During a decade of fiscal crisis, Puerto Rican officials awarded multinational seed corporations preferential tax rates, tax exemptions, industrial incentives and wage subsidies. An investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo) found that companies including Monsanto and Pioneer Hi Bred received more than $519.7 million in public funds. Both companies also were able to take advantage of 238 million gallons of free water from an underground reserve.
Journalists requested and analyzed reports from the local Department of Treasury, the Administration for the Development of Agricultural Enterprises, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company and Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. The Center pointed out that the only agencies keeping information on the issue are the ones granting benefits to the companies.