Paraguay: Statement by UN Special Rapporteur upon conclusion of official visit
Upon concluding her eight day visit to Paraguay the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, provided her preliminary observations and recommendations at a press conference in Asunción on 28 November.
During her time in Paraguay, the Special Rapporteur carried out a series of meetings with Government representatives at the national and provincial levels, and with representatives of indigenous peoples and civil society. The meeting took place in Asunción and other cities, as well as in indigenous territories in the Chaco and Oriental Regions.
In her statement Victoria Tauli-Corpuz says:
"Over the past several days, I have collected a significant amount of information from indigenous peoples and Government representatives. In the following weeks, I will be reviewing the extensive information I have received during the visit in order to develop a report to evaluate the situation of indigenous peoples in Paraguay and to make a series of recommendations. This report will be made public, and will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council. I hope that it will be of use to the indigenous peoples, as well as to the Government of Paraguay, to help find solutions to ongoing challenges that indigenous peoples face in the country.”
Further she states that:
"Based on conversations I have held with members of many of the nineteen indigenous peoples in Paraguay, their foremost concern remains the security of their rights to their lands, territories and resources. This concern is shared by many representatives of governmental institutions, UN agencies and civil society organizations. Nearly half of the indigenous communities do not have lands. And even when the lands have been titled to the communities, land security is not ensured."
"Paraguay has experienced phenomenal economic growth in the last few years. Unfortunately, this growth happens at the expense of massive destruction of ecosystems such as forests and rivers which are essential for indigenous peoples' food security and livelihoods."