The Guardian has published a series of Ed’s photographs of sugarcane workers in Nicaragua and El Salvador alongside an article that details how heat stress is leading to thousands of chronic kidney disease deaths. Sugar cane cutters are dying on a large scale in Central America from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and studies are pointing to working conditions as the cause. In the past 10 years, 20,000 people have died in Nicaragua and El Salvador alone as a result of CKD, which studies suggest is caused by dehydration, heat exposure and physical stress. You can check out the article here and the wider gallery of photographs here.
Sugarcane workers in Nicaragua and El Salvador are continuing their struggle with the companies responsible, but it is not a fair fight. The La Isla Foundation, an organization dedicated to the plight of these workers, has just published a report about how protesting workers with CKD have been illegally detained by authorities. Their families are trying to secure the release of these workers, five of whom have CKD and two of whom are minors, from detention but have not had any success yet. You can read more about what’s happening here.