ASUNCION – The National Peasant Federation (FNC), the largest organization representing farm workers in Paraguay, is celebrating its 26th anniversary by looking back at past accomplishments and presenting a plan for future action.
“We are at the midpoint of the road. Truly, all that experience of organizing, struggle, victory, goes toward strengthening the base of our organization,” the FNC’s deputy secretary-general, Marcial Gomez, told EFE on Thursday.
Those victories include the handing over to peasants of some 300,000 hectares (740,740 acres) “seized from the great land barons,” he said.
The FNC developed from Paraguay’s first national peasant organization, which was founded in 1986 as a vehicle for resistance to the 1954-1989 dictatorship of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner.
Gomez said that the FNC now represents 20,000 families in 10 provinces.
The anniversary observances in Asuncion will culminate on Friday with the launch of a plan focused on defending existing settlements and pressing for genuine agrarian reform, while working to encourage more political participation among landless women and youth.
Paraguay’s 2.5 million peasants make up 35 percent of the population, the highest proportion in South America. It likewise has the most extreme concentration of rural land-ownership, with 90 percent of the land’s being held by less than 5 percent of proprietors.