The rural community of Colonia Barbero is struggling against the expansion of soy plantations. One of the states limiting with the Colonia is owned by DAP, a company which says to produce “Responsible Soy” as defined by the RTRS (Roundtable on Responsible Soy). Yet, peasants employed by DAP have complained about the irregularity of their contracts and the preference to employ foreign labourers by the company despite their initial promises and the regulations regarding labour set by the RTRS .
DAP has used GM seeds since its establishment in San Pedro to enable spraying. Peasants lament the detrimental effects that pesticides have on their own health, other crops and livestock .
Faced with local resistance, DAP has tried to encouraged small-scale farmers to try out their industrial agricultural techniques. Mechanization was encouraged to help the farmers achieve economic viability and sustainability .
In Colonia Barbero, the arrival of DAP divided the families in the community. Around 700 households received assistance. Some of the ones excluded opposed collaboration with DAP, but others were simply left out despite their will to be assisted .
The provision of economic assistance to enable mechanization among small farmers by DAP has not brought the expected results, given the lack of experience of the peasants. Although some were willing to mechanize, they were only provided by credits which they did not know how to invest realistically. This has resulted in high debt after bad harvests and, consequently, increased vulnerability of smallholders. Moreover, mechanization has also led to several social and environmental problems, such as pollution of water, soil depletion, contamination of neighbouring plots growing organic produce, etc.  The property of “La Fortuna” has been a site for social upheaval during the last decade.. A committee was formed in 2006 to oppose the establishment of soybean monocultures in the area. They sent letters and documents to protests against the settlement of DAP in the area, and a group of people went to the capital of San Pedro in 2006 to demonstrate against it. In addition, a camp was establishment at the entrance of the state to protest against the use of agrochemicals by the company. Nevertheless, the local government ignored the protests and DAP entered the area and established soy plantations . Fumigation has taken place repeatedly, which led to complaints by the local peasants regarding death animals, health of children and pollution of neighbouring plots. Environmental laws have been violated several times and reporting by the locals has been ignored. Corn has also been planted in the area by DAP .
Other local farmers are also affected by the expansion of soy in the area. In San Pedro, there is a municipal regulation since 2012 that protects 30 different communities as “agroecological zones”. One of them is located in Colonia Barbero. The regulation prohibits, inter alia, the utilization of agrochemicals and GMOs and cutting trees growing next to water streams . A group of smallholders produced organic Marian that was sold to European markets through a cooperative, and the municipal regulation was meant to protect them. Yet, the export of organic Marian was suspended in 2015 because rests of agrochemicals had been found. The smallholders suspected that their Marian had been polluted by fumigations in surrounding monocultures and the lack of rigour in applying the municipal regulation by the local authorities .