of Carlos Arguedas Mora, a Costa Rican trade unionist and environmental activist is being held at the Scottish Trades Union Congress from 7-9pm on 21st March 2013.

The screening will feature two films:

Pura Vida (29 mins Costa Rica/Scotland - Jan Nimmo) which exposes the social and environmental impact of toxic agro-chemicals used to grow bananas and pineapples for export to Europe.

Portraits from Cameroon  (18 mins Cameroon/Scotland - Jan Nimmo) A series of short banana workers' testimonies from the plantations of Cameroon. These portraits offer an insight into the working and home lives of the people who work to produce cheap bananas for the European market, dedicated to the memory of Carlos Arguedas Mora.

Jan Nimmo will present a woodcut portrait of Carlos to the STUC in his memory. The first film screened in the evening, Pura Vida, features extensive interviews with passionate environmental camapigner, Carlos, who died in 2010.

In the 1970s, aged 20, Carlos Arguedas started working on Dole’s banana plantations and quickly became involved in trade union activity. Like thousands of Central American banana workers Carlos was affected by the carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon (DBCP), made by Dow Chemicals. Nemagon made Carlos sterile. Carlos led the struggle against Nemagon in Costa Rica and it was banned in 1979, three years after it was banned the USA. The campaign consolidated Carlos as both trade union leader and passionate environmental activist. Carlos campaigned against Solidarismo and “yellow unions” and was imprisoned 22 times for challenging the obstacles to organising put in place by strong companies and weak governments. Investing his compensation in a corner shop, Carlos took no wage from trade union SITRAP where he worked as occupational health and environmental officer. He worked with Jan Nimmo on her film Pura Vida. At the time of his premature death Carlos was leading a campaign against the expansion of intensive pineapple production.

Carlos is remembered with great warmth and respect by all at Banana Link and if you can we encourage you to attend this screening or watch Pura Vida and join us in the work that continues for a fair and sustainble banana and pineapple production and trade.

Scottish Trades Union Congress,
333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6NG