|Asuncion, Mar 26 (Prensa Latina) More than 200 Paraguayan police with backup helicopter support evicted dozens of peasant families who were occupying a farm in the department of Canindeyu, destroying their homes and crops.
The action, which is the latest incident of its kind in the struggle of the landless peasants, took place while indigenous of the Sawhoyamaxa community in the department of Caaguazu, remain firmly seated in their ancestral lands, rejecting the sale made to private buyers.
The eviction of the farmers was held at a place known as Sidepar and the large police deployment was accompanied by the prosecutor Jalil Rashid, the same involved in a similar action on June in Curuguaty, where 11 farmers and six policemen were killed.
Rachid has been repeatedly challenged by defense lawyers for the peasants imprisoned as a result of that event, due to his close relationship with landowners of the area and is charged with hounding rural families.
These incidents with peasants and indigenous peoples, coming almost more than twenty days before the April 21 elections, caused additional protests by progressive organizations and are an indication of the difficult problem of land tenancy in Paraguay.
|Modificado el ( martes, 26 de marzo de 2013 )|
Paraguayan president replaces officials after deadly clashes
By the CNN Wire Staff, CNN.com
June 16, 2012
Asuncion, Paraguay (CNN) — Paraguay’s President on Saturday named a new interior minister and national police chief following clashes between police and peasants that left at least 17 dead.
Former Interior Minister Carlos Filizzola and former police chief Paulino Rojas offered resignation letters after the incident, and President Fernando Lugo accepted them Friday.
Peasants in eastern Paraguay opened fire Friday on police trying to evict them from private property, initiating the deadly confrontation, local authorities and state-run media said.
The president named Ruben Candida Amarilla as the new interior minister, and Arnaldo Sanabria Moran as interim police commander.
The violence occurred in Curuguaty, a remote community about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion near the Brazilian border.
About 300 law enforcement officers arrived Friday morning to serve the order when some of the approximately 100 farmers who had been occupying the land illegally for more than a month began shooting at them, authorities said.
Curuguaty Hospital director Gustavo Gonzalez told the state-run Paraguay Agency of Public Information that seven policemen and more than 10 farmers were killed.
About 80 more police and civilians were wounded and were receiving medical treatment, Gonzalez added. Three of the police officers were flown to Asuncion for treatment, the official news agency said.
Authorities did not detail the number of civilians killed, but they did confirm the deaths of seven police, including the chief and deputy chief of the national police’s special operations unit.
Police said the peasants had been camping on land owned by Blas Riquelme, a businessman and politician active in the South American nation’s Colorado Party.
But Jose Rodriguez, the leader of the “tent people” — so named because they live in tents, told Radio Nacional that the peasants were on public lands that Riquelme had acquired illegally. Continue reading