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Indigenous Guaraní evicted from their lands in Northern Argentina

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  • Darren Hill
    If you follow the link there is a form letter to send to the local authorities. There are also other similar actions documented.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2008
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      If you follow the link there is a form letter to send to the local
      authorities.

      There are also other similar actions documented.

      http://www.regenwald.org/international/englisch/protestaktion.php?id=311

      On 28th July 2008, an infantry squad made up of fifty soldiers, with
      personal support from the soya entrepreneur Roberto Strisich, attacked
      the community with bulldozers [and lorries, arriving early in the
      morning in the fields belonging to the Guaraní community. They held in
      their hands an eviction order against ‘squatters’ which had been awarded
      by the criminal judge of the tribunal of San Pedro in favour of the soya
      entrepreneur.

      The families belonging to the community Jasy Endy Guasu (Big Moon Light)
      have been living and working for many years in the area known as El
      Talar (public lands in the department 515), and in the Department San
      Martín (Ledesma) in the province of Jujuy in northern Argentina. Since
      2006, the soya entrepreneurs have been claiming ownership of the same
      land with adjudication contracts. The government has declared that “no
      documents can be found for the period between 1996 and 2000 when the
      same government granted those lands to the indigenous peoples;
      nonetheless the legal papers which the soya entrepreneur Strisich has
      obtained are valid”. It is important to notice that on 2nd May of 2006 a
      Tribunal in Jujuy passed a judgment that ordered the Provincial
      Government to “hand over the land in the departments 1-515 in Santa
      Bárbara” in its entirety to the original inhabitants. The Guaraní people
      in the province of Jujuy form 35 communities, of which only one has
      succeeded in obtaining a legal title to their land.

      On 31st July, near the zone of El Talar, a Guaraní woman who was
      accompanying her sons was evicted. She had been collecting the animals
      that had been saved during the attack which the community had suffered.
      Once more she was attacked by Strisich and by two bullies who were in
      his service. Strisich, dressed in combat wear and carrying two pistols
      in his belt, pursued her with a knife. The community wanted to press
      charges at the local police station, but this was refused on the grounds
      that Strisich held the legal title to the land. Apart from the soya
      entrepreneur Strish, other entrepreneurs, such as Nestor Farfan, have
      been systematically threatening and pressurising members of the
      community, approaching people when they are by themselves. They have
      been responsible for death threats, for entering houses, stealing tools,
      burning merchandise, killing animals, prowling around armed at night as
      well as of other abuse to which the indigenous peoples have become
      accustomed.

      After twenty days of mobilisation, of marches, hearings, assemblies,
      meetings with a diverse range of officials and a large number of
      actions, yet without return of the land by the authorities, the
      community of Jasy Endy Guazu decided to go back to the mountain from
      which they had been unjustly and violently evicted. On 19th August, the
      Guaraní people undertook a historic march, joined by all the surrounding
      communities, with vans, bicycles, on horse or on foot, to an encampment
      in the centre of the village. On the mountain, some 2,000 people had a
      Guaraní celebration at the foot of an ancient quebracho tree, in which
      they called on the union of the Guaraní people to obtain the rights that
      they had been denied and expressed their gratitude to the members of the
      social organisations which had supported this action.

      A camp has been erected on the land where those who had been evicted are
      controlling and guarding the area, in the hope that the situation will
      normalise.
      All of this has happened under the valid National Law 26160 “Emergency
      of Indigenous Communities” which protects the indigenous peoples of
      Argentina against any eviction by officials, through criminal or any
      other measures from their land for a period of four years (which will
      expire in October 2010). This law also determines the need to demarcate
      the indigenous lands, so that they can be put back under the control of
      the indigenous peoples of the country and that those communities can
      obtain land titles.
      Furthermore, the provincial government of Jujuy has to abide by the
      National Constitution. Article 75, section 15 of the constitution states
      that they must abide by international conventions such as paragraph 160
      of the International Labour Organisation and with the recent Declaration
      for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. All of them recognise the indigenous
      peoples’ pre-existing rights to their territory and their right to be
      given proper land titles.

      *End the abuse, end the repression, end the evictions, end the injustice
      – the indigenous peoples want to live in peace on their land!!!*
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