Misean Cara CEO, John Moffett, today condemned the forced eviction of an indigenous community in Paraguay, in direct contravention of the country’s own constitution. Referring to the May 13th expulsion from ancestral lands at Cerrito of the Ava Guaraní people, Mr. Moffett said: “This act violates Articles 62, 63 and 64 of the National Constitution of Paraguay, which recognise the existence of indigenous peoples, and guarantee their right to preserve their ethnic identity on ancestral lands. On May 13th, more than 80 families from this indigenous community were evicted from their lands. The families, part of the Association of Indigenous Communities of Alto Paraná, had been living on these ancestral territories, governed under their own cultural guidelines, when they were evicted to make way for the development of intensively farmed agricultural land”.
Misean Cara was made aware of these developments by its member organisation, the Servants of the Holy Spirit, which has been working for many years with the Ava Guaraní community in defence of their rights. Access to ancestral lands has come increasingly under threat in recent years as agribusiness, especially the cultivation of soybeans for the international market, has expanded significantly in the country. Only 6% of cultivated land in Paraguay is under smallholder management.
“The rights of indigenous peoples such as the Ava Guaraní are enshrined in law but are not honoured in practice”, Moffett continued. “It is not only their livelihood that is under threat, but their whole way of life”.
Read more about the situation here.