An impossible dream come true

Sawhoyamaxa (Photo: Patricia López)

When Carlos Mareco, a leader of the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community, heard the news that after a two decade long painful legal battle, his people will be able to return to their ancestral lands, he couldn’t help but shed a tear.

“We Indigenous People cry only when we have achieved our freedom. Today, it is like we are coming out of a prison, so many of us are crying because it is so emotional,” he said.

For years Carlos Mareco and his community lived on a precariously narrow stretch of land by a major highway.

Yesterday, Paraguay’s President, Horacio Cartes enacted a law approving the expropriation of more than 14,400 hectares of land in the Chaco region, returning the land to the Sawhoyamaxa. With the stroke of a pen, the Paraguayan State began undoing some of the wrongs suffered by the community for generations.

Read full article on Amnesty International's website.


Related Project:

Land Grabs and Land Rights

The Territories of Life toolkit is a series of 10 short videos that share stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the front-line of the global rush for land. These videos, available in English, Spanish, French, Indonesian and Swalhili and are currently being disseminated widely by community facilitators.


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