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Story Publication logo August 15, 2007

The Founding of Asunción, Paraguay

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Paraguay is the fastest growing soybean producer in the world bringing untold riches to a very poor...

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Today is a state holiday, the anniversary of Asuncion's founding in 1537. While the generals and politicians laid flowers at the shrine of Paraguay's heroes some 200 campesinos rallied down the street at Plaza Uruguay. They chanted "The people together, we will never be defeated."

Their message is a malaise of criticism toward the politicians who are seen as corrupt and who make promises only during elections. They want land, education, and health care, all of which are lacking in the countryside. The campesinos started their rally in the same square where the native Guarani are camped. Though their concerns are distinct, they both have been ushered in by soya. I'm beginning to see soybeans as the hook on which Paraguay's social problems are being hung.

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