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desperate measures

Protesters in Paraguay nail themselves to crosses

In Paraguay, demonstrators who say they were not paid for the work they did building the Itaipu Dam have nailed themselves to large wooden crosses.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it would meet with the workers on Jan. 26 to discuss their complaints. Organizer Carlos Gonzalez told The Associated Press that 9,000 workers are owed $40,000 in back pay and benefits for work done between 1974 and 1996 on the dam, one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the world.

This latest protest began Dec. 8, and now five people — four men and one woman — are nailed to the crosses outside the Brazilian embassy in Asuncion. The demonstrators are on the crosses during the day, with three-inch nails through their hands and volunteers fanning them during 100 degree weather, and at night, they sleep in tents. Crucifixion protests have been taking place in Paraguay for about 10 years, against the wishes of the Catholic Church.