Paraguay: Cartes dismisses the denunciations of farmers after a month of continuous mobilization

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By: Abel Irala / Source: Rebelión / The Dawn News / August 8, 2017

Since July 10, thousands of farmers got to Asunción, camping in the squares in front of the National Congress and realizing continuous mobilizations to demand the attention of the authorities, so that they can count with mechanisms that allow them to get out of the economical crisis in which they are in; the actual problem is the downfall of the farming agriculture which has the risk of even more diminishment or in the worst case the extinguishment of it.

On the other hand, the advancements in the field of soya business have total governmental support and enjoy of good wealth. According to data revealed by investigator Guillermo Ortega, in the last 12 years there has been a reduction of the 51% in lands assigned to farmers, while agribusiness has expanded in over 130%.


This is added to the severe situation that farmers live in the countryside, with no roads, no health system, with little or no social presence of the State. Also the payments for their products is derisory, and while the financial capital is still stalking with credits of social vacuum, the dormant threat of losing its lands, ergo, losing everything, is present.


The farming organizations centralized themselves on a space called National Inter Sectoral Coordination (CNI), from where they are patiently, but firmly, demanding a plan of salvatage from the State to save familiar farming agriculture. So, they have elaborated a draft bill and presented it to the Senators Chamber for its corresponding study.


As a consequence of the struggle and pressure applied in the Paraguayan capital, the farmers achieved to reach the cold politics that are exercised from that place called Parliament, and with several days of mobilizations the got the approval of the Senators and Deputies Chambers. This proves once again the high organizational and consciousness level which characterizes the Paraguayan farmers.


Cartes managed to set a limit on the farmers’ triumph and in less than 2 days, he dismissed the project. Everything must be started again; the long, tedious and bureaucratic path is a heavy burden to the farmers’ organizations, which must work to get the proposal once again in the legislative chamber to treat the project and reject the presidential vote. The next days will be crucial for the protests so that they can overcome the governmental negative and may rise with a conquest; they are entering a definitive stage of the farming problems.


At the same time, while the farming mobilizations happen, from the political, economic and media power a true war is being held against the humble farmers, characterizing them as that “strange body” that has inserted itself at the center of the city and convincing the social imaginary of the necessity to remove the violent, lazy and dirty people that keeps the “citizenship” hostage. Maybe even founding a violent approach to the farming crisis, meaning legitimizing a future repression against the protesters (we will see that with the pass of the days). The works of Vigarello express these thinking logic thrusted from the elites, this ideology of the “clean” penetrates the property ideology, of the neoliberal governability to legitimize social repression.


The adverse answer from the government to the mobilized farmers allows to understand that in practice, popular movements do not have any spaces of expression and are not represented in far right governments; that these are harsh times, in which class solidarity and unity are indispensable components to snatch some achievements to the governments that subject their policies to the foreign capital, in combination to local and regional mobs.


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