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Debt, Death, and Disease: Brazil’s Tobacco Farmers Struggle


A string of tragic events unravelled Edelberto Bersch’s life, and sent his family spiraling into debt and despair –– an all too common situation among Brazilian tobacco farmers, who also struggle with endemic pesticide and nicotine poisoning. He was already in debt after borrowing money to buy land in São Lourenço do Sul, in Brazil’s tobacco-growing south, where he farms under contract for China Brasil Tobacco (CBT). Then Bersch’s crops were hit by disease and drought, making it even harder to pay off loans he had taken in the years before signing up with CBT.

Naira Hofmeister
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Tuesday, 22 June, 2021

HOFMEISTER, Naira . Dívida, morte e doença: a luta dos produtores de tabaco no Brasil [texto em inglês]. OCCRP, [s.l.], 22 jun. 2021. Disponível em: https://www.occrp.org/en/loosetobacco/china-tobacco-goes-global/debt-dea.... Acesso em: 23 jun. 2021.

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