ASUNCION – More than a dozen indigenous families from the eastern province of Canindeyu remain camped out in front of the Paraguayan Congress more than two months after they say they were forced off their land by Brazilian soy barons.
Dwelling in makeshift plastic tents, the exiles from Jetyty Miri have become part of the scenery in Asuncion’s main square, where they plan to stay until authorities address their plight, community leader Favio Duarte told EFE on Wednesday.
For more than two decades, the group occupied 400 hectares (988 acres) of land near the town of Yvyrarobana, where they grew crops and raised livestock, he said.
The Jetyty Miri community was driven from the land in December by Brazilian soy growers, who showed up with a prosecutor brandishing a “false” title to the property, Duarte said.
The growers then forcibly removed residents and burned their homes, he said.
The Jetyty Miri group made the trek to Asuncion after provincial authorities turned a deaf ear to their appeals.
Soy growers, many of them from neighboring Brazil, occupy an increasing portion of the arable land in large areas of Paraguay.