Diakonia supports the efforts of civil society to transform their reality through the defense of human rights. We work on all levels of society, in particular with the most vulnerable sectors, but also with the more strategic ones towards a positive transformation.
One percent owns 77 percent of the productive land
Paraguay is a large country with a small population, where half of the people live in rural areas. In fact, Paraguay is the country with the most inequitable land distribution in the world, with 1 per cent of landowners owning 77 per cent of the productive land. This is one of the main sources of inequality and it results in nearly four out of ten inhabitants living under the poverty line.
Soya monochultures danger the environment
Paraguay is also the fourth largest producer of soya in the world. This monoculture destroys the environment, concentrates wealth, threatens people´s health, eliminates the diversity of native plants and displaces peasant and indigenous populations.
Considering Paraguay’s unequal land distribution and monoculture agrarian model, Diakonia focuses on strengthening peasant and indigenous organisations, and especially women, in order to improve the quality of life through the promotion of land reform and sustainable development models.
A history of dictatorships
Another important factor for understanding Paraguay is the history of dictatorships promoting an authoritarian culture and committing systematic human rights violations towards large parts of society.
This historic disregard for human rights that continues today means that Diakonia and its partners dedicate a lot of effort to defend people and groups whose human rights have been violated and support efforts towards a culture that respects human rights.
One example is the strong commitment with the Truth and Justice Commission, its dissemination in all sectors of society and the creation of memorial sites, in order to educate the new generations on recent history.
Movie: No more dictatorships:
The movie tells about a part of Diakonia's support to the Truth and justice comission in Paraguay. It was made in 2011 by Fredrik Svensson at Diakonia.