Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Oxfam Advocates for Land Rights in Paraguayan Community

Photo: Revista Superficie
As religious leaders and members of faith-based communities in the United States, we are writing due to our interest in the well-being of those living in poverty around the world, most of whom live in rural areas, in this regard the situation of the families in Curuguaty has come to our attention, and the purpose of this letter is to express our concern regarding the losses they have suffered and our hope that the land dispute affecting them, which involved the territory of Marina Kue, can promptly and justly be resolved.   -Excerpt of letter from religious leaders in the U.S. to President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay

So why would the president of Paraguay listen to a group of religious leaders (pastors and lay members) in the United States about a land conflict in the mostly poor South American country? "Paraguayan organizers have specifically requested a letter of support from US Catholic and other faith leaders," said Oxfam America, which is leading this campaign. The organization put together the letter demanding that the Paraguayan government give the farming families of Curuguaty the land they need. Tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world have signed this appeal to the Paraguayan government. See full letter

Photo Revista Superficie
There is no word on how the Cartes administration reacted to the letter, which was sent to coincide with a June trial against the farming community. Oxfam has put together information about the issue.  Here are briefing papers from Oxfam America (Land Human Rights in Paraguay) and Oxfam International (With no land to cultivate, young people in Curuguaty, Paraguay, have no future.

"The trial against the campesinos who are currently in custody has come under question by several nongovernmental organizations in Paraguay and overseas," said Revista Superficie, an online news site published by journalists, editors and photographers who cover issues of social justice in Latin America.

According to the magazine, the UN and Amnesty International have demanded publicly that  the Paraguayan government launch an investigation into the deaths that occurred during a crackdown on protestors, adding support to Paraguayan organizations that have made the same request. Read full article in Spanish from Revista Superficie.

1 comment:

Michelle Meaders said...

Wasn't the previous President of Paraguay formerly a Catholic priest? I learned about him in the Oliver Stone movie "South of the Border".

"Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez (Spanish pronunciation: [ferˈnando arˈmindo ˈluɣo ˈmendes]; born 30 May 1951) is a Paraguayan politician who was President of Paraguay from 2008 to 2012. Previously he was a Roman Catholic priest and bishop, serving as Bishop of the Diocese of San Pedro from 1994 to 2005. He was elected as President in 2008. In 2012, he was removed from office through an impeachment process that neighboring countries deemed a coup d'état.[1] In 2013, he was elected to the Paraguayan Senate in general elections."