TAGS: Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network • Communities at Risk, Indigenous Rights • Paraguay, South America •
10/24/2018

Urgent Action Victory! Indigenous Community Granted Protection (Paraguay: UA 149.18)


Paraguayan authorities have called for an impartial and independent investigation into the attacks against Tekoha Sauce Indigenous leader Amada Martínez, and provided physical protection to the community. In addition, the Paraguayan Institute for Indigenous Affairs formally recognized Cristóbal Martínez as their Indigenous representative leader enabling the community to claim their ancestral lands.

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Paraguayan authorities have called for an impartial and independent investigation into the attacks against Tekoha Sauce Indigenous leader Amada Martínez, and provided physical protection to the community. In addition, the Paraguayan Institute for Indigenous Affairs formally recognized Cristóbal Martínez as their Indigenous representative leader enabling the community to claim their ancestral lands.

On 8 August, Amada Martínez, human rights defender from the Tekoha Sauce Indigenous community in south-east Paraguay, was threatened by three armed men wearing uniforms of the Itaipú Binational (Paraguay-Brazil) hydroelectric plant, in the presence of three minors, her sister and a taxi driver. Following an Urgent Action, Amada Martínez was able to file a legal complaint before the Office of the Public Defender (Unit 1) and request precautionary measures to the Human Rights Director of the Office of the Prosecutor. The Human Rights Director requested an impartial and independent investigation to the Prosecutor of Minga Porã, where Amada Martínez was attacked.

On 27 August, representatives of the Pytyvohára Sauce Platform, a coalition of seven human rights organizations, attended a meeting where the Vice Minister of Security ordered the Human Rights Director of the Ministry of Interior to support the community’s claim of their ancestral lands. The Vice Minister of Security ordered a visit to the community and offered to install a police booth in the area as a protective measure. After the visit, the Tekoha Sauce Indigenous community requested to have a police patrol at determined times of the day.  

In addition to these measures, on 5 September, members of the Pytyvohára Sauce Platform, accompanied by the Human Rights Director of the Ministry of Interior, met the President of the Paraguayan Institute for Indigenous Affairs (Instituto Paraguayo del Indígena, INDI) to discuss other pending issues. As a result, the INDI committed to formally recognize Cristóbal Martínez as the Indigenous representative leader of the Tekoha Sauce Indigenous community after a verification visit, to provide humanitarian aid and to farther the process to purchase alternative lands for them.

On 2 October, the INDI visited the community and formally recognized Cristóbal Martínez’ leadership on 9 October, which will enable the community to claim their ancestral lands before Paraguayan courts. On 22 October, an INDI truck delivered humanitarian aid kits to the community.

Thank you to everyone who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES