Paraguay peasants seize land where clash occurred

7/30/2013 11:15 AM
By Associated Press

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Some 200 Paraguayan poor farmers have reoccupied land where six police officers and 11 farmworkers were killed last year in a violent eviction that led to the ouster of President Fernando Lugo.

Police say the group's leaders are demanding the release of the 12 farmworkers charged in the eviction as well as compensation for the farmers.

Farmworker Martina Paredes says they reoccupied the disputed soy farm because they believe it belongs to the state and not the family members of a late senator.

Colorado Party Sen. Blas Riquelme occupied the land during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, whose government gave away land to anyone willing to put it to productive use.

Lugo's handling of the eviction of the farmers last year was seized on by the opposition to remove him from office.

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