Stories written by Natalia Ruiz Diaz

Floods Displace Lives and Dreams in Paraguay

The worst floods in the history of Paraguay have forced 300,000 people to flee their homes. Asunción, the most affected area, and other urban and rural areas were flooded by the rain-swollen Paraguay and Paraná rivers, foreshadowing what might happen when the El Niño phenomenon kicks in.

Sawhoyamaxa Battle for Their Land in Paraguay

The Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community in Paraguay have spent over 20 years fighting to get back their land, which they were pushed off by cattle ranchers.

Paraguay’s ‘Indignados’ Win a Round Against Congress

A few hours before a human chain was to surround the Paraguayan Congress on Thursday, Senator Víctor Bogado, accused of fraud and misuse of public funds, was stripped of his parliamentary immunity from prosecution.

Paraguay Opens Doors to Unregulated Foreign Investment

In his first month as president of Paraguay, Federico Franco has thrown open the doors of his country to foreign investments that have raised questions about environmental safety.

Americas Team Avoids Paraguayan Rights Groups

Paraguyan rights groups are disappointed at being denied access to a delegation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) sent in this week to discover the facts behind the impeachment and removal of President Fernando Lugo on Jun. 22.

Paraguay’s Isolation Grows

Paraguay’s isolation, following the impeachment and ouster of President Fernando Lugo 11 days ago,  has grown thanks to slender recognition for the new government and souring diplomatic relations with the neighbours.  

Pressure from the Region Could Be Decisive in Paraguay’s Crisis

The international community, and especially the rest of South America, could play a key role in the crisis triggered in Paraguay by the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo and his replacement by Federico Franco, his vice president.

Impeachment of Paraguayan President Sparks Institutional Crisis

The Paraguayan Congress removed President Fernando Lugo from office Friday in an impeachment trial that lasted only a few hours. The move, formally based on the constitution, triggered an institutional crisis for the fragile democracy in this South American country, and has been rejected by the rest of Latin America.

Tension over Deadly Clash Between Peasants and Police in Paraguay

The death of 16 landless peasants and police officers in a clash in northeastern Paraguay drew attention once again to the long-standing problem of land ownership in the country, where 85 percent of all farmland is owned by just two percent of the population.

PARAGUAY: Land Conflicts Threaten to Boil Over

A group of landless families occupying rural property claimed by large landowners in eastern Paraguay agreed to move to the Ñacunday National Park, defusing a tense situation.

Camila Ojeda and friends watch a video on computer monitors in a bus converted into a cybercafé. Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

Paraguayan Radio Station Buses Internet to the Barrios

"I want my own computer so that I can talk to my cousins who live in Italy," says eight-year-old Camila Ojeda, sitting in front of a computer monitor on a bus that acts as a mobile cybercafé in the Paraguayan capital.

Karen Ríos and fellow Asunción recyclers.  Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz

Recycling for Hope and Dignity on Paraguay’s Streets

"I go out with my cart and collect plastic bottles, cardboard, paper, plastic bags; that is my work," said Laura Cardozo, proud member of a recycling group that works the Paraguayan capital's streets.

Soybean fields in Paraguay. Credit:

PARAGUAY: Economy Soaring – For the Few

Paraguay's economy is currently growing at the fastest rate in Latin America, due to by growing demand and high prices for agricultural products, especially soy, which is driving the expansion. But the question is whether the benefits of the boom will trickle down to the poor majority.

Garbage is an eyesore on this Paraguayan lakeshore.  Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

Paraguayan ‘Jewel’ Lake Loses Its Lustre

Just two months before the austral summer season begins, Lake Ypacaraí, centrepiece of Paraguay's campaign to promote tourism, has become the centre of attention for its polluted waters.

Garbage is evident on Paraguayan city beach. - Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

Paraguayan “Jewel” Lake Loses Its Luster

Increasingly murky waters and the proliferation of trash along the shore await visitors to Paraguay's Lake Ypacaraí.

Americas Social Forum Calls for Agriculture Based on Solidarity

Small-scale agriculture based on the principles of solidarity and cooperation is the only way to guarantee food sovereignty in Latin America, said peasant and indigenous activists meeting in the Paraguayan capital this week.

Preparing for Fourth Americas Social Forum Credit: Natalia Ruiz  Díaz/IPS

Americas Social Forum Celebrates Change in Paraguay

The Fourth Americas Social Forum kicks off Wednesday in the Paraguayan capital with a colourful march through the streets, as some 12,000 people prepare to take part in the activities organised by 50 local groups and 550 organisations from Argentina to Canada.

Ramona Pereira and Aurora Ramos with two other committee members. Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

PARAGUAY: Women Manage Dairy for Self-Sufficiency

A year ago, Ramona Pereira was stuck with humdrum domestic drudgery in a rural village in Paraguay. Now she is the leader of a committee of women dairy producers in her community, and at 38 she feels like a new woman.

Neira Esquivel and other Sanapaná women have to walk a long way for a little water. Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

PARAGUAY: Clean Water Out of Reach for Native Peoples

Of the many things that are not within the reach of everyone in Paraguay, safe drinking water is the one the indigenous population longs for most.

Aerial view of expanding agricultural frontier in Paraguay's Chaco region. Credit: Courtesy of the Guyra Paraguay Association

PARAGUAY: “Pause” Farming Expansion in Gran Chaco, Say Activists

Extensive cattle farming in northwestern Paraguay is the leading cause of deforestation in the Gran Chaco, one of the world's leading regions in biodiversity and South America's second largest forested area, after the Amazon.

Aerial view of farm expansion in the Paraguayan Chaco. - Courtesy of the Guyra Paraguay Association

“Pause” Farm Expansion in Gran Chaco, Say Activists

Paraguayan authorities admit they are powerless to stop the advance of ranching and soy farming into the forests of the Gran Chaco, which his home to more than half of the country's indigenous peoples.

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