The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder in Paraguay of human rights defender Vidal Vega, leader of the Campesinos sin Tierra movement (Landless Campesinos) and president of the Committee of Relatives of Victims of the Curuguaty Massacre.
IACHR is urging Paraguay to investigate and clear up these crimes, and punish those who perpetrated and masterminded them.
On December 1, 2012, two individuals arrived aboard a motorcycle at the home of Vega. According to police information quoted in news reports, the victim’s spouse, María Cristina Argüello, answered the door; the two unknown men asked for Vega and shot him with 12-caliber rifles, in the presence of his family.
Reportedly, Vega was a key witness in an investigation into the Curuguaty massacre, which happened on June 15, 2012, and where 11 campesinos and 6 policemen died. The massacre took place during a raid on Campos Morombí, Marina Cue, lands in litigation between the State and private parties. These events led to the impeachment of former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, who ended up being removed from office.
The Commission is urging Paraguay to “immediately and urgently” adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the right to life, integrity, and safety of human rights defenders in the country.