Posts Tagged ‘Paraguay’

Curuguaty, Paraguay: The parliamentary coup and the jailing of the poor

Friday, August 7th, 2015

CuruguatyThe Curuguaty massacre was a perfect political maneuver: it removed President Fernando Lugo, who had brought up the agrarian question for the first time in decades

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for July 31, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

By Mariana Serafini

This week Paraguay will witness another attempt by the judicial system to jail the poor and to weaken social movements. The political prisoners charged with killing six policemen during the 2012 episode which came to be known as the Curuguaty massacre will probably be tried next Monday, August 3. The trial was postponed for the fifth time last Tuesday after the defendants requested a change of lawyers just as the first hearing began.

The Curuguaty massacre was the result of a police action intended to expel the Marina Kue settlement of landless farmers, located in the municipality of Curuguaty, in the northern part of Paraguay. The conflict ended with 11 campesinos and six policemen dead. Sixteen agricultural workers were arrested during the event, two of them minors. Currently, 11 are still being detained in open-air prisons and the leader, Rubén Villalba, is still in the Tacumbú prison, in the metropolitan area of the capital, Asunción. The police violence was completely out of proportion; the settlement consisted of about 50 families, who were taken by surprise by a force of more than 300 policemen supported by helicopters and elite sharpshooters. (more…)

Two years after Curuguaty massacre, Paraguayan campesinos denounce persecution

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

03-Hugo-ValienteLeaders claim landless workers are prevented from even growing food for their families

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo for June 16, 2014. See original here and go here for more articles on the Curuguaty massacre and its consequences.]

By Vanessa Martina Silva

“One day we decided to plant cassava, corn and beans to feed the families displaced in the Curuguaty massacre. A week later, we got a notice. They accused us of trespassing on private property.” This story was told to Opera Mundi by Martina Paredes, a member of the committee of victims of the massacre, which occurred two years ago this Sunday, June 15. In her defense, she says that the families needed the crops in order to survive.

Martina lost two brothers, Fermín and Luis Paredes, in the confrontation, which resulted in 17 deaths, eleven of them campesinos and six of them policemen. Four of her 11 siblings were living on the settlement. She was not at the scene of the tragedy but in a neighboring settlement. “But that June 15 changed my life,” she says. (more…)

Paraguay: President Cartes can now use armed forces against any threat

Monday, September 2nd, 2013
((Cartes reviews the troops -- AP photo by César Olmedo))

((Cartes reviews the troops — AP photo by César Olmedo))

Militarization is now the law

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for August 23, 2013. See original here and related article here.]

By Diego Brom

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes will be able to use the military to fight against armed groups, by the provisions of a bill that was passed by Congress yesterday. The [leftist opposition party] Frente Guasú is against the measure because it believes it gives the president extraordinary powers.

Cartes will be able to send in the armed forces “to take on any form of foreign or domestic aggression that endangers the sovereignty, the independence or the territorial integrity of the country,” according to the legislation approved in record time by both chambers after the killing of five people on Saturday at a farm in the Tacuatí district, some 350 kilometers north of Asunción, which was attributed to the so-called Ejército Popular Paraguayo (EPP). (more…)

The same old Paraguay

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

x cartes[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of Brazil for April 30, 2013. See original here and related article here.]

By Eric Nepomuceno

Fernando Lugo, removed by force from the Paraguayan presidency last year through an unusual parliamentary coup – he was tried and convicted in 48 hours, with no time for a defense – was as evasive as he was inconsistent. What seemed at the outset to be a hurricane of hope for change turned out in the end to be a breeze. The fragile movements meant to change, even if only a little, the deformed face of an unjust and rotten country, led to nothing.

Now everything is back on track. A candidate for the Partido Colorado, the very same party that for decades smothered the country in violence, corruption and fraud, has been elected president. His name is Horacio Cartes. He is a controversial businessman, a millionaire many times over, completely inexperienced (okay, it is true that he presided over a soccer club, but in politics, nothing) and with an embarrassing list of accusations against him that range from money laundering to the smuggling of cigarettes. At the age of 56 he had never in his life voted. (more…)

Paraguay: A millionaire, a winner, a president and… a drug dealer?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

x  cartes_horacio[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 26, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Jorge Saenz

The life of Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara (born in Asunción on July 5, 1956) could be used as the script of any successful Latin American soap opera. As an adolescent he had the good fortune to enroll in the best educational institutions of the city: Goethe, Internacional and Cristo Rey; then he traveled to the United States where, by a stroke of luck, he made friendly ties with the Cessna aviation company, which gave him economic security. (more…)

Paraguay: Federico Franco, golpista

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

x franco[Translation of an op-ed from the website of Radio La Nueva República of Mexico for April 7, 2013. See original here.]

By Atilio A. Boron

Paraguay’s rotten luck. A country of such noble people subjected to the insatiable voracity of foreigners and of its own. Punished savagely by its neighbors during the War of the Triple Alliance [1864-1870, between Paraguay on one side and Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay on the other] and looted beyond words by its own dominant class ever since, it has now, as the pinnacle of its misfortunes, to deal with a person like Federico Franco, usurper of the country’s presidency. This personage, petty and insignificant, installed as president through a criminal conspiracy created as a pretext for removing Fernando Lugo, declared during his visit to Spain days later that “it is a blessing that Mr. Chávez disappeared from the face of the earth, because he did a lot of damage to my country.” He also said in his verbal spewings that Chávez gave “protection” to members of the Ejército Paraguayo del Pueblo and thereby held the deceased president responsible for the “kidnappings and death” committed by the guerrilla group. In keeping with his status as simple errand boy for the empire and for the mafia of drug dealers and smugglers who gained control of his country, Franco invited Spanish entrepreneurs to invest in Paraguay, guaranteeing them that if they did so their profits would be so phenomenal they would have to “carry the money away in wheelbarrows.” That must be why Mariano Rajoy, president of the government of Spain and a man who seems not to have many worries, considered it completely appropriate to post a photo of his meeting with Franco on his Twitter account. (more…)

Paraguay: A conversation with Aníbal Carrillo, Frente Guasú presidential candidate

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013


((Fernando Lugo, Aníbal Carrillo))

((Fernando Lugo, Aníbal Carrillo))

[Translation of an article from Punto Final of Santiago, Chile, for March 8, 2013.  See original here and related articles here, here , here and here.]

by Claudia Korol

Elections will be held in Paraguay on April 21, the first since the parliamentary coup of June 22, 2012, that deposed legitimately elected  President Fernando Lugo.

The Left is divided into three slates: the Frente Guasú, which promotes the candidacy of pediatric physician Aníbal Carrillo for the presidency of the country and Fernando Lugo for senator, is the majority party in this race.  It is made up of the groups País Solidario, Tekojoja, Movimiento Patriótico Popular, Frente Amplio, Partido Comunista Paraguayo, Partido de la Unidad Popular, Convergencia Popular Socialista and Participación Ciudadana. (more…)

Paraguay: Lugo declares that Paraguayan Left is more united than ever

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012


((Agencia Brasil photo by Antonio Cruz))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for August 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Tadeu Breda

“The parliamentary coup changed my life completely,” former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo acknowledged in an interview with Brazilian alternative communications media on Thursday, August 2. “I was thinking that once my term ended in August, 2013, I could surrender power and dedicate myself to other things. Now, however, more than ever, I have to be more politician than bishop.”

It was with these words that Fernando Lugo announced that he will continue his political activities after the lightning impeachment he underwent on June 22. This is also one of the reasons that will keep him in the capital city of São Paulo for the next few days; the other is to continue treatment of a lymphatic cancer that developed in 2010. At the time, the then president sought out the specialists at the Hospital Sírio Libanês and the tumor was removed. (more…)

A conversation with Eduardo Galeano

Friday, July 27th, 2012

((El Mostrador photo))

“Two centuries of workers’ gains thrown into the garbage can”

[Translation of an interview by BBC World as published in El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for July 24, 2012. See original here.]

“This is a violent and deceitful world but we cannot lose hope and enthusiasm for changing it,” Eduardo Galeano declares.

The Uruguayan writer, his continent’s literary historian in works like The Open Veins of Latin America and the trilogy Memories of Fire, spoke with BBC World on the latest events in Latin America and the world economic crisis.

From his usual table in the centrally located Café Brasilero, leaving the cold of the southern hemisphere winter outside, he insists,“The greatness of humanity is in the small things that are done every day, day in, day out, that nameless people do without knowing they are doing them.” (more…)

Paraguay: Franco government fires military officers over meeting with Venezuelan foreign minister

Friday, July 13th, 2012

New president accuses Venezuela of trying to stage a military coup to keep Lugo in power

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for July 13, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

The armed forces tribunal of Paraguay on Thursday morning discharged ten generals who had met with the Venezuelan minister of foreign relations, Nicolás Maduro, in an alleged attempt to reverse the removal from office of then President Fernando Lugo.

The decision was made in an extraordinary session of the tribunal, led by the current Paraguayan president and commander in chief of the armed forces, Federico Franco. Among those fired are General Aldalberto Ramón Garcete, of the army, and Admiral Juan Carlos Benítez, of the navy, as well as the commander of the First Corps of the army, Juan Carlos Ayala. Also discharged was General Ángel Vallovera, armed forces chief of staff in the Lugo administration, suspected of chairing the meeting with Maduro. (more…)

A serious threat, from the Río Bravo to Patagonia

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for July 5, 2012. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The coup d’état against the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, calls for a revision of strategy and tactics by the progressive governments and popular forces of Latin America.

It should be remembered that the United States has at its disposal a large runway in Mariscal Estigarribia, in the Paraguayan Chaco, ready for Galaxy transport planes and B-52 bombers. It was constructed in agreement with the very oligarchical parties that staged the parliamentary coup against Lugo, who have also approved beforehand the incursion of United States troops into the country, recent signs indicating that their presence will be made permanent. (more…)

Paraguay: Overthrow of Lugo, a U.S. political maneuver

Sunday, July 1st, 2012


((A demonstration at the Brazilian-Paraguayan border against the overthrow of Fernando Lugo — photo by Xinhua))

On the same day, legislators were negotiating for a new military base

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 1, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Stella Calloni

Buenos Aires, June 30 – While the hasty political trial, considered illegal by neighboring countries, of the democratically elected president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, was taking place last June 22, Paraguayan congressmen were meeting with United States military officers to negotiate the building of a military base in Chaco, a vast uninhabited region of the South American country. (more…)