In Paraguay, land is still a factor that determines the living conditions of a majority of the population. Current land tenure is characterized by a huge concentration of land being put in the hands of a small group of landowners. This unequal distribution of land is the result of a long and contentious history that has caused the dispossession and uprooting of thousands of men and women in the countryside. Meanwhile, others have managed to remain in their communities through enormous sacrifice and willpower.
The planned prosecution of Supreme Court judges who acquitted 11 peasant farmers jailed over the death of police officers during a violent land eviction in 2012, known as the Curuguaty Massacre”, could undermine the rule of law, a UN expert said on Monday.
“These are fundamental elements in the full enjoyment of human rights,” UN Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, said in a press release.
Paraguay is home to vast swathes of wild land — forests, savannas, mountains — but over the past 20 years, it’s lost huge amounts of that. Agriculture and development have deforested 9 million acres (roughly the size of the Netherlands) in Paraguay since 2001, the majority of it to enterprises like soy and cattle.
BOGOTA, Nov 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Indigenous groups in Paraguay, battling to protect their ancestral lands from expanding agriculture and cattle ranching, launched the first online map of their territory on Tuesday.
Paraguay’s beef and soy export industries are the main drivers of deforestation in the fast-growing South American nation, often coming into conflict with some 120,000 indigenous people, the World Resources Institute (WRI), a think tank, said.