The Limits of Pharmaceutical Internationalism: Mexico, the Third World, and the Resource of Medicinal Plants in the 1970s

Abstract: In the 1970s, research into traditional medicine helped suture solidarity between Mexico and the Third World. The Mexican national agency for traditional medicine research convened a meeting of researchers in the same field from Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as the World Health Organization and Organization of African Unity in 1977 in Mexico City. Transcripts from their discussions demonstrate how parallel conversations about decolonizing global health and the global economy converged around revalorizing medicinal plants as the basis for sovereignty and development. The article also excavates tensions within this common front around negotiating internal gender and cultural differences.

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