Paraguayan peasants set 7-day limit to receive lands
By Staff (sc/sa/ajs/lac/jrr)
Asuncion, Paraguay, July 6, 2012 — Thousands of peasants (campesinos) from the Ñacunday zone in eastern Paraguay, today set a one-week limit for the government to hand over 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of land which they consider to be illegally held by an agribusiness.
The agreement was reached in a difficult meeting between representatives of more than 5000 campesino families and the director of the Institute of Lands, Luis Ortigoza, who was recently appointed to that post.
The families have been living in tents for more than a year in the lands surrounding the large parcel occupied by Agrotoro S.A.
The occupied lands cover an area of more than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres), part of them uncultivated, and an official measurement carried out during the government of the recently removed constitutional president Fernando Lugo concluded that more than 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) had been illegally purchased by a Brazilian citizen naturalized as a Paraguayan.
With the arrival of the new government, unlikely to intervene or purchase the difference to grant to the campesinos, they gave officials 24 hours to take action, before directly occupying the lands they say belong to them.
Landless peasants are running out of patience
By Staff (sgl/hmr/mgt/jrr)
Asuncion, Paraguay, Aug 2, 2012 — Paraguayan peasant leader, Federico Ayala, said that thousands of landless peasants camped in Ñacunday reported that they are running out of patience as the government failed to give them the promised parcels.
Ayala said that the peasants, who live in tents in that area of the east, do not respond to his request of waiting to avoid confrontation and they warned they will occupy, at any time, the claimed land in a nearby ranch.
The demand of the peasants refers to 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) they considered illegally occupied by the business group Favero, but the Institute of Rural Development and Land (INDERT) do not supports them and promised to study the allocation of land elsewhere in the country.
The problems in Ñacunday got worse recently, when the INDERT made a census of th families living in the area and said that there are only 1,399 thousand people in total.
The farmers argue that the census was irregular due to lack of returns and obstacles, as the police did not allow residents, who were not in the zone at the time of the census, to enter the tents, and they say that there are 4,800 farmers there.
Ayala appeared in the INDERT to give the head of the institution, Luis Ortigoza, a note requiring the agricultural organization to recognize the actual number of inhabitants in the area.
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