(hereinafter, the “Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community”, the “Sawhoyamaxa
Community”, the “Indigenous Community” or the “Community”, irrespectively) and
its members (hereinafter, “the members of the Community”). The Community
alleged that the State has not ensured the ancestral property right of the
Sawhoyamaxa Community and its members, inasmuch as their claim for territorial
rights is pending since 1991 and it has not been satisfactorily resolved to date. As
stated in the Commission’s application, this has barred the Community and its
members from title to and possession of their lands, and has implied keeping it in a
state of nutritional, medical and health vulnerability, which constantly threatens their
survival and integrity.
Likewise, as a result of the foregoing, the Commission requested the Court to
order the State to adopt certain reparation measures and reimburse legal costs.
The Inter-American Court has competence over this case under Article 62(3)
of the American Convention, since Paraguay has been a State Party to the
Convention since August 24, 1989 and recognized the Court’s contentious
Competence on March 26, 1993.


On May 15, 2001, the non-governmental organization TierraViva a los Pueblos
Indígenas del Chaco (hereinafter “TierraViva”) submitted a petition to the
Commission regarding alleged violation by Paraguay of rights set forth in Articles 21,
8(1) and 25 of the American Convention in connection with the obligations
established in Articles 1(1) and 2 thereof, to the detriment of the members of the
Sawhoyamaxa Community.
On June 7, 2001, the Inter-American Commission forwarded the relevant
parts of the petition to the State and gave it two months to submit “an answer to the
On February 20, 2003, during its 117th Regular Session, the Commission
approved Admissibility Report No. 12/03, declaring the petition admissible.
On October 19, 2004, during its 121st Regular Session, the Commission
approved Report on the Merits No. 73/04, pursuant to Article 50 of the Convention.
The Commission’s report made the following recommendations to Paraguay:
To promptly adopt any such measures as may be necessary to enforce the right
to property and possession of the ancestral territory of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous
Community of the Enxet-Lengua people and its members, specifically to delimit,
demarcate and convey them title to their lands pursuant to their customary law, values,
usage and customs, and to guarantee the members of the Community the exercise of
their traditional subsistence activities.
To adopt any such measures as may be necessary to cure the state of
nutritional, medical and health emergency in which the Community is, such as the
enforcement of Emergency Executive Order No. 3789/99 of [...] June 23, 1999.

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