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News 256 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Paraguayan peasants to occupy land

Landless Paraguayan peasants have threatened to invade Brazilian-owned soy plantations in Paraguay.

"There has been no proof showing that Brazilian farmers had bought that land, therefore it belongs to the state of Paraguay," Antonio Cabrera, a leader of the peasants, said. "We have the legal right to recover our land," Cabrera said. He added that he possessed official documents authorizing him to recover a number of ranches.

The documents were issued by the Paraguayan Institute of Rural and Land Development (Indert), proving that the presently Brazilian-owned properties legally belong to Paraguay. "We have made it clear that we are not afraid of Brazilians. We urge our countrymen to join us in this defense of our territorial sovereignty," Cabrera said.

Paraguayans are urging the country's president, Fernando Lugo Mendez, to begin the agricultural reform he promised during the presidential campaign. Paraguayan authorities are worried that the land invasion could mar the country's bilateral relations with Brazil, especially when Brazilian army are performing a military exercise at the border with Paraguay.

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