by Guillermo Almeyra
The conspiracy against the Paraguayan president, former bishop Fernando Lugo, began the day he won the presidential election, since he could only assume office thanks to a popular mobilization. Without a party of his own, without a parliamentary caucus of any importance to back him, with a vast but dispersed and disorganized supportive base in the peasantry, forced to face opposition in the hierarchy of his own church, he has always depended on a fragile alliance with the party of Vice President Federico Franco, the Liberal Radical party, which is extremely conservative and represents a sector of the landowners.
Partisans of the Stroessner dictatorship, meanwhile, were and still are embedded in the public administration, the police forces, the so-called justice system and the Supreme Court. Lugo tried too late to form a party/front, the Frente Guasú (“broad” in Guaraní), which is just now taking its first steps and is far from being homogeneous. But all the Paraguayan Rights, backed in the shadows by the United States, wanted to leave no room for the center-left to organize and to try to hold on to power, even though there is more than a year to go before the end of Lugo’s term and ten months before the elections, in which in any case the president cannot be re-elected. (more…)