Paraguayan Indians organize to defend "dignified life" of their minors

The Articulation of Indigenous Women of Paraguay (Mipy) has proposed this 2020 delineate an agenda of their own work, beyond public policies, or because of their forgetfulness, that defends and takes care of the "dignified life" of the minors of their communities, exposed to violence, sexual abuse and addictions.

The election of children, adolescents and youth as the center of this struggle was their response to the neglect they saw on the part of the Paraguayan Justice in case of abuse of an indigenous minor, who appeared handcuffed in an abandoned premises of the center of Asunción.

However, neither that event nor that action by the Justice represents an isolated event for the indigenous communities, who see how their complaints are postponed.

Paulina Villanueva, from the Guaná people and member of Mipy, spoke with Efe during a meeting this week in Asunción and expressed outrage at justice.

"The case of the indigenous brothers is usually not taken quickly and there is no response right away. They always take time to respond to indigenous issues," Villanueva said.

The women of Mipy asked for a hearing this week with the State Attorney General, Sandra Quiñónez, but so far they are still waiting for their response, as reported to Efe from the organization.

Until Quiñónez gets in touch with them, the indigenous people have opted for "concrete actions" and "see court cases by file, with lawyers, of course," as Villanueva said.


The leader Jacinta Pereira, from the Sanapá people, assumed command of the indigenous community of Redemption, in the department of Concepción, 13 years ago and since then she has been concerned with presenting sports and music to the youth of her community as an alternative "to put aside the vices".

Pereira thus seeks to keep them from the dangers of living "in the urban area" and prevent them from falling into drug addiction or being victims of violence or abuse.

As a woman she feels "mother, friend and companion", and as leader of her community "she assumes the responsibility of having many children, who is not only one, but everyone and everyone considers them equally".

That feeling also moved him to meet Mipy, in which he gave "preponderance (...) to something very sensitive, which is the life of a boy or a girl."

"A boy or a girl has the right to live that dignified life (...). He still does not know what the responsibility is tomorrow, but it is important that that person, in childhood, can live every moment of his life and that each one of us, like dads and moms, be responsible for that creature can grow normally and enjoy that life that it leads until tomorrow, "Pereira emphasized.


Tania Vera, a young Ava Guaraní from Curuguaty, in the department of Canindeyú, began to intervene and participate in meetings and indigenous organizations since she has memory.

Vera, about to finish her law degree, attended these meetings with her parents and soon learned what the concerns were that moved her.

"I identify too much with the situation of women, children and adolescents, because we are the ones who are most invisible," she told Efe.

His first demands began at home, when his parents preferred to stay at home instead of going to the soccer field to play.

"I said: How are you activating for the right of women? You say that it is wrong and, nevertheless, you discriminate against me. So I said to my mother," he recalled.

Aware of these restrictions of the past, Vera considered that the situation of indigenous women has advanced a lot and today firmly states that they are protagonists through their own organizations.

Nonetheless, violence continues to hamper such progress and, therefore, advocated "betting on a more active stance" to "continue in the struggle and reach the reduction of violence."

Vera represents that youth to which the women of Mipy, and herself, seek to give a better future.

This student of the last law course confessed to Efe that her dream was always "to study in a National University" and although her experiences were positive she also suffered discrimination because she was indigenous.

She knew that "she had to endure and put the study hard" and now, having fulfilled her first dream of accessing the University, she seeks to reach the second.

"I know that they would like to hear that I am going to get into social issues and all that, but my dream is to occupy an important space, whether as a fiscala, a judge, or, why not? Work in an international organization FAO or United Nations. I want to do something that has not yet been done, "Vera longed, looking forward to the future.

Noelia F. Olive


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