Paraguay: Medical oligarchy defies justice system

By Peter Tase

In its 2016 annual report the U.S. Department of State has characterized Paraguay as Latin America’s center of Drug trafficking, transportation and money laundering operations,[1] however it failed to denounce numerous acts of medical terrorism and cases of medical malpractice that are committed by many Paraguayan doctors against their fellow countrymen and desperate patients, who in many cases lose their lives due to grave medical errors.[2] The Nation of Paraguay and its justice system is succumbed into a network of incompetent doctors who have caused so much pain to thousands of families that have lost their loved ones in mysterious – unexplained conditions;[3] one of these tragic cases is the painful loss of Mrs. Romelia (Rome) Paez, who was killed by two white shirted terrorists: Dr. Sofía Oviedo and Dr. Olga Cañete, who had introduced a catheter into Romelia’s central breathing path towards her heart, puncturing the sub-clavicle vein while consequently producing an internal bleeding, covering her lungs with liquids and subsequently Rome was asphyxiated and passed away.[4] Sadly, in 2009, Rome became a victim of medical malpractice and negligence, which is a typical attitude by a number of irresponsible Paraguayan doctors[5] whose only focus is how to amass extensive salaries and organize protests every few months, causing a disruption of medical services nationwide without a pay cut.[6]

Asuncion has many medical doctors who have been involved in massive schemes of purchase and sale of pharmaceuticals at the cost of Paraguayan tax papers, who have allegedly abused with the distribution of medical supplies in the past.[7]

The infamous period of Nazi concentration and execution camps in Europe is over; however there are still traces of a growing tendency of medical terrorism that is prevailing throughout the landlocked nation of Paraguay, located at the heart of South America.

Medical terrorism and malpractice is reigning in the hospitals of Paraguay, including Tesãi Hospital, where Rome tragically passed away seven years ago.  Medical doctors often hide their wrongdoings by using complex technical language and practice with impunity their profession without any responsibility and totally abandoning the Judeo – Christian morals.[8] Many of the cases of medical malpractice do not reach the court house because the patients’ families have no resources to defend their rights and bring medical doctors in front of justice and consecutively place them behind bars. For more than six years Sofía Oviedo and Olga Cañete equipped by a special immunity have evaded and challenged the justice system, meanwhile Paraguay’s Supreme Court reached a verdict and recently sentenced them with 3.5 years in jail.[9] It took a very long time to reach this decision, however Cañete and Oviedo, members of medical oligarchy, are still roving free in the streets of Asuncion.

On the other hand, Rome’s case is the first in the history of Paraguay that has faced at every level of the Paraguayan justice system (for almost 7 years) the corrupt community of medical doctors that have brought Paraguay to its knees and are a disgrace in Latin America.  Sofia Oviedo and Olga Cañete have brought so much pain to Rome’s family members; both of them had killed an innocent patient who had gone to Tesãi for just a minor back pain.[10]

Rightfully, the Supreme Court of Paraguay had sentenced Oviedo and Cañete with three years and six months in jail, meanwhile their ‘colleagues’ – white shirted terrorists have led a number of protests against the very same court decision.[11] In a democracy where no one is above the law, it is imperative to respect the decisions of the court system and the sentence should be executed immediately. In Paraguay, a significant number of corrupt medical doctors refuse to acknowledge the wrong doings of their colleagues and continue to protest in the streets without any legitimate reason.[12] Meanwhile the very same doctors take care of themselves by building adjacent to public hospitals some of the most luxurious suites, as their patients wait for days to be attended in the hall ways of the precarious hospitals that are falling apart.[13] Most of the doctors have private clinics, hospital and during regular business hours they ‘escape’ from their duty in the public hospital and attend wealthy patients in their private clinics.  Such an attitude is found to be at a country with seven million people where 50 percent of the population does not have a proper home and there about sixty percent of the population is living at extreme poverty levels.

The attorney general’s office in Asuncion, should investigate the origins of wealth on all these doctors who are disrupting the constitutional order and defending two accomplices who have committed such a horrendous crime seven years ago. It is of critical importance to ensure that medical doctors under investigation and others are not engaged in corruption scandals throughout the nationwide public hospital system of Paraguay.

On April 7th, the corrupt network of Paraguayan doctors have scheduled a general strike; the Paraguayan government must take all the precautionary measures to ensure that public health centers are up and running as well as indict all medical doctors who have abandoned their work places unlawfully.[14] Respect for the rule of law is a primary concern in young democracies such as Paraguay and medical malpractice at public hospitals, including Tesái, must be stopped at every cost, even closing their doors if necessary.[15]



*The opinions and arguments expressed in the article by the author are those of his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Foreign Policy News. Those in disagreement with the views of the author may submit their own op-ed in response to this opinion piece, or contact the author directly for any clarification and further discussion. 

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Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a contributor, freelance journalist and a research scholar of International Affairs, Paraguayan Studies, Middle East Studies and Latin American Affairs, located in the United States. Educated at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government; Tase is the author of “Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages: Guarani, English, Italian, Albanian and Spanish” and “El Dr. FEDERICO FRANCO y Su Mandato Presidencial en la Historia del Paraguay.” He’s a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy News. His personal website is

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