Paraguay Indigenous People Demand Land Reform

15000 people marched through Paraguay’s capital Asunción recently, demanding a land reform. The “Gran Marcha Campesina” has been going for 29 years. Marcial Gomez from the National Small Scale Farmers Federation says their country is in first place when it comes to concentration of land in the hands of an elite. Despite being the only country in South America where almost everyone speaks the native language (Guaraní) this doesn’t seem to translate into indigenous peoples’ rights. Mario Rivarola, an indigenous leader, says many live in extreme poverty.

Toby Hill from Global Witness describes they face complete destitution when they are evicted from land. This practice got worse during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner until 1989, but it continues to this day to increase soy production. Mario Rivarola says some land owners have questionable titles. Some candidates in a recent presidential election had promised reform. (An Là, BBC ALBA, 24/04/23)

UPDATE: The ruling Colorado Party have won the elections.


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