The Paraguayan Minister of the Interior, Carmelo Caballero, announced that the military will back the police during the first two weeks of December in reaction to “intelligence information” about possible escapes from jails and “infiltrators” in the upcoming human rights protest planned for Monday, December 10, who are “planning to destabilize the government.”
Paraguay’s June 22nd parliamentary coup against President Fernando Lugo gave birth to new corporate agreements, repression of citizens’ rights and crackdowns on press freedoms. It also unwittingly created a new panorama of leftist social struggles and movements.
“The people see me as the President. The coup leader Franco has perhaps formal control over the army and police, but that does not mean that he can control the population. And basically we believe that the people are sovereign to decide who should be president.” – Fernando Lugo
What lies behind today’s headlines, political fights and struggles for justice in Paraguay is a conflict over access to land; land is power and money for the elites, survival and dignity for the poor, and has been at the center of major political and social battles in Paraguay for decades. In order to understand the crisis in post-coup Paraguay it’s necessary to grasp the political weight of the nation’s soil.
The international community, and especially the rest of South America, could play a key role in the crisis triggered in Paraguay by the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo and his replacement by Federico Franco, his vice president. […]
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has just been removed from office by Congress through political impeachment, an express trial that lasted only 24 hours. This manoeuvre must be seen as a coup to the democratic process started in 2008. Social movements are protesting in front of Congress as well as in various parts of the country. This plot by the major Paraguayan political parties has to be interpreted as the last step of a process of political destabilization in the country started with the massacre of Curuguaty last June 15th.
The death of 18 people, among them 11 campesinos, occurred last Friday when police cleared, without prior dialogue, an estate occupied by landless campesinos in the northeast of Paraguay. “What happened was a slaughter of our comrades. Many lies are being told to discredit the campesinos, who are struggling to obtain their own land to work, who are fighting for the rights given to them by land reform,“ declared Damasio Quiroga, general secretary of the Paraguayan Campesino Movement.