“We are all under threat”: Interview with Alicia Amarilla of Conamuri about land conflicts in Paraguay

6 February 2017
Language of the news reported
English

Date: 4 February 2017

Source: Radio Mundo Real

The main conflicts in Paraguay are related to land and the territory, and peasant women are at the forefront of evictions, said Alicia Amarilla, leader of the National Coordination of Rural and Indigenous Women (CONAMURI), member of CLOC – Vía Campesina.

Paraguay is the Latin American country with the highest levels of land concentration in the hands of a few companies, leaving thousands of peasant men and women without their livelihoods. Alicia made reference to the worsening of living conditions for the people of the countryside: increasing conflicts, evictions and repressions, and at the same time the escalation of the violence of these operatives.

To the actions by police, military and paramilitary forces that are safeguarding the interests of landowners, we have to add the judicial branch of the government, which criminalizes the struggle for land: “Today, land activists are being legally persecuted; the number of activists prosecuted is increasing, especially under the label of “criminal association”. These are the consequences of the Curuguaty Case (2012), which is widely known in Latin America”, said Alicia to Real World Radio.

One of these cases is the one of the peasant settlement of Guahory, inhabited by 160 peasant families in Caaguazú department. On January 3rd, police officers entered the lands and destroyed their houses, beating the peasants and shooting at them with rubber bullets looking to evict them. Brazilian soy businessmen are claiming those lands, which were allegedly sold by the National Land Institute.

“This is such a difficult struggle due to the complicity of the president and all State actors”, concluded Alicia Amarilla.

Photo credit: demoinfo.com.py