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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Can't do Cancun, can do Cancon
Jose Bove
Bove is banned from Cancun summit
Militant farmer Jose Bove, banned from the world trade talks in Cancun, is taking his protest instead to the tiny French village of Cancon.

He will hold an alternative summit in the hilltop hamlet, because of restrictions on his movements after his conviction for destroying a field of GM crops.

Cancun, Mexico, has little in common with Cancon, France.

Cancun is billed as Mexico's country's most exciting resort city, packed with hotels and restaurants and claiming to be "a non-stop party if you know where to go".

CANCUN
Location: Caribbean
Population: 180,000
Claims to fame: luxury hotels, restaurants, nightlife
Hotels: 21,000 rooms
Attractions: Mayan ruins, alligator-watching, jungle hiking, sky-diving, biosphere reserve
Cancon styles itself France's hazelnut capital and Mr Bove will find it a far quieter place.

It is tucked away in south-western France in the Lot-et-Garonne department.

Top local attractions include nuts, plums, cookked meat and foie gras.

Despite Cancon's previous lack of international status, Mr Bove's presence will plunge it into the global media spotlight - to the delight of at least some locals.

"It's marvellous," local councillor Jean-Jacques Libournet told the French daily newspaper Le Parisien.

CANCON
Location: hilltop in south-west France
Population: 1,400
Claims to fame: hazelnut capital of France
Hotels: 2
Attractions: Fat cow fair
"I've been trying to get my village known for 30 years and now it's happened overnight with Jose Bove coming. I'm so happy."

The hamlet's two hotels are being bolstered by villagers hiring out their spare rooms to the anticipated 5-10,000 visitors.

"The phone just hasn't stopped ringing," said a member of staff at the deluged Cancon tourist office.

Sheep-farmer Mr Bove served five weeks of a 10-month prison sentence for destroying the GM crops.

He first rose to international prominence after wrecking a partly-built McDonalds restaurant near his farm at Millau in south-western France.




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