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.
The peasants evicted went to Asuncion at the end of the same month to protest against the administration of land by Indert, pointing at the illegitimacy of the origin of many Guahory lands. The Indert president recognized that the peasants at stake are actually beneficiaries of the agrarian reform, but that the 1200 hectares of Guahory are inscribed in public registers and, therefore, the titles cannot be transferred to the peasants. The Indert suggestion was to find other lands to relocate the evicted families. There was a confrontation between peasants occupying the disputed lands and the police in the Guahory colony on the 3rd of January 2017. 12 peasants who resisted to be relocated were arrested under the pretext that they threw objects and attempted to attack with Molotov bombs the settlers working their tractors, while 20 people were injured (13 peasants and 7 policemen). The Brazilian settlers were supposed to enter the 1200 hectares with machines in order to prepare the ground for sowing soybeans, but a group of peasants hindered the process.
On the 27th of December the peasants who had not accepted to be relocated in the Yhú district had been evicted. These peasants are the ones who attempted to block the settlers, resulting in a confrontation with the police. Many peasant had respiratory problems as a consequence of exposure to tear gas used by the police and a woman was critically injured in her head due to the impact of a rubber bullet. The police mentioned the presence of Molotov bombs in place.
Around 70 families were relocated in Yhú, 40km away from the colony, in a property of 1500 hectares that belonged to Indert (National Institute of Rural and Land Development). 60 other families resisted the relocation, supported by the National Federation of Peasants (FNC).
The peasants claim that Brazilian settlers got hold of properties of the area fraudulently, which according to them were supposed to be given to Paraguayans. Even Indert admitted that part of the disputed lands had been transferred irregularly.
The Paraguayan Permanent Congress Commission will meet Justo Cárdenas, the director of Indert in order to find a solution to the conflict in the Guahory colony.
After the confrontation, FNC called for peasants to protest against the police violence, initially in nearby areas and then in Asuncion. Justo Cárdenas announced the relocation of 27 families on 250 hectares that have been regained in Guahory (11/01/2017). Cárcenas said he is considering the possibility of relocating more families, around 50, kn Guahory. The rest will be moved to Yhú. Yet, FNC said the conflict will be latent until the whole Guahory settlement has been “reconquered”.