Progress was made in resolving the land claims of the Sawhoyamaxa and Kelyenmagategma, but other Indigenous Peoples continued to be denied their right to their traditional lands. The authorities attempted to undermine and misrepresent the work of human rights defenders.
A 60-day state of exception was declared in October in the northern departments of Concepción and San Pedro following two attacks attributed to the Paraguayan People’s Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, EPP), an armed opposition group.
In February, Paraguay’s human rights record was assessed under the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. States expressed concerns regarding Indigenous Peoples’ rights, impunity, women’s rights and discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Following a visit in March, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief expressed concern about delays in passing anti-discrimination legislation; the lack of implementation of non-discrimination mechanisms, particularly in the Chaco region; and the weak presence and capacity of state institutions.
In May, a national mechanism for the prevention of torture was approved, as required under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.Top of page
Progress was made in resolving the land claims of some Indigenous communities, but other communities continued to be denied their right to their traditional lands.
There was no resolution to Yakye Axa or Xámok Kásek land claims and there were no significant advances in investigations into the alleged spraying of Indigenous communities in Itakyry with pesticides in 2009.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination assessed Paraguay’s record in August. It recommended that Paraguay adopt reforms to ensure that the justice system protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including effective mechanisms for lodging complaints and claims concerning land, for bringing about the restitution of traditional lands, and for fully recognizing Indigenous land rights in a co-ordinated and systematic manner.Top of page
The authorities sought to undermine the work of human rights defenders.
In July, Norberto Atilio Bianco, an army doctor at the Campo de Mayo clandestine detention centre in Argentina in the 1970s, was extradited from Paraguay for a second time to face charges of appropriating babies born to women who had been victims of unlawful detention and enforced disappearance.
In September, the authorities reported that the remains found in a grave excavated in a police station in Asunción might be those of victims of human rights violations under the military government of General Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989). The report of the Truth and Justice Commission published in August 2008 stated that at least 59 people had been executed and another 336 detainees were the victim of enforced disappearance during the period of military rule.Top of page
Complaints of torture brought by at least four recruits at the Francisco Solano López Military Academy in Capiatá were under investigation in the military justice system.Top of page