Revitalizing Our Dances: Land and Dignity in Paraguay




Duckworth, Cheryl Lynn

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Throughout Paraguay, indigenous communities are facing increased and unnecessary hardship as their lands are sold to private agriculture business. They are often subject to arrest, intimidation and torture. As a result of losing their lands, they no longer have access to food security, potable water or shelter. Accordingly, they are increasingly organizing resistance to neoliberal policies, specifically land privatization. The stunning fall of Gen. Stroessner opened unprecedented social and political space for such mobilization. The new sociopolitical space enabled indigenous leaders to form critical (if complex) partnerships with NGOs, accessing social and financial resources. Movements nearly always coalesce around an organizing frame. The prominence of dignity in the framing of this movement is clear. This dissertation will support my claim that once Stroessner’s regime had collapsed, previous narratives around dignity could crystallize into active social mobilization around the Dignity Frame.



Neoliberalism, Paraguay, Latin America, Indigenous communities, Land rights, Stroessner