The Paraguayan government announced on Wednesday, December 7th, that they had reached an agreement with the Kelyenmagategma Indigenous community whereby 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of land will be transferred to the Community. The land is in addition to the 8,748 hectares (more than 21,600 hectares) that were returned to the Community in August of this year. In addition to lands, the Paraguayan government also announced that it would be assisting the Kelyenmagategma community with agricultural projects during the coming year as well.
The Kelyenmagategma community (of the Enxet people) consists of about 70 families who have been fighting for their land rights since at least 2000. In that time, the community has been the victim of several violent eviction attempts, and were at various points in time forced to abandon lands they were living on. In response to these facts, the Community filed a petition with the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2004. That petition went before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and was ruled admissible in July of 2007. The petition, however, has not yet been ruled on publicly.
Despite no public ruling, it is clear that the Paraguayan government has decided to respond to the case and purchase land for the Kelyenmagategma community. Specifically, the lands purchased this time are located near Puerto Colón, which is in the district of Puerto Pinasco. All of the land is located within the Gran Chaco — the dry, scrub forested area where the Enxet people have traditionally lived. Formal titling of all the lands involved in the announcement will take place within the coming year.