Indigenous communities in Paraguay end protests after agreement with gov’t

Indigenous communities in Paraguay end protests after agreement with gov’t

Around 2,500 Indigenous people had mobilized in Asuncion over past 2 days

By Bala Chambers

BUENOS AIRES (AA) - Over 2,000 members of Paraguay’s Indigenous communities ended demonstrations in the capital Wednesday, agreeing to return to their areas after reaching an agreement with the government on various demands.

Around 2,500 Indigenous people have mobilized in Asuncion since Monday, calling on the government to improve access to land, education, housing and health in the South American country, according to Paraguay's local daily La Nacion.

Wednesday's announcement follows a meeting between representatives of the National Indigenous Articulation for a Dignified Life (Anivid) organization and Interior Minister Federico Gonzalez and the president of the Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the Chamber of Senators, Miguel Fulgencio Rodriguez.

During the discussions, five points were agreed on between the Indigenous leaders and the government, with participating Indigenous leader Vidal Servin describing them as "very important," according to local news outlet ABC Digital.

The first agreement is that the government will form a "work table" to offer a monthly space to discuss issues which must take place prior to Nov. 12.

The second agreement is that public institutions will be required to uphold previously convened discussion topics.

The third agreement is that the government will handle the budget costs for transportation and food of Indigenous leaders.

The fourth agreement assures that Indigenous leaders will be guaranteed "effective participation" in the different discussions.

The fifth agreement is that the government must provide transport for the Indigenous leaders to return to their communities after meetings.

Anivid spokesman Dionisio Gomez had been pushing for a meeting with the Interior Ministry after telling Paraguayan radio 1020 AM that Indigenous community members are often "accused, imprisoned and persecuted" by the authorities.

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