The ascendancy of corruption in Paraguay

As a student of Paraguay’s history, it is crucial to emphasize that this nation’s brutal past has its weight on the present; even more so when addressing the overwhelming corruption cases rising and forged by some Ministers of the Supreme Court.  Corruption has its direct consequences on major court cases, in public finances and encourages skyrocketing food prices.  In one of his analysis Prof. Steve H. Hanke a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore writes: “The poor are the most exposed as the dangers of hyperinflation increase; the prices of many agricultural commodities are at, or near, all-time highs. Prices will continue to surge in developing countries. The poor will pay through the nose because a large portion of their budgets are gobbled up by expenditures on food.” The price of food commodities in Paraguay is greatly affected by large quantities of goods illegally entering from the neighboring countries and significantly affecting domestic agricultural production; these contraband operations would not flourish if the country had a fully functional judiciary system and transparent, honest ministers of Supreme Court of Justice.  For more than 150 years Paraguay has been caught in a tragic, unjust and corrupt reality that becomes ever more devastating when Gladys Bareiro de Módica repeatedly violates the national constitution and unabashedly owns various savings’ accounts in the banks of Switzerland, United States and Brazil, as her countrymen suffer from hyperinflation, unemployment and proper housing infrastructure.

A recently published US State Department report makes a clear reference to the deeply rooted connections that high authorities in Paraguay’s Supreme Court of Justice, including Minister Gladys Bareiro de Módica, have with organized crime and favoring entry of smuggled agricultural goods and processed foods into Paraguay.  Bareiro de Módica has established ties with a private law firm so that she can ensure a constant cash flow, growing income and financial benefits from the private and public sectors alike. Bareiro is nationally known for her close connections with organized crime and in the last five years she has amassed a fortune of over USD 20 million in a country were three fourths of the population have no Internet Access and two thirds of the population do not have decent, proper housing standards.  According to local media reports, Bareiro’s wealth is deposited in Swiss bank accounts and in other European countries.

Moreover, it is of public knowledge that Minister Gladys Bareiro de Módica is involved with the Alonso and Associates Law Firm on several cases.  The close friendship between Bareiro de Modica and Attorney Julio Alonso is publicly displayed through a great friendship and preferential treatment given to cases spearheaded by Alonso, violating Article 20 paragraph i) of the Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Paraguay. Likewise, Bareiro de Modica’s business partner, Mr. Julio Alonso, is also a lawyer for José Ortiz, General Manager of the Tabesa S.A. Company as part of the Cartes Group, owned by Horacio Cartes Jara, who is also the owner of the ENEX Paraguay Company, a network of gas stations across the country.

In one of the pending judicial cases being analyzed by Minister Bareiro, Julio Alonso is defending the interests of ENEX Paraguay Company, and Bareiro de Modica’s bondage of friendship with Alonso harms her stature as a judge and raises concerns on her emotional state, impartiality, while handling the resolve and decision procedure of Alonso’s case in defense of ENEX.

Minister Gladys Bareiro de Módica, while referring to the violation of Constitutional guarantees (assurances) in the Due Process and conduct of legitimate defense in trial, has violated provisions of Article 17 of the National Constitution and Articles 20 and 26 of the Civil Procedure Code.

On another facet, in March 4-5, 2021, Gladys Bareiro was paid a living allowance of over USD 600.00, to travel to Ciudad del Este, an exaggerated amount of money for food and lodging, that would be more than enough for someone conducting a two days’ work visit to New York; let alone in Alto Parana.

Gladys Bareiro has been using four vehicles since 2015 and over USD 60 thousand per year are allocated to be spent only on the purchase of gas consumption for all her fleet of vehicles.

Gladys Bareiro has lined her pockets at the expense of her countrymen, and her corrupt behavior has drained over the years Paraguay’s public treasury and keeps the citizens trapped in poverty, as well as poisons the well of democracy.

The total absence of justice is what Paraguayans linger the most. Although I am sure that Minister Gladys Bareiro’s fluency in Guarani is limited (Paraguay’s official language), it is still pertinent to emphasize the importance of strengthening the judiciary and cleaning up the house from corruption, in her native tongue.

“Ñembyahýi ha juhéi niko ikatu ña´aguanta, jajejopyvaietereíramo katu, ñañoipytyvõmba, ñambohasa ñandepo ojupe. Tekojoja´ỹre katu jaiko asy, vy´a´ỹ ñande aho´i ha ndaipóri py´aguapy avei. Heta oĩ tapicha ohasa asýva ñaneretãme. Hee, upéva jaikuaa porã.  Ko´áĝa hetavéntema oĩ heñymbyahýiva ñaneretã tuvichavekuépe. Ndaha´éi uvei upéva ko ivaivéva ñanderekovépe. Ndaha´éi voi ñembyahýi terã juhéi ko ivaivéva tapichakuéra rekópe. Ndaipóri tekojoja, upevare nañandepy´aguapýi.”

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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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