Environmental Justice

Ask for an investigation into peasant leader killings in Paraguay
2 April 2013

Join our call for justice and help protect other peasant leaders.

Peasant farmers are on the front line of the resistance to the expansion of soy plantations.

Those that stand in the way of powerful vested interests face threats and intimidation.

Since September 2012 three peasant leaders have been killed apparently because of their defence of the peasant rights:

  • Sixto Perez (September 2012)
  • Vidal Vega (December 2012)
  • Benjamin "Toto" Lezcano (February 2013).

Some local organisations fear the number of recent killings indicate a deliberate strategy to weaken the peasant movement.

Threats and intimidation

Following the killing of Benjamin Lezcano - CODEHUPY - the coordinating body of a coalition of human rights and environmental groups in Paraguay, visited the area.

Local sources told them that despite being nearby the police only arrived at the scene two hours later. In the meantime his killers escaped.

One month after his killing investigations do not appear to have progressed.

Nine other activists in the area are reported to have received threats presumed to be linked to their activities.

In March 2013 threats were also sent to Javier Silva, the Director of a community radio station - Huhua Ñandú - and a colleague.

Take action

Join our partners Sobrevivencia (Friends of the Earth Paraguay) in calling for an investigation into these killings and for action to be taken to protect other peasant activists.

Your letters will be sent to the Minister of Justice, the Human Rights Directorate of the Judiciary and the President of the Senate Permanent Human Rights Commission in Paraguay.

ActionCall for an investigation into peasant leader killings and for action to protect other peasant activists

Excelencia,



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Friends of the Earth is a collective name for Friends of the Earth Trust, registered charity 281681, company number 1533942, and Friends of the Earth Limited, company number 1012357, both of which may use the above information. In both cases the registered office is at 1st Floor, The Printworks, 137-143 Clapham Road, London, SW9 0HP.