Conasupo Here And Gone

40 … Government agencies come and government agencies go …

Conasuop warehouse, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Conasupo, Compania Nacional de Subsistenias Populares, was everywhere.

In the mid-60’s Conasupo was created. Conasupo would impact agricultural policies, food products, food consumption and rural economics throughout Mexico. The Álamos Conasupo distribution warehouse was in the barrios northwest of Álamos Centro and served all of the Álamos municipality. Following the debt crisis of 1982, Conasupo was reformed by the Mexican Government as part of a market liberalization process. For villages, ranches and the poor – Conasupo meant access to subsidized food staples like corn tortillas.

Conasupo truck, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Big truck, large mission, enormous landscape.

Conasupo was seen on signs and trucks throughout Álamos and all of Mexico. It managed stores that sold food staples to the urban and rural poor. Conasupo controlled production, processing and distribution of barley, beans, corn, rice, sorghum, soy beans, wheat, copra, cotton, sesame and sun flowers. It was the Mexican government managing Mexico’s food chain. And it was also human nature taking advantage of opportunities. Corruption and Conasupo were one and the same in the eyes of Conasupo detractors.

loading Conasupo truck, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Boxes, bags, sacks and materials are loaded to be distributed far and wide.

During the 80’s and 90’s the Mexican political landscape was changing with intervention of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization, WTO. Conasupo began terminating one market-control-crop-subsidy after another. In 1999 the Zedillo administration eliminated corn tortilla subsidies and finally liquidated Conasupo. Direct government intervention in agricultural markets was coming to a close. For the young man above, lifting one heavy sack after another, it meant finding a new job.

aid truck is being loaded up on calle comercio. alamos sonora mexico.  photo byt anders tomlinson

Supplies are being loaded for distribution across a vast Álamos municipality.

Aide supplies are stored in the police station on Calle Comercio. This truck will be headed to remote and distant villages across the surrounding campo, another world, less touched by modern times, but touched nonetheless.

aide truck being loaded up on calle comerico, alamos sonora mexico. photo by anders tomlinson, 1995

Logistics and resources drive distribution from the government to the poor.

Men in action working as team will get the job done in a resonable, unhurried, span of time. There is always time to laugh. There is always time for manual labor. There is always time for personal expression. There is always time to be Mexico. There is always time to be Álamos.

Daybreak in the Plaza is a quiet song that slowly builds into a symphony.
As the day turns from dark to light watch Álamos come alive. Everyday is a new start, another challenge, another opportunity. The late Levant Alcorn is seen collecting bird feathers on his morning walk around the Plaza de las Armas.

Spring Day in the Plaza – Part Two: Getting Ready for another Day.
In the cool of the morning folks go about hand sweeping and cleaning the streets and sidewalks of Álamos, Sonora, Mexiso. Residents take pride in the town’s appearance. Enjoy a 360 degree pan of the plaza from the gazebo-bandstand in its center. We end with the garbage men making their rounds.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

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