Paraguay. Fifteen months ago, a special unit of the Paraguayan army forcibly disappeared 14-year-old Lichita and brutally murdered her cousins Lilian and Maria Carmen, 11 and 12 years old.
Originally published by EMRAWI.
For 15 months, Lichita’s aunt Laura Villalba has been detained without charges.
6 months ago, Lichita’s mother Carmen Villalba should have been released according to Paraguayan law. Nevertheless, she continues to be incarcerated in the „Buen Pastor“ prison.
Carmen was arrested in 2002 as one of the leaders of the peasant guerrilla group EPP. But her arrest was only the beginning of a brutal campaign of repression against her and her family, aimed at eradicating resistance in Paraguay.
This month, an international campaign for Carmen’s freedom was launched. We join the call and publish here for the first time the full-length booklet “ Relentless Militancy „, which gives a background to the struggles of the peasants in Praguaguay and the attacks of the state.
We call on everyone to join the struggle for Carmen’s freedom and to pressure the Paraguayan state with decentralized actions.
Freedom for Carmen!
Freedom for Laura!
¡A Lichita viva se la llevaron, VIVA LA QUEREMOS!
#LibertadCarmenVillalba || COORDINATION FOR THE FREEDOM OF CARMEN VILLALBA
Who is Carmen Villalba?
A Paraguayan woman, political prisoner, unlawfully imprisoned since July 2021 after serving her 18 year sentence.
Why is she still in prison?
She continues to be imprisoned in the „Buen Pastor“ prison in Asunción, Paraguay, because the Public Prosecutor’s Office has pulled out of mothballs a case against her that was already dropped 14 years ago. In 2005, the prosecution had charged resistance in a 190-page indictment, which it later dismissed. In 2018, only 78 pages are enough for the latter to initiate proceedings for attempted murder on the same facts. Instead of a sentence of 5 years, now another conviction for 15 years. The action of the judicial authorities is in direct contradiction with the Paraguayan Code of Criminal Procedure.
For a legal and political defense
Carmen Villalba Ayala was born in Concepción, in northern Paraguay. The region most punished by poverty, exploitation and state violence, and captured by drug trafficking organized by the oligarchy and the fascist parties, „Partido Colorado“ and „Partido Liberal“. After the fall of the fascist tyrant Stroessner, Carmen became active in the social movement as a student.
Today, despite her illegal imprisonment, she does not give up her struggle as a self-empowering woman and communist, for an inclusive society without exploiters and exploited.
Néstor, her only son, was murdered in 2010. No one has yet been held accountable for this crime. Impunity also reigns for those who forcibly disappeared their 14-year-old daughter Lichita. She has been missing since a military operation by the Paraguayan Military Special Forces near Cerro Guazu, Amambay. During this operation, Carmen’s nieces, Lilian Mariana y María Carmen, 11 and 12 years old, were also murdered by the military. Carmen’s sister Laura, who was the last to see Lichita alive in November 2020, has been detained without evidence for over a year.
Carmen and her family have had to endure the barbaric violence so typical of dictatorships in 20th century Latin America.
In the Coordination for the Freedom of Carmen Villalba, political, social and human rights organizations are gathering to defend Carmen’s freedom and denounce the repeated human rights violations of the Paraguayan state.
We call on all the militants of our Americas and the whole world to join the struggle for Carmen’s freedom.
Freedom for Carmen Villalba!
Wherever you are: You or your organization can show solidarity. With a photo of you holding a poster demanding Carmen’s immediate freedom. (You can simply print the poster above); or share a video of max. 1 minute length. Any other action is welcome, for example a graffiti in your neighborhood, or any other form of expression you find. Please send us soli actions to firstname.lastname@example.org.