Fines on landowners raise eyebrows in Uruguay


For years green advocates have faulted environmental authorities for being soft on Uruguay’s big landowners, especially agricultural producers ranging from soybean and rice farmers to cattle ranchers and operators of the paper industry’s eucalyptus plantations. That’s why there was so much public attention on steep fines levied this month on three landowners recently in an Uruguayan department—the country’s equivalent of a province or a state—just north of Montevideo. Two of those fined were agricultural operators. On Aug. 12, the Canelones Departmental Board, the department’s legislative body, fined the property owners a total of US$2.4 million for violations including clearing of native trees, draining of a wetland and spraying of agrochemicals where such activity is prohibited. Two of the landowners were soybean producers... [Log in to read more]

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