AMERICASOPINION

Corruption and human rights abuse in Paraguay

Toxic levels of corruption and lack of discipline in the military’s top brass, minister of the interior Federico Alberto Gonzalez Franco giving lip service to Russia, Iran, and Brazil, and feckless leadership of Attorney General Sandra Quiñonez are the substance of Paraguay’s sociopolitical reality.

Attorney General Sandra Quiñonez Astigarraga and President Mario Abdo Benítez, have been hesitant to investigate the growing cases of human rights violations committed for a long period of time, by the leadership of Paraguayan Armed Forces in the “Acosta Ñu” Military Lyceum (LICEMIL Liceo Militar “Acosta Ñu”). This institution is turned into a Dachau concentration camp by Colonel Carlos Martinez; Lt. Colonel Aquiles Villalba, Lt. Colonel Cristhian Candia, Lt. Colonel Osvaldo Candia and Captain Jose Lizza. All of these repulsive individuals are evoking the dark days of Acosta Ñu battle of 1869 – where thousands of kids died in the battlefield, and today, in the third millennium Paraguay’s young and pristine cadets are faced with fellow countrymen using torturous mechanisms similar to atrocities committed by Brazil’s Luis F. María Fernando Gastón de Orleans in 1869.

Attorney General Quiñonez, has grossly failed to investigate the underground communications held between Minister Federico Alberto Gonzalez and his superiors in Moscow and Brasilia. Furthermore, Quiñonez is hesitant to shed light and bring before the court of law all paramilitary suspects – hired by Minister Gonzalez and his business partners, to use large caliber weapons and kill innocent indigenous people living in Canindeyú San Pedro and other provinces of Paraguay.

On October 11th, 2022, Minister Federico Alberto Gonzalez Franco ordered his security detail to forcefully evict various indigenous families from their natural- precarious habitat in a wild forest, in order to satisfy his business partner, the owner of Agro Ganadera MARCORT.

Quiñonez has failed to interrogate Minister Federico Alberto Gonzalez in relation to his involvement in allowing EMTRASUR Boeing Cargo Plane to land in Ciudad del Este – Paraguay on two separate occasions (in 2022).

Paraguay’s skunkiest head of state is worst than Burkina Faso’s deposed president Roch Kabore; Abdo Benítez for over three months has humiliated his predecessor, Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, in public events, meanwhile behind the scenes he purchases a Cessna Citation 680 from Aerocentro, one of the companies of the Cartes Group, for the amount of USD 8 million.

Furthermore, Federico Gonzalez was heavily involved in handlingthe underground energy sale negotiations with Brazil in 2019, potentially inflicting a financial damage of more than USD 250 million USD to Paraguay’s treasury.

Moreover, four members of United States Congress; Representatives Stephanie Murphy, Kathleen Rice, Mark Green, and Kurt Schrader, visited Asuncion to present with the laurels of achievement the very same people that are destroying the future generations of Paraguayan nation and have succumbed their country into abysmal levels of corruption where criminal organizations have permeated the judiciary and every decision-making institution. Congresswoman Murphy and her colleagues met with Minister Bernardino Soto Estigarribia the executor in chief of young cadets in the Acosta Ñu lyceum and with the infamous Minister Federico Alberto Gonzalez Franco, who has been serving the interests of Russia in Latin America for years. The Members of United States Congress also had a cordial meeting with Minister Esteban Aquino, another useless, highly corrupt bureaucrat, who is the closest ally of Vice president Hugo Adalberto Velázquez Moreno.

It remains unclear as to why the US Embassy in Asuncion, continues to award accolades to AG Sandra Quiñonez for a ‘job well done’ when it is evident that her investigative trajectory is astonishingly absent and her failure to press charges upon some of the most dangerous criminals and corrupt policy makers, makes her the best ally of corrupt ministers, drug lords and human traffickers in South America. Washington must act quickly and take immediate military – political actions to isolate as well as deter some of Latin America most dangerous thugs in President Mario Abdo Benítez’s cabinet of ministers.

While various mechanisms dedicated to international perception of corruption are very generous with Paraguay; tangible evidence shows convincingly that this landlocked nation, the size of California, has the most corrupt government in the Western Hemisphere.

It is time for Washington to begin a new era of military and diplomatic actions in Paraguay, cut the financial aid, as the organized crime is taking hostage the entire country.

As the White House struggles to fine tune its diplomatic actions in Asuncion, Mario Abdo Benítez, Federico Alberto Gonzalez Franco, and his VP Hugo Adalberto Velázquez Moreno, publicly known as the triumvirate, indeed are hiding away like an ostrich, or as they say in Guaraní: “oñemokuré rama vý hina”. –  

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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 www.petertase.com

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