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The trial against the eleven peasants of Marina Cue came to an end yesterday. The peasants are accused of the massacre that took place there on June 12, 2012. The Prosecutor´s Office requested sentences of up to 40 years in prison for some of the peasants. The trial has been filled with irregularities, and the social movements have no doubts that this is a sham to justify the ousting of former president Fernando Lugo. The ruling will be made known on Monday, July 11.
Women relatives of the political prisoners and members of organizations chained themselves to the Judicial Building to demand the acquittal of those accused by the Paraguayan State. Real World Radio interviewed two of the women who participated in this action: Margarita Durán, a historian that has joined the struggle of the Marina Cue peasants, and Carmen Paredes, mother of Arnaldo Quintana, one of the political prisoners.
The Prosecutor´s Office requested a sentence of 25 years in prison for Quintana, says his mother, who told us in Guarani “we are here because we want freedom and justice for our sons”. Also, the prosecutors demanded the maximum sentence -30 years in prison plus 10 more- as “security measures” for peasants Rubén Villalba and Luis Olmedo, for the supposed homicide of Deputy Chief of Police Erven Lovera. The defendants responded to all charges and in this case in particular, they demanded the nullity of the charges since the prosecutor´s office had first denounced the peasants for attempted murder, and now they are denouncing them for consummated homicide.
Durán referred to the trial as emblematic for the peasant struggle in Paraguay, denouncing that it was prompted by Jalil Rachid, a prosecutor with no experience in the Prosecutor´s Office and “friend of the landowner who plundered the lands of Marina Cué, and that according to the historian he “set up an unbelievable stage that was shattered by the legal representatives of the peasants”.
“Since the ruling was not made known today, it means that it hasn’t been written yet. So we have time, and the public opinion is important and we need to support the peasants and their relatives”, said Margarita in the interview with Real World Radio, facilitated by Nadia Moreno, member of the National Coordination of Rural and Indigenous Women (CONAMURI).
Este jueves se cumple un año del asesinato de la dirigente lenca Berta Cáceres en Honduras, y los grupos de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) se movilizarán en decenas de países a partir de hoy, en el marco de una Semana de Acción que tendrá como cierre el 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer.
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