Here in Paraguay we are all concerned with the kidnapping situation in the Chaco area of the country. One of the most recent kidnappings, which has served to unify the Paraguayan people, was that of a rancher, Fidel Zavala, a few months ago.
The people have reacted with the sentiment of ,"Enough is Enough". We all have plastered our cars with white ribbons or the slogan,"WE ARE ALL FIDEL" and placed banners around the city in support of Fidel and his family.
Last week the Marxist rebel group, the EPP, responsible for his kidnapping, put out a a statement that Fidel's family must give away many of their cattle to the surrounding villages and towns in order to save the life of their son, Fidel. This is an obvious attempt to buy the support of the poor locals by providing them with free meat, redistribution of wealth is a tenet of Marxism.
In desperation the Zavala family did deliver the meat to the small, poor Guarani village near their ranch as they had been ordered to do by the EPP.
These people live in conditions of extreme poverty, completely forgotten by the state with their closest water supply being 2 kilometers away. (1mile) In spite of all of this, two days ago, they gave the country of Paraguay, and the world, a lesson in dignity. They also taught the guerrillas of EPP a lesson of their own.
With an amazing dignity and moral integrity, they refused to accept the meat which had been sent to them as part of the bribery required by the EPP of the family of Fidel, saying they did not wish to benefit from the pain of another. When word of their denial of the meat was reported by the media, the villagers were surprised at the reaction brought about by their action. The Chief, humbly, said, " We only did what is our custom which does not allow us to accept the fruit of evil." Words which only raise the esteem we feel for these valiant people.
This simple act of refusing to accept the meat has since spread to other poor, rural, non- indian communities which were also to be given meat as part of the bribery package required by the EPP. This morning as I watched the local news I saw the people carrying their bags of free meat to the doors of the police head quarters and throwing it down on the sidewalks in a defiant act against the EPP. They also are refusing to eat the fruit of evil.
The following is a short video of the community and lifestyle of those who said, " NO!"
Viva Paraguay! Viva Fidel!