Asuncion Asks Brazilians Who Own Farms in Paraguay to Respect Law

Paraguayans burn Brazilian flag in protest against Brasiguayo The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, said in Washington that his administration will guarantee the security of all Brazilian residents in his country, but also emphasized they must respect the Paraguayan legal system.

The announcement is considered an important political statement since a significant number of Brazilian nationals exploit farmland in Paraguay, mainly for the production of soy, and they are referred to as "brasiguayos," a mix of "Brazilian and Paraguayan."

"We have guaranteed all brasiguayos who live in Paraguay their residence in the country under all possible security, as long as it is in the framework and respect for Paraguayan law," said President Lugo addressing the Organization of American States in Washington where he is on an official visit.

Landlocked Paraguay has pending problems with huge neighboring Brazil, mainly land held by Brazilians farmers and which Paraguayan landless peasants are claiming, and the dispute over payment for the electricity generated in South America's largest dam, Itaipu, shared by both countries.

Lugo revealed that the technical negotiating teams looking into a possible review of the Itaipu agreement signed in the seventies and ruling the management of the dam, has been meeting regularly as had been agreed.

Paraguay is demanding a more "update" price for the surplus Paraguayan electricity share absorbed by Brazil and which is rated at prices established originally in the bilateral Itaipu agreement.

"The President is well aware of all conflicts and talking with all sectors involved, and for the first time in decades all sides involved have sat round a table to talk about these issues, which can be considered a historic event," underlined Lugo.

"The so called big farmers, experts, landless peasants' organizations, the government have met and we've found out we're not enemies. We found out that there is much common ground and talking we can find a way out to a fair distribution of land which satisfies all sides," said the former Catholic bishop

Lugo took office last August after having won elections with a catch-all coalition that dislodged the Colorado party which had ruled Paraguay for six uninterrupted decades and made the country famous for its corruption, smuggling and land snatching. During the electoral campaign Lugo promised plots to peasant families.

Last week the Paraguayan government reinforced security in rural areas in coincidence with the beginning of the soy season following threats from landless peasant organizations who said they were planning to break into the farms of brasiguayos, who hold huge patches of land planted with oil seeds.

The Lugo administration also announced earlier this month it had purchased 22.000 hectares of land belonging to eleven Brazilian farmers, in the San Pedro area in the center of the country to be distributed among 1.800 peasant families, in an attempt to deactivate the growing conflict.

The Brazilian government has also been playing its role having organized massive military exercises (10.000 men) all along the Paraguayan border when the brasiguayos-landless peasant conflict seemed to the getting out of control.

The exercises began three weeks ago with 3.000 men and escalated to 10.000 on the day Lugo was chatting with President Bush in the White House, this past Monday.

Brazil is also particularly concerned because Itaipu generates 25% of all electricity consumed by the country.

Paraguay together with the other landlocked and poorest country of the continent, Bolivia, which supplies most of the natural gas to the Sao Paulo powerhouse have exposed the vulnerability of Brazil's energy equation.

In a related question, President Lugo said Paraguayan relations with the US have been good and will continue as such, no matter who wins in the coming presidential election.

"It's not a temporal relation of the government, and does not depend on the temporal office administrator," said Lugo.

"It's an institutional relation, country to country, not only between leaders."

Mercopress

Tags:

You May Also Like

Over 30% of Brazilians Are Sexually Active Before Turning 15

The Brazilian AIDS Treatment Program was singled out for praise in the United Nations ...

Havana Threats Against Their Families Made Boxers Give Up Defecting in Brazil

Cuban boxers Guillermo Rigondeaux, 26, and Erislandy Lara, 24,both world champions, changed their mind ...

While Foot and Mouth Outbreaks Grow Brazil Tells World Disease Is Under Control

The Brazilian government confirmed Tuesday, October 18, three new outbreaks of foot and mouth ...

A Brazilian Study Shows that Half of the Amazon Could Be Gone in 5 Decades

In 50 years the Amazon region ("Amazônia") may be reduced to half its present ...

Boeing Crash: Brazilian Minister Says Legacy’s Transponder Was Off

Early analysis of the flight data recorders from two planes that collided in Brazil’s ...

Lula Opens Bazil-Ghana Chamber of Commerce

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva inaugurated the Brazil-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, yesterday, ...

Brazil: Zero Hunger Is Dead, Long Live Zero Hunger

A revamped and unified social assistance program to be soon launched in Brazil intends ...

A Brazilian landless peasant

Catholic Church Denounces Brazil’s Agribusiness and Slavery

Brazil's Pastoral Land Commission, linked to the Brazilian Catholic Church, has just released its ...

Brazil May Have Huge Oil Reserves But Not How to Reach Them

The Brazilian plan to make Brazil one of the world's biggest oil exporters hinges ...

US$ 600 Million from World Bank to Help Brazil’s Health

State and municipal secretaries of health met today in BrasÀ­lia, capital of Brazil, for ...