Urgent Action: Indigenous Land Defender Attacked (Paraguay: UA 160.20)

November 2, 2020

Qom Indigenous leader Bernarda Pesoa was physically assaulted on her community lands in Benjamín Aceval municipality, Paraguay, on 27 October by a group of approximately 9 women and men after she opposed development of a eucalyptus plantation in the community’s territory. The communities have not been properly consulted by the project developers to ensure their free, prior and informed consent. State authorities must urgently investigate the attack against Bernarda and provide her with protection.



  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 160.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.


Dr. Sandra Raquel Quiñonez Astigarraga
Office of the Public Prosecutor of Paraguay
Chile esq. Avda. Ygatimi
Asunción, Paraguay
Tel: +595 (021) 415 5000
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @MinPublicoPy
Ambassador Manuel María Cáceres
Embassy of Paraguay
2209 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 483 6960 I Fax: 202 234 4508
Email: [email protected]
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2UyW1em
Twitter: @CaceresCMM
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear General Prosecutor,

I am alarmed to hear that Bernarda Pesoa, leader of an Indigenous Qom community, was attacked by a group of approximately 9 people on 27 October, leaving wounds on her face and head.

The attackers, members of a neighboring community according to Bernarda, threatened to burn her house and to further harm her. Relatives of the attackers have an agreement with a private foundation that seeks to develop a eucalyptus plantation on the communal lands that pertain to Bernarda’s community and other communities. Bernarda and other Indigenous leaders oppose the plantation on environmental and cultural grounds and are concerned that all communities have not given their consent for the project.

I urge you to ensure a prompt, independent and exhaustive investigation into the attack against Bernarda Pesoa, as well as ensuring protection for Bernarda and her family.

Yours sincerely,