by Dario Pignotti
“This killing of campesinos occurred as a result of a process of police violence instigated by landowners who are unhappy with President Lugo; he is not wanted by the Right or by the Brazilian farmers. Brazilian landowners like Tranquilo Favero, the richest soy producer in Paraguay, are interested in destabilizing the government, they want Lugo to fall,” declared Martín Almada, the most important representative of the Paraguayan human rights movement.
Eleven landless campesinos were killed last Friday on a farm near the border with Brazil, where tension is mounting along with demands and direct actions for agrarian reform. The confrontation between the police and the workers left seven officers dead, among them the chiefs of the Special Operations Group, a kind of Paraguayan BOPE [Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais], except that its job is not to repress favela dwellers, as in Rio de Janeiro, but the rural peasants who, since Lugo came to office in 2008, have increased their level of organization and determination to struggle, after decades of submission to the yoke of the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. (more…)