Aerial fumigations conducted to evict indigenous communities from their lands.
Paraguay´s government has confirmed that soy farmers in the southeastern Alto Parana state have conducted aerial fumigation above indigenous communities that sickened villagers.
“The intoxication of members of the five indigenous communities in the Ytakyry village, victims of fumigation from an airplane with toxic substances, has been confirmed,” said the Environmental Secretariat in a statement.
Health Minister Esperanza Martínez accused the soy farmers of “attacking the environment and the health of the indigenous people.”
She said that hours after the 200 indigenous community members were attacked, they suffered from nausea, vomiting and headaches.
The land in dispute is over two 2,600 hectare- (6,422-acre) farms on lands of which the indigenous have held titles since 1996 and 1997, respectively. The soy farmers say their titles date from the 1980s.
In a press conference, president of the Paraguay Indigenous Institute, Lida Acuña, said the incident began when the soy farmers tried to enter the lands and were met with the indigenous groups, armed with bows and arrows. The soy farmers then ordered a plane to fly over the area and release agro-toxins over the indigenous villagers, she said.
Acuña added that the Institute is preparing to file a formal complaint before the Human Rights Prosecutor over the case.
According to the Health Ministry, between June and September, 12 indigenous Mbya Guaraní were killed from apparent exposure to farming chemicals in southeastern Paraguay, one of the poorest regions in the country. —Latinamerica Press.