The Guahory Crisis, Paraguay

The Brazilian soy plantations are expanding in Guahory, Caaguazú, leading to the displacement of peasant families. Although the ownership of the lands is unclear, the police violently intervened to protect and support the soy producers.


In this conflict between Brazilian soybean planters and Paraguayan peasants, on September 15th 2016, 200 families were evicted by the police in the Guahory Colony, Tembiaporã District, Caaguazú. Yet, at the time of the eviction, 67 out of the 97 farms were supposed to be in process of expropriation.

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Basic Data
NameThe Guahory Crisis, Paraguay
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsCaaguazú is one of the main 3 soy producing regions in the country. This region was, traditionally, a peasant and indigenous territory but soy agribusiness expanded from the 1990s onward –supported by public policies - mainly as a consequence of the entrance of Brazilians and transformed the landscape. This process marginalized family agriculture and displaced peasant and indigenous communities [1][2]. The fact that the department is bordering Brazil facilitated the acquisition of land by Brazilian producers. Nowadays, soy production has become the dominant agricultural activity in the region, occupying 71% of the agricultural land in Caaguazú (2008).

In the district of Tembiaporá, Brazilian producers acquired the land by illegal purchase with the support of officers related to the Indert. In addition, illegal expansion is also taking place supported by the judicial system and the police, who evicts Paraguayan peasants favouring the Brazilian producers [3].

The expansion of “modern agriculture” and the increased presence of foreign actors led to a higher concentration of land: in 2008, 0,5% of the farms occupy more than 50% of the total land.

The government favoured the rapid expansion of soya production to stimulate exports and rise productivity of a land that was seen as unproductive. Therefore, they enabled the acquisition of land at a low price by Brazilians. The lands appeared attracted to them, given the fertility of the soils, the flatness of the fields and the regularity of the weather characteristics of the region. The introduction of soy had many negative impacts the other plantations, livestock grazing and wild plants and animals.

In 2001 new soy varieties were introduced, adapted to the area and which had higher yields. In addition, the state granted them protection and did not charge them any taxes, further fostering soy expansion. [3]

There are big companies of credit providers, seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, machines and transport that are in the region: Hilagro, Agro Altona, Sem Agro, Cargill, Bunge, Grupo Favero, Agro Tierra, Agro Trans, Agropanambi, Silo Vetri; and the transnational: Bunge, Cargill, ADM and Monsanto [4].
Project Area (in hectares)1,200
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1000 aprox.
Start Date15/09/2016
Relevant government actorsNational Institut of Rural Development and Land - INDERT-

National Police
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFederación Nacional Campesina

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Land occupation
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Violence was used during evictions and many families were forced to move to other settlements. Police sided against peasants, allegedly because of corruption.
Sources and Materials

1. Rulli, Javiera. "Repúblicas Unidas de la soja: realidades sobre la producción de soja en América del Sur"
[click to view]

3. Fernández Villalba, Nestor (2005) El cultivo de la soja en la agricultura familiar campesina.
[click to view]

2. Guereña, Arantxa (2013) "El Espejismo de la Soja"
[click to view]

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Última hora "Varios campesinos detenidos por incidentes en Guahory" (online newspaper)
[click to view]

Hoy "Guahory labriegos detenidos por atacar con honditas" (online newspaper)
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Telesur "Paraguay Police Repress Displaced Campesinos Fighting for Land" (tv website)
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ABC Color "Indert dice que solución está cerca, pero para FNC crisis recién empieza" (newspaper)
[click to view]

8 de enero de 2017. Guahory: Campesinos cuentan cómo fue el enfrentamiento con policías. Miembros de la Federación Nacional Campesina (FNC) comentaron que un total de 160 familias ocupan las tierras de Guahory en Caaguazú, tratando de producir en el sitio. Sin embargo, fueron desalojadas tras un enfrenamiento con la Policía Nacional...
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18 de septiembre de 2016. Desalojo en Guahory habría sido "financiado" por brasiguayos. Las fuerzas de seguridad habrían recibido una fuerte suma de dinero para desalojar a campesinos de la colonia Guahory, del departamento de Caaguazú, según confesaron los brasiguayos que reclamaban la medida judicial.
[click to view]

Media Links

Reprimen a campesinos para que brasileños siembren soja

— enero 3, 2017. Otra violenta represión policial se realizó en Guahory, Primera Línea. Marcial Gómez, de la Federación Nacional Campesina, comentó en la Ronda Nacional de Emisoras que hay aproximadamente 20 detenidos.
[click to view]

Other Documents

Peasants march in Asuncion September 2016
[click to view]

Protest in front of the Ministry of Interior, Asunción (5th January 2017)
[click to view]

[click to view]

"Guahory es del pueblo paraguayo" : protest in front of the Ministry of Interior, Asuncionnción (5th January 2017)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorClàudia Custodio, Lund University. Contact: [email protected]
Last update31/01/2017