Living outside their lands, the communities are not able to carry out their traditional activities, such as fishing, hunting and gathering honey, which are essential to their way of life. Their survival is at risk.
Two different decisions by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2005 and 2006 ordered Paraguay to restore the traditional lands to the communities. However, the deadlines imposed by the Court have long since expired and the lands have not been returned.
Temporary measures ordered by the Court to ensure the survival of the communities – such as food, drinking water and adequate health – have only been fulfilled in part, if at all. Conditions in the roadside encampments are making people ill.
The authorities’ continuing failure to respect and uphold the land rights of Indigenous Peoples shows disregard not just for the rights of these two communities but of all Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay.
The Yakye Axa and Sawhoyamaxa are continuing to campaign to put pressure on the authorities in Paraguay to comply with the Inter-American Court orders. They have asked for your support.
Image: A representative of the Yakye Axa and Sawhoyamaxa taking part in the World Social Forum, Belém, Brazil, 27 January 2009. © Amnesty International