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Paraguay: Weaving peoples resistance against corporate occupation

The undersigning organizations, collectives and individuals working towards a coordinated initiative of popular resistance from and with the peoples of Paraguay clearly and unequivocally declare:

We believe it to be an urgent priority to accompany and support the Frente Unido para la Defensa de la Democracia (United Front for the Defence of Democracy or FDD) and the expressed desires of the people of Paraguay to develop and implement their agenda of autonomous resistance to the occupation through the recent Coup d’Etat.

We join our autonomous resistance with theirs. We call on those who share the same desire and commitment to join with us, sign on to this letter (email: or, and consolidate the popular resistance and solidarity that is required to speak in unison from Paraguay.

We declare that:

1. Fernando Lugo is the President of Paraguay, elected by a people out of a desire for spaces and opportunities to transform their society from the bottom up and reorient it toward freedom and justice. Lugo was overthrown in a Coup d’Etat that was carefully planned and carried out by and for transnational capital. (1)

2. Paraguay and its people are victims of their enormous natural wealth, and the fact that they are situated in an area of strategic importance for the accumulation of capital through continental megaprojects: El Chaco. T

he northern half of the country borders Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia and is also an enormously important region for the production of biofuels and energy through the use of transgenic soy (2), the construction of hydroelectric dams,  and exploitation of minerals by large mining companies through projects driven by the government of Canada(3).

Add to that the issue of water privatization: with the Paraná, Paraguay, Uruguay and Tieté rivers all slated for transformation into the Paraná-Paraguay (4) waterway, of the IIRSA regional infrastructure project, beyond generating enormous construction contracts for infrastructure, and tax exemptions to grantees for their administration and exploitation, will permit the extraction of resources and trade among five countries (including Uruguay) and the world, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days- a-year. The region covers and provides direct access to the Guaraní aquifer, the greatest reservoir of fresh water on the planet (5).

3. In Paraguay, 85% of the land is owned by 2.5% of the population (6). Indigenous peoples and landless peasants constitute a threat to large megaprojects. Permanent displacement of peoples requires war and terror. With this reasoning, and with the desire to take the region and its resources, the capitalist system fabricates pretexts for militarization, such as wars against narcotrafficking and terror. The Southern Command of the US Military has established the enormous Mariscal Estigarribia base (7) (FOL (8)) in the geographic heart of this strategically important region.

This base has the capacity for 16,000 military personnel, all guaranteed immunity for violations of human rights and/or other abuses. Not far from this military base, near the Bolivian border, lie 40,000 hectares of land acquired by former US President George W. Bush, and another enormous property owned by his father, former President George H. W. Bush(9).

From bases like these throughout the continent, a vast machinery of war and terror at the service of transnational capital is imposed through blood and fire; it was constructed in Colombia, exported to Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela and the rest of the continent under the name of “Democratic Security” in the shadow of former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez (10) and his mafias of military and paramilitary groups coordinated by the Southern Command.

This machinery generates war and terror in Paraguay as mechanisms for provoking instability.

The most recent of these actions, the massacre of 11 landless peasants and 6 police officers, served as preconceived pretext for the destruction of the Fernando Lugo presidency.

Previous false accusations and the imposition of a State of Siege by the government served to authorize the functioning of the US base in Paraguayan territory.

Planned massacres are right out of the textbooks and Plan Colombia. This same machinery is already installed throughout the continent. Where will the next coup take place?

4. We already know who overthrew Fernando Lugo and why (11). El Chaco and Paraguay cannot be allowed to belong to this country nor its people; they have been bound for occupation and extraction by multinationals through megaprojects and terror financed with public resources.

The coup in Paraguay, like similar ones throughout Latin America, was carried out by and for multinationals and their partners among the local elites.

In this particular case, Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta and Río Tinto are at the helm. Fernando Lugo broke the agreement that permitted the establishment of the Mariscal Estigarribia base in 2009 and was key in UNASUR’s rejection and condemnation of the 7 US military bases in Colombia (12). The coup constitutes a tactical stage in the imposition of “Free Trade” as the delivery of strategic territories to the multinationals.

5. Terror, propaganda and corporate policies function in such a way as to displace people and clear territories and countries for the dismantlement and destruction of peoples – our memory, our consciousness, and our resistance.

Moreover, they consolidate corporate blocks in the advancement of strategic business based on total war, and markets based on lies serve to recruit people to kill one another.

6. The transnational coup in Paraguay is the same coup that overthrew Manuel Zelaya in Honduras with only some local adaptations – from the massacre pretext carried out by the perpetrators of the coup, followed by the illegitimate legal charges against president Lugo, to be followed by the farce that includes:

— a process to impose and recognize an illegitimate government and president;

— the immediate adoption of legislation and policies that favor the interests of the coup perpetrators and agribusiness;

– a hypocritical and empty discourse on the part of the governments that serve transnational capital, including that from the US, Canada and the “Pacific Alliance” (Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile) as well as Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.

One thing is absolutely clear: all of these countries supported the coup; they knew about it, they helped prepare for it through the direction of the Southern Command, the US government and the elites that serve the transnational corporations.

7. Paraguay is being passed into the hands of transnational corporate power. Agribusiness and large-scale mining in particular require, among other things, slave labor, territories to exploit and to clear of people, censorship and the complete subservience of the populace through violence and the systematic elimination of rights and freedoms.

Paraguay is one more stage in the total imposition of this process. The occupation forces that have already invaded Colombia, Mexico,

Honduras and Haiti now occupy Paraguay. What has happened in Paraguay is a move forward towards a global fascist occupation for accumulation.

8. The elimination of social and popular movements and processes is underway. Censorship and propaganda are already being imposed. Terror and repression are being deepened. The machinery that already implemented the “Colombia Model” is now applying its specific objectives to eliminate, one by one, all structures and forms of resistance.

We see forced disappearances, torture, threats, and massacres, elaborate public accusations, criminalization of social protests, the buying off of leaders, and infiltration and cooptation of processes.

9. Capital and the Right have transformed their weaknesses into strengths (13). While losing elections, they have strategically used their machinery to pressure governments to get what they want. Every concession allows them to access space and retake power within established structures, fomenting and taking advantage of the frustrations of betrayed peoples. To win over the people and then govern for the Right generates weakness of the state and a sense of deception among citizens. The Right delivers its greatest blow at precisely the moment in which a government that could not govern with and for the people is weakest. A progressive government that plays dumb while it cooperates fully with the Right walks directly into the path of a coup for capital. These are hard lessons for peoples and those who govern: one can never talk the talk of revolution while walking the walk of extractives capital. Capital wins when condescending governments recklessly provide their stamp of approval for their projects. We, the people, lose.

10. This regime becomes even stronger when leftist parties, unions, NGOs, and social and popular organizations find accommodation within the system, engage in competition amongst them, and fight to maintain nothing more than their own privileges and places, their own benefits. This is worse when the same institutions carry this out in the name of resistance. The result is a loss of prestige, credibility and confidence that parallels the purchase of those who have a tag price. One way or another, the regime wins, and popular causes lose.

11. The coup in Honduras provides lessons for popular resistance in Paraguay: the coup conspirators calculate and include in their plans our reaction; they impose on us the character and meaning of our own struggle. They must, at any cost, stop our resistance to transnational capital and its interests. Inside the country, the people articulate a common face of resistance in coordinating mobilizations and actions. Outside of the country, we inundate ourselves with communiqués, news, analysis, denouncements and texts. Accompaniment and support is organized on the ground. The coup conspirators repress, implement propaganda, and wait. We get tired. Resistance wanes. Messages fill inboxes, bore, have no effect, and remain as drafts, unsent. Resistance achieves no objectives and loses strategic meaning, concrete vision, and falls under the weight of the repressor. Terror, on the other hand, is imposed and takes its strategic objective: transforming a struggle of popular resistance to capital into a struggle for human rights. Without strategic capacity, those on the ground become disarticulated, solidarity is debilitated, and actions that demonstrate our presence are smothered.

We Demand:

1. That Fernando Lugo and the legitimate government be re-established and that it once again take the path of the popular mandate it was elected to walk.

2. That the coup conspirators, led by Federico Franco and at the service of military and paramilitary apparatuses of terror serving the interest of transnational corporations, be isolated, removed from power, and brought to justice in such a way as to expose all those responsible for the criminal act committed against the people of Paraguay and democracy in the Americas. Franco is but a face for a structure that ought not to continue acting in hiding and with guaranteed impunity.

3. That the governments of the continent reject the coup in no uncertain terms and that they act immediately, coherently, and in a collective and in unified manner. For example, the legitimacy of UNASUR is not granted by the peoples of Latin America – neither in principle nor otherwise; such legitimacy must be gained through concrete and practical actions. We do not demand speeches or energetic declarations, we demand actions that defy the coup conspirators, expose the architecture of power and corporate interests directing them, and do everything necessary to treat them as the criminals they are, returning to Paraguay (and all of Latin America) its territories, sovereignty, and processes towards democracy that its peoples had managed to gain. We do not and will not accept, never again, middle- of-the-road calculations that cover up lies, accommodate posturing and “practical” conveniences, such as what happened with the illegitimate Lobo government in Honduras, who they ended up recognizing and legitimizing.

4. That solidarity among the peoples of Latin America be not subordinate to the policies of the States. Governments of the peoples govern by obeying the mandates and solidarity among those peoples. If agribusiness, extraction, and speculative corporate and financial capital dictate policies in the entire continent, there is no point in believing in governments that defend those interests. To reject the coup in Paraguay requires the weaving of popular agendas from below, from and with the people in each country and throughout the entire continent.

We Recognize:

1. The Frente unido para la Defensa de la Democracia (FDD) as the articulated effort of resistance already established within Paraguay and that which brings together all popular sectors.

2. The urgency in supporting the FDD and other legitimate efforts of coordinated and popular collective resistance in the urgent development of an agenda or strategic plan of popular resistance, with contextual analysis and clear objectives. This agenda will be indispensible for internal resistance in Paraguay as much as for international solidarity and mobilization.

3. The need to establish FDDs in the entire continent and weave together mechanisms for strategic planning and organizing among the peoples.

4. The dire need to act in a preventive way, from below, with peoples and organizations in each country, to stop the repression and occupation of totalitarian capital. A coup is one of many strategies of occupation that are being imposed. It is not enough to defend democracy in Paraguay. It is also necessary to organize resistance to the fascist occupation of capital in every territory and throughout the continent. To resist the coup in Paraguay is to resist the Conga project in Peru, rise up against large-scale mining, defend water, and oppose “free trade” and agribusiness, militarization, propaganda, repression, and the criminalization of social and popular struggle and war. Wherever nature and labor are handed over for the accumulation of capital, we will rise up in resistance. Wherever they impose war, we will rise up for life. Wherever they deny our rights and freedoms to bestow more privileges on themselves, it is a threat and an attack. The coup in Paraguay is against all peoples.

5. That they have plans that are being implemented everywhere. They have hierarchical structures that concentrate above, amongst groups of transnational elites, strategic capacity and clarity of objectives, and the means to carry them out. Paraguay makes clear the presence and power of this structure.

6. That each of us together, the peoples of Latin America – those who oppose the power of transnational capital and its accomplices, administrators and representatives, beyond differentiating ourselves from them and recognizing in their actions their interests – need our own agendas and strategies so as to strengthen our own capacities and to recognize and not lose sight of our objectives. We must learn to resist and transform reality in favour of life all along the way of our resistance. Either we construct an America of the peoples or we submit to the empire of capital. Today, we urgently need to support the people of Paraguay in their actions of strategic and effective resistance to the coup and to capital. The people decide it that way.

7. That an agenda of struggle and resistance from Paraguay will orient us in our solidarity efforts and, gives us strength, and bring us together adding our efforts at the right time, finding each other and attaining results, so that we may in the process learn and teach how to resist and defend all that is ours and collective. If we lack our own agenda, we will be subjected to theirs. We must consolidate our agenda and make it our path.

Our call:

At this moment of pain and anger, result of the coup in Paraguay, we must focus and prioritize our capabilities: from our diversity to supporting and articulating a strategic agenda of resistance and solidarity with the people. With all our creative power, affection and solidarity we commit to do whatever be necessary, whatever is within our power, to carry out the goals and objectives from and with the people. They [the corporate powers] have the memory of their crimes, which they use against us; we have our memory to resist and make the world our own not for the purposes of greed and plunder but for justice and freedom in harmony with Mother Earth.

Together in resistance against the occupation and with the people of Paraguay.

All causes of the people and of life are our own!

“Never again an America without the People”

Nuestra America, June 27, 2012



1.         Polomosca

2.         Pueblos en Camino

3.         Tejido de Comunicación y de Relaciones Externas para la Verdad y la Vida-ACIN, Cxab Wala Kiwe, Cauca, Colombia

4.         Rete Italiana de Solidarietá Colombia Vive!

5.         Alianza Social Continental

6.         Movimiento 14 de Junio de los Corteros de Caña del Valle del Cauca, Colombia

7.         Comunidad Pueblos Originarios de Awyayala, Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina

8.         Colectivo Utopía Puebla. México

9.         Universidad de la Tierra en Puebla. México

10.       Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y Agua Morelos-Puebla-Tlaxcala. México

11.       COLACOT, Confederación Latinoamericana de Cooperativas y Mutuales de Trabajadores. Venezuela

12.       FENTAP, Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de Agua Potable del Perú

13.       CAOI, Confederación Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas

14.       The Polaris Institute

15.       Unión Campesina Panameña. UCP

16.       Comité Nacional de Amistad y Solidaridad con la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela de Colombia, Junta Directiva Nacional. COMASOLVE

17.       Colombia Vive, Massachussetts. EEUU

18.       Comisión Justicia Solidaridad y Paz Colombia CRC

19.       Alternatives, Montreal. Canadá

20.       Federación Democrática Internacional de Mujeres para América Latina y el Caribe

21.       Comunidad Ecuménica Martin Luther King. Chile

22.       (CSMM), Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.”  Ecuador

23.       APCS, Agencia Popular de Comunicación Suramericana. Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Perú y Uruguay

24.       Unión Solidaria de Comunidades (USC) del Pueblo Diaguita Cacano. Santiago del Estero, Argentina

25.       Vivero Comunitario Wichan Ranquen, Río Cuarto, Córdoba. Argentina

26.       FAPI. Federación por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas. Paraguay


1.         Manuel Rozental, Tejedor movimientos indígenas y populares, Brasil.

2.         Pancho Castro, Periodista, Colombia

3.         Carlos Vidales, Escritor, poeta, académico y activista colombiano. Estocolmo, Suecia

4.         Carlos Jiménez, Activista y artista colombiano. España

5.         María Cepeda Castro, Activista colombiana, Hungría

6.         Justin Podur, Activista, periodista, profesor Universidad de York, Canadá

7.         Vilma Almendra, Indígena del Pueblo Nasa

8.         Marcela Olivera, Cochabamba, Bolivia

9.         Adriana Marquisio, Comisión Nacional en Defensa del Agua y la Vida. Uruguay

10.       Hugo Blanco Galdos, dirigente indígena, campesino y popular, Perú

11.       Aldo Zanchetta, Italia

12.       Francesco Moscato, Académico América Latina, Italia

13.       Francesco Biagi – Colectivo Rebeldía Pisa, Italia

14.       Carlos Mejia Cortes, concejal, Eckernfoerde, Alemania

15.       Sergio Tischler, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla- BUAP, México

16.       Cecilia Zeledón, Apoyo Zapatista, México

17.       Alberto Acosta, ex-presidente, Asamblea Constituyente de Ecuador

18.       Rafael Gutiérrez, Poeta, crítico y Director Revista de la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala

19.       Venancio Guerrero, Militante del PSOL y Tribunal Popular. Brasil y Movimiento Libres del Sur. Chile

20.       José Cruz, Colectivo MadreSelva, Guatemala

21.       Rafael Sandoval, sociólogo, Guadalajara, México

22.       Silvia Trujillo, socióloga, Guatemala

23.       Mario López, BUAP, Puebla, México

24.       Ulises Castro Conde, doctorante de Sociología, BUAP, México

25.       Luis Pedro Taracena, historiador guatemalteco

26.       Oscar Soto, Profesor Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Iberoaméricana, campus Puebla, México

27.       Anna Turriani, Brasil

28.       Alba Teresa Higuera, España

29.       Godofredo Aguillón, Académico, Universidad de El Salvador

30.       Ana Esther Ceceña, Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica, UNAM, México

31.       Simona V. Yagenova, FLACS0-Guatemala

32.       Mario Castañeda, historiador y sociólogo guatemalteco

33.       Lars Stubbe, Universidad de Kassel, Alemania

34.       María Alejandra Privado Catalán. BUAP, Puebla, México

35.       Fernando Matamoros, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

36.       Julio Donis, politólogo guatemalteco

37.       Agustín Reyes, Dirigente campesino colombiano, Canadá

38.       Simona Fraudatario, Rete Italiana de Soliedarietá Colmbia Vive! Tribunal de los Pueblos “Lelio Basso”, Italia

39.       Gaia Capogna, Italia

40.       Monica del Pilar Uribe Marín, periodista colombiana, The Prisma, Inglaterra

41.       Carlos Orantes, psicólogo y sociólogo guatemalteco

42.       Gilberto López y Rivas, Profesor-Investigador, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia Centro Regional Morelos

43.       Yan López, historiador guatemalteco

44.       Arturo Taracena, historiador guatemalteco

45.       Carlos Figueroa Ibarra, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

46.       Francisco Gómez, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

47.       Alfonso Galileo García Vela, doctorante sociología, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

48.       Oliver Hernández Lara, doctorante sociología, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

49.       Octavio H. Moreno, doctorante sociología, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

50.       Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, BUAP

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