Paraguay: the state must comply with the ruling of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The ITUC and its Paraguayan affiliates have urged President Fernando Lugo to urgently contact the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community regarding the authorities’ compliance with the measures implementing the ruling delivered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 29 March 2006.

The community embarked on the process of trying to recover these lands located in President Hayes Department over 20 years ago. In 2006, the IACHR ruled in the community’s favour, condemning the state of Paraguay for causing serious damage to the indigenous people as a result of its unjustified delay in granting the title deeds, which has left them faced with appalling living conditions and in some instances has led to deaths. An agreement has still not been reached in the negotiations embarked on five years ago with the owners over the price of these lands.

In a letter sent to the Paraguayan authorities, the ITUC and its affiliates also urged President Fernando Lugo to take every action needed to put an immediate end to the logging operations on the Sawhoyamaxa’s ancestral lands and to compensate the community for the damages caused.

"The Sawhoyamaxa community has the right to recover its ancestral lands," insisted Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC. "President Lugo must take urgent action to ensure that an agreement is reached over these lands without any further delay."

For more information, see the letter sent by the ITUC to the President of Paraguay