Approximately 250 men, women and children from eight different Avá Guaraní communities set-up camp in a plaza in Asunción to demand that the Paraguayan Government recognize their traditional lands. Specifically, the individuals are there seeking title to 600 hectares (nearly 1,500 acres) of land in the community of Yva Poty, in the Department (Region) of Canindeyú. The Avá Guaraní communities contend that the land in question, which is on the Brazilian border, is being utilized by Brazilian soy producers.
Panta Piris, a spokesperson for the communities, indicated to a Paraguayan television station that the people were here because they were concerned about their lack of title, especially given that Brazilian farmers had begun using more than 15 hectares of their traditional land. Piris also indicated that the Avá Guaraní came to demand that the Paraguayan Government grant their communities title. Finally, she indicated that this has been an ongoing struggle — one that began more than six years ago — and one that they will continue to move forward with.
In recent weeks and months, the Avá Guaraní people have been in the Paraguayan news several times because of land claims. Specifically, in April of 2011, after the Paraguayan Government had decided to title 4,600 hectares (approximately 11,000 acres) of land to the Aché people, President Fernando Lugo vetoed that action citing claims made by the Avá Guaraní people that they, and another Indigenous community, also lived in the region in question and deserved their own land title. The Aché people have responded by denying that the land in question is the traditional land of any other peoples. The issue is currently before the Paraguayan legislature, and is expected to be addressed on Thursday, July 21st.