Citation 3

Jul 2, 2015

Subect: Alberto Casey
Role: former leader of the “self-organized,” Fundación Barbechando
Place: Buenos Aires
Date: July 2, 2015


This is based on notes the authors took after turning off the recorder: The interviewed explained to the authors that roadblocks sought to target trucks transporting agricultural products, not tractors, which use secondary roads. These farmers were crucial in the roadblocks of 2008 but less influential on the lockouts. Their emergence was associated to perceptions of weak leadership in the local organizations or their absence at the local level. The self-organized were also very vocal in local assemblies during the 2008 protests as well as critical of the division of rural organization into four associations that weakened their bargaining power as noticed by the literature. Their emergence points to the difference between lockouts and roadblocks as tools for contention with regard to the need of local organizations to coordinate the action in a way that is visible and prevents free-riding.


Authors: What’s the degree of representation of the political organizations of the sector and technical organizations? What are the self-organized producers (autoconvocados)?” [1:30]

[1:13] Casey: The majority of producers wants the unity of these organizations and our dream is that, like in Brazil, they form a single organization which includes not only producers but others also involved with the activities based on the land. Not only the chains for added value. For instance, the regional economies, which are linked to the land and are far away from the ports and are labor intensive products, like fruit, olives, grapes, etc. They are linked to the land not only in an extensive way, such as grain and cow cattle, as people associate with the countryside… [4:50] … [6:22] I consider myself a self-organized producer since 2008 due to precaution of the organizations to defend the producer, to go out to fight for the recognition of the sector. The demands were not only economic but also the need to achieve the recognition of society for the ‘men of the countryside,’ which is forgotten or distrusted despite the role we have in Argentina.” [7:49]

Authors: “What’s the meaning at the local level?”

Casey: “I am talking from the feeling rather than the practice. We were those who had a stronger capacity to feel aggravated. In practical terms, there is no organization that represents those feelings. Yet, there are many who are in the organizations as well and who join the organizations. Yet, the most important thing for us is the unity of the four organizations and with basic consensus that give the producer the image of having common goals linking them.” [10:08]

Authors: “What happens in terms of the organization at the local level? For instance, in Luján.”

Casey: “Sometimes you have a rural society affiliated to CARBAP, and it can also be linked to the SRA. Sometimes there is a subsidiary of FAA, but sometimes there is nothing…” [11:00]

Authors: “In the lockouts you can save the grain in a silo-bag and commercialize it at the end of the conflict, which was four months later in 2008.” [26:11]

Casey: “This may have happened with grains, but only partially, many people had the need to sell and couldn’t sell or they had cattle they couldn’t take out or milk that couldn’t be commercialized. But if we have only one organization rather than four with different strategies, would make us stronger…” [27:00]