The Republic of Paraguay is in crisis. The institutional breakdown caused by the National Congress through a parliamentary coup, broke the democratic process that the people voted and elected in 2008. We believe that this attack against the legitimate government of Paraguay, elected at the polls, besides being a terrible reversal of democracy that affects all citizens Paraguayan democracy seriously threatens the entire region, as it stands as a destabilizing element for all of Latin America.
SOBREVIVENCIA, Friends of the Earth Paraguay therefore declares the following:
We condemn the repressive action of the pólice against the peaceful protesters who gathered outside the National Congress to protest the political trial (impeachment) last Friday, June 22. Citizens were concerned from the outset that our less-than honorable parliamentarians were using the impeachment trial as a disguise for an agreement that violated all the guarantees of due process. We consider the impeachment trial to be unconstitutional and illegitimate.
The tragedy at Curuguaty, which spilled the blood of 17 compatriots on land that had been requested by peasant farmers through the agrarian reform process and that had been illegally awarded to a businessman and politician under the Strossner dictatorship, was used as a pretext for this political theater. The current government immediately cut off the process of investigation aimed at bringing to justice, the guilty. But moreover, this massacre reveals the enormous problem of concentration of land ownership in Paraguay. The inequitable distribution of land is possible the most critical social problem in Paraguay today, given that less than 3% of the population owns 85% of the land.
Access to and ownership of land is a highly sensitive topic in Paraguay, due to the menacing advance of a model that proposes a countryside without small farmers—exclusively for agribusiness. In fact, this defacto government announced its intentions to prioritize an extractivist and exploitative development model, paving the way for agribusiness companies. The new government has even proposed to extend this model to the Paraguayan Chaco, which would lead to its complete destruction due to the fragility of the Chaco ecosystems. We send out a warning that these proposals will deepen land conflicts and further damage small farmers and indigenous communities.
We know that the critical situation we are experiencing today in Paraguay has reached the eyes and ears of the public at the global level, based on the support for the Paraguayan people that the main regional integration organizations and their members have stated. As Paraguayans, we are profoundly grateful for the immense international solidarity that we have received and we would especially like to highlight the action of our friends from all over the planet, who marched under the banner “We All Are Paraguay” at the Peoples Summit during the Rio+20 Summit.
We regret that this situation is affecting relations with our neighboring countries, but we also see that the actions of the governments from our sister countries as a form of resistance on the part of their leaders, who are betting on the re-establishment of a democratic process in Paraguay. We ask that you continue to send messages of support. This support is fundamental for strengthening the resistance of the Paraguayan society, which, in this moment, is permanently mobilized toward the restoration of democratic order.
Finally, we express our demand for the immediate restoration of the democratic process for the well-being of all Paraguayans, who are affected by this parliamentary disregard for will of the people.
Unidad de Comunicación SOBREVIVENCIA, Amigos de la Tierra Paraguay Isabel La Católica 1867 Asunción - Paraguay Telefax: (595 21) 480 182 - 425 716 Cel: (595 991) 704 548 email: firstname.lastname@example.org sitio web: www.sobrevivencia.org.py