Guardians of the Seeds Beat Monsanto

Even before the passage of the revolutionary seed law, the Guardians of the Seeds were dreaming up plans for how to organize the country along ecosocialist lines.

We live in a world where one third of all food is wasted, where industrial agriculture accounts for the lion’s share of carbon emissions, and where the genetic diversity of the whole food chain is in free-fall, all presided over by an international regime of biopiracy headed by multinational corporations like Monsanto. But not everyone is taking it sitting down.

The Guardians of the Seeds are the alternative, and in their struggles and celebrations they prefigure a different way of life. As over a thousand people streamed into the small town of Monte Carmelo on the morning of October 29, this vision comes to life. People from around the country bring their seeds to trade, to discuss, to learn and compare. Small children run through the crowds, as eager to trade for a new kind of seed as children in the cities to buy a new plastic toy.

The Guardians of the Seeds don’t see their job as just agriculture or production. There is a profound spiritual consciousness, diverse and deep, which pervades the atmosphere. “Seeds are the beginning, the force of rebirth, and the inspiration to reclaim our cultural and ancestral heritage,” said Cesar David Escalona, a young anthropologist and historian living in and studying the history of Monte Carmelo

The Guardians are promoting not only another kind of agriculture, but another kind of life. “I used to live by earning money,” Daniel, a campesino from Trujillo told me. “Money puts your mind to sleep. True liberty is in the land, in protecting nature.”

The Guardians of Seeds in Monte Carmelo are returning to the source, and they are inviting the world to join them. Their program is an integrated plan of action, including mobilization, legislation, and production. It’s an uphill battle in difficult conditions, but their convictions, like their practices, are deeply rooted and not easily discouraged.


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