Campesino attacked in his house by soy gunmen

Community Ybype, San Pedro, Paraguay. Written by Arturo Peña: Don Pedro Silva is what they say, in Guarani, Iguenoiterei, which literally means "good hearted” person. But he is also a fighter and community leader for many years, surviving in the district of Lima, department of San Pedro, Paraguay.
Yesterday, two people attacked him in his home in the afternoon. They entered through the back of his property (which is next to a soya monoculture). Don Pedro was shot four times with bullets in the areas of the stomach, chest and arm. He arrived to a hospital in Asuncion and is conscious (Saturday 26, 12:30 pm). He is now being under surgery in the Hospital of Emergency. He had to be transported, in a car, first from his city to another close by, Santani, and from there to Asuncion, because they could not find the necessary medical infrastructure to treat him.

I met Don Pedro during the filming of a documentary in San Pedro, ”Sovereignty under Attack”, which is about the expansion of soya. He received us at his home and he kindly invited us to eat. In the interview we did with him at that time he told us about his fear about the pressures of the men hired by the soya farmers. They were pushing him to sell his land.

The land of Don Pedro, cultivated with grain crops, grapefruit and tree plants, is surrounded by soya monocultures. He is one of the several community leaders in the area, that together with the remaining families of a community close to disappearance because of the expansion of soya , stand firm and do not sell their land.

Relatives of Don Pedro, among them his daughter, were able to identify the gunmen, and recognised these as gunmen that work for the soya farmers. These hired gunmen were persecuted by the son-in-law of Don Pedro and then intercepted, with the help of Police, in the town of Santa Rosa. But the fear now is that any attorney will release these criminals at any time. The local people feare this to happen, as according to them, the attorneys are involved with what they call “the soya mafia”.

Benigno Acosta, a relative of Don Pedro, is now with him at the Emergency Hospital. If some one wants to help, please contact him in the hospital. We now hope for good news on his operation this afternoon.

OBS! This is the community that in January suceeded in resisting spraying with agrotoxins on a field next to their houses. Read more