Margarita Mbywangi

Margarita Mbywangi

The first Native Minister (sic) of Paraguay, tireless fighter for the forests. Margarita Mbywangi comes from the Aboriginal community Chupapou Ache, located in the Forest Mbaracayú. "When I was four years old, the whites kidnapped me in the jungle and was sold several times to families owning farms. I was sent to school, and there I learned to read and write", says Mbywangi, who became chief of the community, which in itself is already extraordinary because there are no precedents of women chiefs in Paraguay.

In the last elections was candidate for senator by the Tekojoja movement, supporting then a candidate for president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, who would eventually oust the Colorado Party after more than 60 years of uninterrupted government.

For the Aboriginal people, the forest is their mother, their lives, their present and their future, and this is the reason for the struggle of Margarita, who escaped from her slave chains to return to her community and now works for the Management Committee Mbaracayú Nature Reserve, and from her political post in the Paraguayan Indigenous Institute (INDI).