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Q&A: Paraguayan Indigenous Minister Calls for Patience

Source:  Copyright 2008, Inter Press Service
Date:  December 20, 2008
Byline:  Diego Cevallos
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Margarita Mbyvângi, the first indigenous woman to hold a ministerial post in Paraguay, is facing charges of ineffectiveness from among her own ranks. But she is asking for time to achieve her goal: that no one will suffer the slavery and rootlessness that she experienced for nearly 20 years.

Mbyvângi, who is a member of the Aché indigenous community, was named president of the Paraguayan Indigenous Institute in August, when President Fernando Lugo took office, and entrusted to fight the poverty and exclusion suffered by the more than 100,000 indigenous people in her country.

Her dream is for her "community of brothers and sisters" to obtain formal property rights to their land, learn about their rights, and become familiar with the international conventions and laws that affect them.

In a telephone interview with Tierramérica from Asunción, Mbyvângi, 47, said she can count on the complete support of the president and is confident she will be ...

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