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Arandia Prada is not telling the truth about the agrarian census in the TCO Itika Guasu

Yet again the media in Tarija, in this case "Nuevo Sur", is disseminating false and racially motivated information, or, to put it another way, information for racist purposes.

Arandia Prada
Walter Ferrufino

If the statements of the public official, Franz Arandia Prada were in fact made, the said official is lying and deliberately misleading the information concerning the agrarian census in the Original Community Territory of Itika Guasu.

The correct statement would have been that the INE (National Institute of Statistics) was not authorised to enter the Original Community Territory - the property of the 36 Guaraní communities united in the APGIG - as a result of the decision of this indigenous organization and not of the "O'Connor Guaranis" which is a linguistic trick that is racist and designed to conceal the truth of the matter.

The public official Arandia Prada knows perfectly well that the APG IG impeded the entry of the INE survey-takers because there exists a detailed and reasoned report within the INE on the fundamental legal issue which led the indigenous organization to take this action and which contains not one of the references he made in his public statements.

The issue is quite simply: The INE fails to recognise indigenous ownership as provided under the Political Constitution of the State ("CPE"), and that thus the data produced in an agrarian census which does not recognise the TCO IG would be completely false. This matter was fully explained to the technical committee of the INE during a meeting with the Department of Projects and the Legal Department of the APGIG on 15 November at the headquarters of the APG IG in Guaye (Entre Ríos).

The public official is also mendacious in stating that "There has not been a census of the Guaranis due to their own internal problems..." ; and when he states "they were facing a criminal trial with some of the authorities of O'Connor" he simply mixes apples and oranges to conceal the truth for racist reasons.

He is lying when he states that the reason is internal problems between the Guaranis. The APG IG accepts and recognises the Agrarian Census and offered to provided the relevant data concerning production, investment and other necessary information but provided always that the TCO IG was treated as one property, and as one unit of production.

The lack of good faith is even more apparent when he states that "they were facing a criminal trial with some of the authorities in O'Connor" which suggests that the "Guaranis of O'Connor" had been denounced by some "authority". Both, Nuevo Sur and the said public official know or should know that in O'Connor there is only one authority and that is the authority of the Local Sectional (Ejecutivo Seccional Local) Walter Ferrufino.

What in fact happened is that the APG IG denounced Walter Ferrufino and that he is now the subject of a criminal indictment since 2nd April 2013 under a provisional accusation of breach of official duties, a criminal offense defined by and punishable pursuant to Art. 154 of the Criminal Code, on the following grounds: failure to carry out a prior consultation using the appropriate procedures and through their representative institutions, before approving any project which might affect their lands or territories (of the people of Itika Guasu) - pursuant to the International Labour Organisation Convention Nš 169, Art. 6.1(a), ratified by Law 1257 of 11 July 1991 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Arts. 18, 19 and 32.2, passed into law pursuant to Law 3760 and 3897 - thus not having complied with the right of indigenous peoples to decide their own priorities in the process of social development relative to the lands which they occupy and their participation in the formulation, application and evaluation of plans and programmes which directly affect them according to ILO Convention Nš 169, Art. 7.1, ratified by Law 1257 of 11th July 1991, and confirmed by Art. 256 of the Political Constitution of the State, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Art. 32.1, passed into law by Law 3760 and 3897.

This fact is what the public official Arandia Prada is deliberately concealing. He does so in order to "protect" the conduct of Walter Ferrufino who, at the time of the census, had nominated himself in the Municipality of Entre Ríos in a cunning and clearly illegal manner with the aim to "direct" the Agrarian Census, a fact well known to Arandía Prada.

The INE, in fact, refused to recognise indigenous ownership of the TCO IG in order to protect the interests of the ranchers without lands such as Walter Ferrufino, something this institution did not duplicate in Santa Cruz de la Sierra where it did recognise the owners whose lands had been avasalladas (seized). This was the only condition that the APG IG imposed on the INE, to whom it also notified the Constitutional Judgement 2003/2010-R of 25th October 2010 which was ratified by the Judgement Court of Entre Ríos on 2nd December 2013. The latter court expressly stated that "as Constitutional Judgements are of binding and obligatory character and given that it is necessary to adopt the provisions necessary for their performance pursuant to art. 17 of Law 254.....", and ordered all State organs and entities to comply with the said judgment.

This substantive and binding obligation is what the public official Arandia Prada is concealing in his statements; his conduct is mendacious but consistent with that of the Government of Tarija and the Local Sectional of Entre Ríos who continue to act deliberately and systematically in violation of the said Constitutional Judgement and of indigenous rights.

"Nuevo Sur" lacks even the minimum norms of journalistic ethics consistent with the racist conduct which it usually applies in matters which affect the "Guaraní population of the province of O'Connor", that is to say, in matters which constitute racially motivated information against the APG IG and indigenous law.

For general information we reproduce below the newspaper text published by "Nuevo Sur"

By Irandey Tupapire, correspondent of Radio Nizkor in Guaye, 5 January 2014

Guaranis exclude themselves from agricultural Census

The indigenous Guaranis of O'Connor province of this Department were not part of the Agricultural Census of 2013 carried out by the national Government due to internal problems that did not allow the entry of the survey-takers.

"The Guaranis have not been included in the Census due to their own internal problems, they have not let us enter. But all the other producing sectors have been included in the Census", confirmed the Director of the INE in Tarija, Franz Arandia Prada.

The Guaranis were facing a criminal trial with some of the authorities in O'Connor, and were awaiting clarification in that trial. However, they refused to accept the explanations of the INE that the matter had nothing to do with this.

The Guarani people, according to the estimates of the INE represent 2 or 3% of the total population of the Department, Arandia pointed out, describing the agricultural Census as important and as having widespread support of the population.

The data collected in the Agricultural Census was sent to La Paz where all the information is centralised so that by the middle of this year all the information will be duly systematized for dissemination to the whole country.

With respect to the Departmental economy, in the personal judgement of Arandia, an economist, there has been an excess of products supply, many trade fairs and as a consequence more sellers which has apparently lowered sales.

In previous years, there were only three fairs and currently there is a diversification of supply, and more sellers, at the Campesino market the fair used to occupy 2 blocks, but this year it occupied around 15, making it difficult to circulate through the area, he added.

[Source: Nuevo Sur, last visit on 04Jan14]

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