View Full Version : CIA in Paraguay, or How to Get Rid of a President

Paul Rigby
10-29-2010, 09:25 PM
Hope and change in South America:

CIA in Paraguay, or How to Get Rid of a President

Nil Nikandrov (Russia)


Paraguays current president Fernando Lugo used to be known as the bishop of the poor. He made a fairly quick career in the Roman Catholic churchs hierarchy, became a bishop, and later was overwhelmingly voted in as the countrys president. Inaugurated on August 15, 2008, he planned to bring profound changes to Paraguay including a departure from his predecessors markedly ruinous neoliberal course and an alliance with the populist leaders seeking to build the XXI century socialism. From the outset, however, Lugos plans ran into serious roadblocks. For example, his agrarian reform had to be put on hold for years because the pro-presidential fraction in the parliament was unable to break the resistance mounted by the legislatures majority which upheld the interests of land proprietors. Moreover, the political agenda in Paraguay was overshadowed by the fact that the country was permanently confronted with a threat of a military coup.

Tensions in Paraguay intensified when Lugo said he would not renew the military cooperation agreement with the US. The announcement left the US embassy in Asuncin, which did not expect to face defiance of such magnitude, in a state of shock.Lugos decision rendered fruitless years of Washingtons efforts aimed at implementing the Pentagons New Horizons program. Some 500 US servicemen were to be deployed in Paraguay in its framework, ostensibly to let US marines get used to the local climate and to carry out joint exercises with the countrys own army. The actual objective that loomed behind the program was to enable the Pentagon to occupy for at least a decade the Mariscal Estigarribia base sited at a distance of just 200 km from the populist Bolivia. Paraguay used to host US southern commands forces in the past, the operations being disguised as humanitarian missions meant to provide health care to the population or to build schools in rural areas. In practice, the Pentagon used Paraguays territory to carry out reconnaissance in the border zone of the three countries Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina and to create the infrastructures the US could rely on to dispatch troops en masse in the case of a regional crisis.

Washington cited the presence of Al Qaeda and Hezbollah cells in the region as the reason for its activities, but obviously hoped to gain positions from which it could hold at gunpoint the populist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia rather than sought to counter the mythical terrorist groups. Besides, Washington tends to be concerned over the attempts made by the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) to establish a regional defense system to which the US is not invited.

Lugo rejected the New Horizons upon getting familiarized with the materials supplied by his Unasur colleagues he learned that the US had launched an attack against a FARC camp in Ecuadors border zone from a base in Columbia. Allowing Washington to use the territory of Paraguay for military escapes did not sound like a good idea.

Regretting Lugos decision, US ambassador to Paraguay Liliana Ayalde expressed the hope that other cooperation programs both military and civilian would not be affected. Tentatively, she was worried about Paraguays program of officer corps training and weapons acquisitions. The countrys potential turn to populist regimes or to Brazil and Argentina in military affairs would no doubt be perceived by Washington as a foreign-politics fiasco.

The US embassy and its intelligence staff were from the start angered by Lugos gravitating to the populist regimes. For Washington, the prospects of a strategic alliance between the Paraguayan president and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) look frightening considering that already back in the 1970ies Henry Kissinger warned about the importance of the continent to the US plans for global dominance.

Lugo had to face a real war as a reaction to his independent course. A propaganda campaign targeting him swept across the continent: the media portrayed the former priests lifestyle as reckless debauchery, alleged he had a number of children born out of wedlock, and charged him with tolerance to corruption in his inner circle. Papers wrote that Lugo enjoyed the living standards of an oligarch while posing as the champion of the cause of the disadvantaged and that he called for class struggle from a jacuzzi. CIA agents in the Paraguayan media floated the myth that Lugo had for a long time been on the agencys payroll and claimed that CIA defector Philipp Agee exposed Lugos uncle as a CIA agent. Some media went so far as to say that practically all of Lugos relatives had ties with US agencies, the US Department of State, or USAID. The smear campaign did prompt a part of Paraguays population to revoke their support for the president.

For no legible reason, Marxist-Bolivarian guerrilla groups suddenly surfaced in Paraguay. The Paraguayan Peoples Army Ejrcito del Pueblo Paraguayo occasionally attacked the police or robbed grocery stores while the media elaborately linked it to Columbias FARC and ELN. The groups invisible leaders churned out demagogic statements, showered Lugo with threats, and even promised a reward for killing him. The ado reeked of Hollywood but the group was subjected to a no-nonsense hunt assisted by the CIA and Columbias Presidential Intelligence Service (DAS). Influencers worked hard to convince Lugo that the problem could not be handled without Washingtons help and that the US military presence had a stabilizing impact on the country. Lugo eventually gave in and consented to a state of emergency in the north of Paraguay.

Information was leaked to the media in August September, 2010 that Lugo normally a healthy and energetic macho immune to any kind of nervousness had cancer. The forms of cancer mentioned were lymphoma, lymphosarcoma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, etc. Lugos doctors released reassuring statements that the presidents life was not in danger and that chemotherapy would help as Lugo went to Brazil several times for treatment. Officials maintain that the president is sure to recover, that his grip on the presidential power remains firm, and that he will pass the presidency to his successor in August, 2013 in accord with the countrys constitution. Only US ambassador Liliana Ayalde did come up with a dissonant statement which seemed to indicate that Lugo had been written off.

At the moment Lugo looks embattled by the decease. He lost hair after chemotherapy, his speech shed its former assertive tone, and he looks much older than he did recently. There is an impression that the president has difficulty concealing his emotions and realizes what the origin of his health problems could be. In contrast, his perpetual opponent Federico Franco is on the rise. He has quite a few friends at the US embassy and, needless to say, regards the New Horizons as an excellent project. For him, it is just a matter of time.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Magda Hassan
10-30-2010, 12:43 AM
All the records of operation Condor reside in Paraguay.

Keith Millea
06-25-2012, 02:45 PM
Another one bites the dust!

June 25, 2012 http://www.counterpunch.org/images/printer.gif (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/25/obamas-second-latin-american-coup/print)

Machinations in Paraguay

Obama’s Second Latin American Coup?


The recent coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population that supported and elected President Fernando Lugo, whom they see as a bulwark against the wealthy elite who’ve dominated the country for decades.

The U.S. mainstream media and politicians are not calling the events in Paraguay a coup, since the president is being “legally impeached” by the elite-dominated Paraguayan Congress.

But as economist Mark Weisbrot explained in the Guardian:

“The Congress of Paraguay is trying to oust the president, Fernando Lugo, by means of an impeachment proceeding for which he was given less than 24 hours to prepare and only two hours to present a defense. It appears that a decision to convict him has already been written…The main trigger for the impeachment is an armed clash between peasants fighting for land rights with police…But this violent confrontation is merely a pretext, as it is clear that the president had no responsibility for what happened. Nor have Lugo’s opponents presented any evidence for their charges in today’s ‘trial.’ President Lugo proposed an investigation into the incident; the opposition was not interested, preferring their rigged judicial proceedings.”

What was the real reason the right-wing Paraguay Senate wanted to expel their democratically elected president? Another article by the Guardian makes this clear:

“The president was also tried on four other charges: that he improperly allowed leftist parties to hold a political meeting in an army base in 2009; that he allowed about 3,000 squatters [landless peasants] to illegally invade a large Brazilian-owned soybean farm; that his government failed to capture members of a [leftist] guerrilla group, the Paraguayan People’s Army… and that he signed an international [leftist] protocol without properly submitting it to congress for approval.”

The article adds that the president’s former political allies were “…upset after he gave a majority of cabinet ministry posts to leftist allies, and handed a minority to the moderates…The political split had become sharply clear as Lugo publicly acknowledged recently that he would support leftist candidates in future elections.”

It’s obvious that the President’s real crimes are that he chose to ally himself more closely with Paraguay’s left, which in reality means the working and poor masses of the country, who, like other Latin American countries, choose socialism as their form of political expression.

Although Paraguay’s elite lost control of the presidency when Lugo was elected, they used their stranglehold over the Senate to reverse the gains made by Paraguay’s poor. This is similar to the situation in Egypt: when the old regime of the wealthy elite lost their president/dictator, they used their control of the judiciary in an attempt to reverse the gains of the revolution.

Is it fair to blame the Obama administration for the recent coup in Paraguay? Yes, but it takes an introductory lesson on U.S. – Latin American relations to understand why. Paraguay’s right wing – a tiny wealthy elite – has a long-standing relationship with the United States, which has backed dictatorships for decades in the country – a common pattern in most Latin American countries.

The United States promotes the interests of the wealthy of these mostly-poor countries, and in turn, these elite-run countries are obedient to the pro-corporate foreign policy of the United States (The Open Veins of Latin America (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0853459916/counterpunchmaga) is an excellent book that outlines the history).

Paraguay’s elite is incapable of acting so boldly without first consulting the United States, since neighboring countries are overwhelmingly hostile to such an act because they fear a U.S.-backed coup in their own countries.

Paraguay’s elite has only the military for internal support, which for decades has been funded and trained by the United States. President Lugo did not fully sever the U.S. military’s links to his country. According to Wikipedia, ”The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) provides technical assistance and training to help modernize and professionalize the [Paraguay]military…”

In short, it is not remotely possible for Paraguay’s elite to act without assurance from the United States that it would continue to receive U.S. political and financial support; the elite now needs a steady flow of guns and tanks to defend itself from the poor of Paraguay.
The Latin American countries surrounding Paraguay denounced the events as they unfolded and made an emergency trip to the country in an attempt to stop them. What was the Obama administration’s response? Business Week explains:

“As Paraguay’s Senate conducted the impeachment trial, the U.S. State Department had said that it was watching the situation closely.”
“We understand that Paraguay’s Senate has voted to impeach President Lugo,” said Darla Jordan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs…“We urge all Paraguayans to act peacefully, with calm and responsibility, in the spirit of Paraguay’s democratic principles.”

Obama might as well have said: “We support the right-wing coup against the elected president of Paraguay.” Watching a crime against democracy happen – even if it is “watched closely” – and failing to denounce it makes one complicit in the act. The State Department’s carefully crafted words are meant to give implicit support to the new illegal regime in Paraguay.

Obama acted as he did because Lugo turned left, away from corporate interests, towards Paraguay’s poor. Lugo had also more closely aligned himself with regional governments which had worked towards economic independence from the United States. Most importantly perhaps is that, in 2009, President Lugo forbid the building of a planned U.S. military base in Paraguay.

What was the response of Paraguay’s working and poor people to their new dictatorship? They amassed outside of the Congress and were attacked by riot police and water cannons. It is unlikely that they will sit on their hands during this episode, since President Lugo had raised their hopes of having a more humane existence.

President Lugo has unfortunately given his opponents an advantage by accepting the rulings that he himself called a coup, allowing himself to be replaced by a Senate-appointed president. But Paraguay’s working and poor people will act with more boldness, in line with the social movements across Latin America that have struck heavy blows against the power of their wealthy elite.

President Obama’s devious actions towards Paraguay reaffirm which side of the wealth divide he stands on. His first coup in Honduras sparked the outrage of the entire hemisphere; this one will confirm to Latin Americans that neither Republicans nor Democrats care anything about democracy.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org (http://www.workerscompass.org/)) He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com


Magda Hassan
06-25-2012, 03:07 PM
Not quite going to plan though. Few countries have recognised the illegitimate government. None of the neighbours who have with drawn their ambassadors and shunned the new 'President' in public. :hobbyhorse:

Ousted Paraguay president to establish parallel cabinet

Former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo will set up a parallel cabinet with ministers loyal to him, Augusto Dos Santos, the country’s former minister of social communication said. Lugo said he would resign from his position as president of regional bloc UNASUR, but would try to upstage the country’s new leaders at an upcoming summit. He also called Paraguay’s new government “bogus” and said it had “no legitimacy.” Lugo was ousted by the country’s Senate Friday, prompting a cascade of negative reactions from Paraguay’s neighbors, with many leaders saying they will not recognize the new government.

Lizzie Phelan
10 hours ago
PARAGUAY: Illegitimate President Franco is clearly shaken by the wide ranging condemnation by Latin American leaders of the coup, to the extent that he is asking legitimate President Lugo that he ousted to help him de-escalate the tension! Ohhhh the irony

Keith Millea
06-25-2012, 03:49 PM
"George Bush the Little",owns 10,000 acres of prime Paraguay land.I suspect the Bush crime family didn't want no leftist land reformer running the country.


Magda Hassan
06-25-2012, 03:53 PM
I'm sure that was a purely unintended benefit there Keith :mexican: :spy:

Jan Klimkowski
06-25-2012, 07:11 PM
Crimes against the Business of Bush....

Magda Hassan
06-25-2012, 09:31 PM

Jan Klimkowski
06-25-2012, 09:53 PM
Is that Giorgio Osborne in the middle?

Keith Millea
06-25-2012, 10:28 PM

Little George knows who his friends are........:hitler:

Magda Hassan
06-25-2012, 11:22 PM
A googlish translation from Spanish

Monsanto strikes in Paraguay: The dead of Curuguaty and the impeachment of LugoSaturday June 23 2012 This article written a few hours before the overthrow of Fernando Lugo in Paraguay. Idyll Mendez explains the keys behind the political plot in a country beset by agribusiness and a political class to serve their interests.


For Idyll Mendez Grimaldi * (info@otramerica.com)
Who are behind this plot so sinister? The proponents of an ideology that promotes the maximum economic profit at any cost and the more the better, now and in the future.
On Friday June 15, 2012, a group of policemen who went to meet an eviction order in the department of Canindeyú on the border with Brazil, was ambushed by snipers, mixed with peasants demanding land to survive. The order was given by a judge and a district attorney to protect a landowner. As a result, had 17 killed, 6 officers and 11 farmers and dozens of serious injuries. Consequences: The lax and timid government of Fernando Lugo kept rising and extreme weakness, increasingly derechizado, about to be impeached by a Congress dominated by the right, blow to the left, social organizations and peasant, accused by the oligarchy of inciting the peasants to advance agribusiness extractive hands of transnationals like Monsanto, through the persecution of the peasants and the fit of their land and eventually installing a comfortable audience for the oligarchs and rightwing parties for their triumphant return in the 2013 elections to the Executive.
On October 21, 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture, led by Liberal Enzo Cardozo, illegally released GM Bollgard cotton seed BT U.S. biotech company Monsanto, for commercial planting in Paraguay. Peasant protests and environmental organizations are not left waiting. The gene of this cotton is mixed with the gene of Bacillus thurigensis, a toxic bacterium that kills certain pests of cotton, as the larvae of the weevil, a beetle that lays its eggs in the cocoon of fabric.
National Service Quality and Plant Health and Seed, SENAVE, another institution of the Paraguayan State, led by Miguel Lovera, not enrolled in such transgenic seed cultivars records, lacking the opinions of the Ministry of Health and the Environment Secretariat, as required by law.
media campaign
during the following months, Monsanto, through the Trades Union of Production, PMU, closely linked to Zuccolillo Group, which publishes the newspaper ABC Color, attacked SENAVE and its president for failing to register the GM seed from Monsanto for commercial use throughout the country.
The critical countdown appeared to have hit upon a new complaint by a seudosindicalista SENAVE, named Silvia Martinez, who accused the June 7 Lovera of corruption and nepotism in the institution he leads, on ABC Color. Martinez is the wife of Roberto Caceres, technical representative for various agricultural enterprises, including Agrosán, recently acquired by $ 120 million by Syngenta, another crime, all members of the PMU.
The next day, Friday June 8, published in the PMU ABC to six columns: "The 12 arguments to dismiss Lovera" (1). These alleged arguments were presented to the Vice President, Minister of Agriculture colleague, the liberal Federico Franco, who at the time was president of Paraguay in the absence of Lugo, traveling in Asia.
On Friday 15 of this month, in occasion for an annual exhibition organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Minister Enzo Cardozo let out a comment to the press that an alleged group of investors from India, the agrochemical sector, has canceled an investment project in Paraguay for the SENAVE alleged corruption.Never clarified what group it was. In that hour of that day were recorded Curuguaty tragic events.
As part of this exhibition prepared by the said ministry, Monsanto filed another cotton variety, doubly transgenic BT and RR or resistant to Roundup, a herbicide manufactured and patented by Monsanto. The claim of the U.S. transnational in Paraguay is the inscription of the transgenic seed, such as happened in Argentina and other countries.
Prior to these events, the newspaper ABC Color systematically denounced alleged corruption to the Minister of Health Esperanza Martinez and Environment Minister, Oscar Rivas, two officials did not give their opinion in favor of Monsanto.
Monsanto turnover last year $ 30 million, tax free (because it declares this part of your income) only in respect of royalties for the use of genetically modified soy in Paraguay. Independent, Monsanto bill for the sale of GM seeds. All transgenic soy is grown in an area of almost three million hectares, producing about 7 million tons in 2010.
On the other hand, in the House of Representatives and is generally approved the bill Biosafety, which includes creating a biosecurity direction provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, with broad authority for approval for commercial cultivation of all GM seeds, whether soy, corn, rice, cotton and some vegetables. This bill provides for the abolition of the current Biosafety Commission, a collegial body of technical staff in Paraguay.
While these events passed, the PMU is preparing a national protest against the government of Fernando Lugo for June 25th. This is a farm-related event, closing roads middle of the routes across the country.One of the claims of so-called "tractorazo" is the removal of Miguel Lovera SENAVE and liberalization of all GM seeds for commercial cultivation.
The PMU is headed by Hector Cristaldo, supported by other apostles as Ramon Sanchez - who does business with the agrochemical sector - among other agents of transnational agribusiness. Cristaldo integrates the staff of several Group companies Zuccolillo, whose main shareholder is Aldo Zuccolillo, chief owner of the newspaper ABC Color from its foundation under the Stroessner regime in 1967. Zuccolillo is leader of the Inter American Press Association, IAPA.
Zuccolillo Group Paraguay is a principal partner in Cargill, one of the biggest multinational agribusiness in the world. The company built one of the largest bulk ports of Paraguay, called Port Union, 500 meters from the water supply company aguatera the Paraguayan State, on the Paraguay River, without any restrictions.
Agribusiness corporations in virtually Paraguay taxes paid by the railway protection they have in Congress, dominated by the right. Tax pressure in Paraguay is only 13% of GDP. 60% of the tax collected by the Paraguayan State is the Value Added Tax, VAT. The landowners do not pay taxes. Property tax accounts for only 0.04% of the tax burden, about 5 million, according to a World Bank study (2) even if the income agribusiness produces around 30% of GDP, representing about 6,000 million dollars annually.
Paraguay is one of the most unequal countries in the world. 85 percent of the land, some 30 million hectares, it is up 2 percent of homeowners (3) engaged in the production merely extractive or in the worst cases of land speculation.
Most of these oligarchs have mansions in Punta del Este or Miami and have close relations with transnational financial sector to keep their ill-gotten assets in tax havens or would facilitate foreign investments. All of them, one way or another, are linked to agribusiness and dominate the national political scene, with wide influences on the three branches of government. Here reigns the PMU, supported by the financial sector and transnational agribusiness.
The facts of Curuguaty
Curuguaty is a town located east of the Eastern Region of Paraguay, about 200 km from Asuncion, capital of Paraguay. A few miles Curuguaty stay Morombí is owned by the landowner Blas Riquelme, with over 70 000 hectares there. Riquelme comes from the heart of the Stroessner dictatorship (1954-1989) under whose regime amassed an immense fortune, allied to General Andres Rodriguez, who executed the coup that overthrew the dictator Stroessner. Riquelme, who was president of the Colorado Party for many years and senator, who owns several supermarkets and farmers, appropriated by legal subterfuges of some 2,000 hectares, roughly, that belong to the Paraguayan State.
This parcel was occupied by farmers landless who came calling on the government of Fernando Lugo distribution. A judge and a district attorney ordered the eviction of the peasants, through the Special Operations Group, GEO, National Police, whose members mostly elite were trained in Colombia under the Uribe administration, for counter-insurgency.
Only internal sabotage within the frames of police intelligence, with the complicity of the prosecutor, said the ambush, which killed six policemen. Not understand how highly trained police officers as part of Plan Colombia, could easily fall into a trap set by farmers alleged, as led to believe the press is dominated by the oligarchs. His comrades reacted and gunned down the peasants, killing 11, leaving about 50 wounded. Among those killed was police chief GEO, Erven Commissioner Lovera, brother of Lt. Col. Alcides Lovera, security chief of President Lugo.
The plan is to criminalize, lead to extreme hatred to all farmers' organizations, to push peasants off the land for the exclusive use of agribusiness. It's a slow, painful, depeasantization the Paraguayan countryside, directly undermines food sovereignty, food culture of the Paraguayan people, being farmers and producers of all reenactors ancestral Guaraní culture.
Both the Attorney or Attorney General, as the Judiciary and the National Police, and various agencies of the Paraguayan State, are controlled through cooperation agreements by USAID, the aid agency of the United States.
The murder of the brother of the security chief of President of the Republic is obviously a direct message to Fernando Lugo, whose head would be the next target, probably through an impeachment, who derechizó over his government trying to calm the oligarchs. What happened in Curuguaty overthrew Carlos Filizzola Interior Ministry and was appointed as his replacement Ruben Candia Amarilla, from the opposition Colorado Party, which Lugo was defeated at the polls in 2008, after 60 years of dictatorship red, including the tyranny of Alfredo Stroessner.
Candia was Minister of Justice of the Colorado government of Nicanor Duarte (2003-2008) and served as state attorney general for a period, until last year when it was replaced by a red, Javier Diaz Veron at the request of the Lugo itself. Candia is accused of having promoted the repression of peasant organization leaders and grassroots movements.His nomination for Attorney General in 2005 was approved by the then U.S. ambassador, John F. Keen. Candia was responsible for greater control by the Public Ministry and USAID was charged in the beginning of his government by Fernando Lugo of conspiring against him to remove the government.
After taking over as the political minister for Lugo, the first thing announced Candia protocol was the elimination of dialogue with the farmers who invade properties. The message is that there will be no conversation, but simply the application of the law, which means employing repressive police force without contemplation.
Two days after taking Candia Amarilla, members of the PMU, headed by Hector Cristaldo, and visited the newly Interior Minister who requested guarantees for the realization of tractorazo called. However, Cristaldo said that the strike can be suspended in case of new hopeful signs for the PMU (read release of Monsanto's GM seeds, removal of Lovera and other ministers, among other benefits for big business and oligarchs) derechizando even the government.
Cristaldo is candidate for deputy to the 2013 elections by a movement within the Colorado Party, led by Horacio Cartes, a businessman investigated in the recent past by the United States for money laundering and drug trafficking, according to the newspaper itself ABC Color, which echoed several cables the State Department of USA, published by WikiLeaks, including one that referred directly to Cartes, the November 15, 2011.
Impeach Lugo
In the last hours, as of writing this chronic, the PMU, (4) some members of the Colorado Party and individual members of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, PLRA, led by Senator Blas Llano and ally of the government, threatened with impeachment to remove him Fernando Lugo as President of Paraguay.
Lugo depends on the mood of the Colorado to continue as President, and their liberal allies, who now threaten impeachment, surely looking for more areas of power (money) as a pledge of peace. The Colorado Party, allied with other minority parties of the opposition has the majority needed to impeach the president of their duties.
may be expected "positive signals" from Lugo that the PMU - on behalf of Monsanto, parental financial and the oligarchs - is urging the government. Otherwise, we would go to the next stage of the takeover plans of this government that was born as progressive and slowly dies off as conservative, controlled by the powers that be.
Among some of its assets, Lugo is responsible for the adoption of the Law Terrorism, favored by the United States around the world after the 11 S. In 2010 authorized the implementation of the Northern Zone Initiative, consisting of the installation and deployment of troops and American civilians in the North Eastern Region - in the face of Brazil - supposedly to develop activities for rural communities.
Front Guazú coalition of the Left supporting Lugo, can not speak with one voice, and its members lose perspective in the analysis of real power, falling in games inmediatistas electioneering. Infiltrated by USAID, many members of the front Guazú involved in the administration of the State, succumbing to the siren song of consumerism rampant neoliberalism. It is corrupt to the core and in practice become conceited rich vain of imitators that made ​​the recent right-wing governments in Colorado.
Curuguaty also includes a message for the region, especially Brazil, whose border is producing these bloody events, clearly led by the warlords, whose theaters of operations can be seen in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and now Syria. Brazil is building global hegemony with Russia, India and China, known as BRIC. However, the United States does not relinquish its power to persuade the giant of South America. It is running the new commercial hub includes Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile. It is a retaining wall to the expansionist desires of Brazil to the Pacific.
Meanwhile, Washington continues its diplomatic offensive in Brasilia, trying to convince the government to strengthen ties Rousseff commercial, technological and military. Meanwhile, the Fourth Fleet of the United States revived a few years ago after being out of
service just ended World War II, monitors the entire South Atlantic characteristics of another siege to Brazil if he did not understand diplomatic persuasion.
Y Paraguay is a country in dispute between the two foreign powers, even widely dominated by USA. So what of Curuguaty is also a small sign for Brazil, in the sense that Paraguay can become a powder keg that will break the development of southwestern Brazil.
But above all, the dead of Curuguaty is a sign of capital, the great capital, from extraction of plundering that plagues the planet and crushing the life in all corners of the Earth in the name of civilization and development. Fortunately, the world's peoples are also providing answers to these signs of death, signs of resistance, with signs of dignity and respect for all life forms on the planet. 1 - World Bank paper. Paraguay. Property Tax: Key tool for fiscal decentralization and better land use. Volume I: Main Report. 2007. 3 - National Agricultural Census 2008. 4 -

(*) Journalist, researcher and analyst. Member of the Society for Economic Policy Paraguay, Seppy. Author of Heirs of Stroessner.

Magda Hassan
06-25-2012, 11:27 PM
More Googlish

Parliamentary coup and planned since 2009, according clable secret U.S. embassy
FOR ETA (http://ea.com.py/author/ea/)⋅ JUNE 25, 2012 ⋅

KEYWORDS PARLIAMENTARY COUP (http://ea.com.py/tag/golpe-parlamentario/)
Duarte and Oviedo then made pact to exploit any slip of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, but never got the necessary votes.
http://ea.com.py/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/539310_478176065529131_987965240_n-600x400.jpg (http://ea.com.py/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/539310_478176065529131_987965240_n.jpg)The overthrow of Lugo and was planned shortly after assuming his government. Its realization has sparked an international crisis and demonstrations. Photo: etA.
A secret cable from the U.S. Embassy in March 2009, leaked by Wikileaks reports on versions of "the leader of Unace, General Lino Oviedo, by the president Nicanor Duarte Frutos seek to dismiss Fernando Lugo, a political trial within the Parliament. " It was sent to the State Department.According to the material, expect any slip of the representative of the Alliance to do an impeachment in Congress, and get his dismissal. The lack of votes but impossible for them to finalize the agreement. The plan was to Federico Franco as president and force him to call elections within 90 days. Nicanor would take his seat in the Senate. Interpreted according to the embassy at the time, taking account of the fratricidal division of the Colorado party, the leading candidate would Lino Oviedo.The negotiation would have emerged with the release of retired military mediating a move in the Supreme Court, and the intention of Senator González Quintana Oviedista Duarte take oath to the senate.The embassy also said Lugo gave opportunity for the first time with the use of $ 8,000,000 for the cultivation of sesame SUBSIDY, but could not gather votes then.On cable, Federico Franco is described as a person with a big ego and a difficult character.
Here (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&q=federico-franco) the entire cable.


The Wikileaks cable

Reference id
aka Wikileaks id #199404  ? 

Paraguayan Pols Plot Parliamentary Putsch

Embassy Asuncion (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?qo=58) (Paraguay)

Cable time
Sat, 28 Mar 2009 20:24 UTC



07ASUNCION910 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07ASUNCION910), 08ASUNCION535 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION535), 08ASUNCION598 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION598), 08ASUNCION611 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION611), 09ASUNCION188 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION188),09ASUNCION535 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION535), 09ASUNCION598 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION598), 09ASUNCION611 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION611)


Time unknown: Original unredacted version, leaked to Wikileaks (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&version=1315488573)
Thu, 24 Mar 2011 13:54: First publication, unredacted, however non-text content differs (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&version=1300974840)
Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24: Re-published, unredacted, however non-text content differs (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&version=1314919461)
Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:29: Original unredacted version published, with HTML goodies (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189)

? Comments (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&q=federico-franco#disqus_thread), 1 media item (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&q=federico-franco#media-items)

Hide headerS E C R E T ASUNCION 000189 SIPDIS STATE FOR WHA/BSC MDASCHBACH E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2029 TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs] (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=Internal-Governmental-Affairs), PREL [External Political Relations] (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=External-Political-Relations), MARR [Military and Defense Arrangements] (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=Military-and-Defense-Arrangements), PINS [National Security] (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=National-Security), PA [Paraguay] (http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=Paraguay) SUBJECT: PARAGUAYAN POLS PLOT PARLIAMENTARY PUTSCH REF: A. 08 ASUNCION 00611 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION611) B. 08 ASUNCION 00598 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION598) C. 08 ASUNCION 00535 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08ASUNCION535) D. 07 ASUNCION 00910 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07ASUNCION910) E. 09 ASUNCION 00188 (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION188) Classified By: DCM Michael J. Fitzpatrick; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). -------- SUMMARY -------- ¶1. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-1)(C) SUMMARY: Rumors persist that discredited General and UNACE party leader Lino Oviedo and ex-president Nicanor Duarte Frutos are now working together to assume power via (mostly) legal means should President Lugo stumble in coming months. Their goal: Capitalize on any Lugo mis-steps to break the political deadlock in Congress, impeach Lugo and assure their own political supremacy. While many predicted political shenanigans in March during the traditional social protest season that accompanies the opening of Congress, little has come of it (largely because Lugo has been careful not to provide the political or legal rope with which to hang him, thus depriving Oviedo and Duarte the numbers in Congress for their supposed "democratic coup"). But that could change quickly here. Mid-March outrage over multi-million dollar subsidies for sesame growers via a discredited NGO was considered as a possible ground for impeachment before Lugo walked away from the program (though the controversy continues). For a president already facing many challenges -- internal political struggles, corruption, and the perception that his own leadership style is ineffective -- Lugo must now also worry about making a mis-step that could be his last. END SUMMARY. ------------------ DOWN, BUT NOT OUT? ------------------ ¶2. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-2)(S) Paraguay's two-most controversial politicians -- cashiered General and UNACE party leader Lino Oviedo and discredited ex-president Nicanor Duarte Frutos -- simply refuse to go away. After using the first six months of the Lugo administration to quietly lick their electoral wounds the duo are now positioning themselves to assume power should President Lugo stumble in coming months. Sensitive reporting (and other Embassy contacts) indicate that Duarte and Oviedo would like to create circumstances which could lead to a constitutional change of government (ref A). An Oviedo-Duarte partnership began long before President Lugo's inauguration last August. As President in 2007, it was Duarte who used his control of the Supreme Court to free Oviedo from jail. (NOTE: Oviedo was serving time for involvement in the 1999 assassination of Vice President Luis Argana and the subsequent Marzo Paraguayo massacre of unarmed student protesters (ref B). END NOTE). Duarte incorrectly assumed that if Oviedo ran for president, he would split the opposition vote, thus ensuring a win for his own Colorado puppet candidate, Blanca Ovelar. ¶3. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-3)(C) In return for Oviedo's freedom, his political party UNACE supported Duarte's constitutionally dubious Senate bid (ref C). Senate President Enrique Gonzalez Quintana swore in Duarte last August in his private chambers after failing several times to get a quorum for that purpose. However, the Senate rejected Gonzalez Quintana's unilateral act and swore in Duarte's substitute in early September (ref D). ¶4. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-4)(C) Oviedo also suffered a political setback last September, when the military's congressional liaison, General Diaz, informed President Lugo that Oviedo, Duarte and others had invited him to a meeting at which they then discussed the possibility of a coup. Lugo immediately exposed the meeting, further damaging Oviedo's "democratic credentials." Oviedo since has become Lugo's principal political adversary, instructing his "troops" in UNACE party to oppose all Congressional initiatives and reforms Lugo pursues, and refusing to meet with Lugo. There is no deeper political and personal divide in Asuncion today that that between Lugo and Oviedo. And the distaste and distrust are as mutual as they are deep. ------------------ A FARFETCHED PLAN ------------------ ¶5. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-5)(C) Duarte's and Oviedo's shared goal: Find a "cause celebre" to champion so as to change the current political equation, break the political deadlock in Congress, impeach Lugo and regain their own political relevance. Oviedo's dream scenario involves legally impeaching Lugo, even if on spurious grounds. (With a two-thirds vote, the Chamber of Deputies may bring impeachment proceedings against the president. Like in the United States, the Senate tries impeachments, again requiring two-thirds vote to convict). The presidential baton would thus, in this scenario, pass to Vice President Federico Franco, who would be constituitionally required to call vice-presidential elections within 90 days. Given the institutional collapse and political fratricide reigning now within the Colorado Party, Oviedo would be the obvious leading candidate. Meanwhile, Duarte, having regained his Senate seat via Supreme Court maneuvering, would assume the Senate presidency and become number three in the line of presidential succession. The Liberal Franco would be President, but Oviedo and Duarte would control Congress -- and the courts. Farfetched? Perhaps. But not entirely unprecedented in Paraguayan politics. --------------------------------- BACK TO REALITY: THE HARD NUMBERS --------------------------------- ¶6. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-6)(C) Throughout January and February, post heard increased reports of a possible "constitutional" plot against Lugo after Congress returned to session in March. However, Oviedo and Duarte have not had the public excuse -- much less the numbers in Congress -- for their supposed "democratic coup." In order to bring impeachment charges in the lower house, Oviedo/Duarte need 53 votes. Assuming the support of all 30 Colorados (not an easy assumption in light of divisions in the Colorado Party between Duarte and his former Vice President Luis Castiglioni) and 15 UNACE deputies, Oviedo/Duarte today fall at least eight short of the votes they need to bring impeachment charges. The environment in the Senate is similar: Oviedo/Duarte need 30 votes to convict but have only 24 in the best case scenario (15 Colorado senators -- six of which are led by Luis Castiglioni -- plus 9 UNACE senators). ------------------------------- NO BASIS (YET) FOR IMPEACHMENT ------------------------------- ¶7. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-7)(C) Several of Embassy's key political contacts conclude that Lugo's best defense against impeachment is that most political actors prefer working with him to the alternative: Vice President Federico Franco. (BIO NOTE: Franco is known for being an old-school Liberal party politician with an oversized ego and a difficult personality. END NOTE). Additionally, Congress cannot vote to impeach Lugo without at least superficial political or legal grounds. Lugo has been in office only seven months, and the situation is not ripe for impeachment. Instead, despite rumblings about Lugo's mild-mannered leadership style and his failure to set out a national agenda, public support for the Lugo administration remains high. The Bottom Line: Given the nightmare scenario of General Oviedo and Nicanor Duarte Frutos jointly running the show, the general political consensus here -- among rationalists, anyways -- remains strong: For all foibles, President Lugo remains Paraguay's least worst option. ------- COMMENT ------- ¶8. (http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189#para-6344-8)(C) COMMENT: As history demonstrates, nothing is impossible in Paraguay. But politics here can turn on a dime. Witness Nicanor's masterful 2007 orchestration of Oviedo's release from military prison -- and the clearing of all charges -- just hours before the 2008 electoral campaign registration deadline. Lugo is now confronted by sudden political clashes after the announcement of USD 8 million in sesame subsidies to a discredited campesino-run NGO. Lugo immediately walked back the announcement, for fear (in part) of providing legal basis for impeachment, even as he still pursues subsidies for suffering sesame farmers. Campesino leaders seem to currently have the upper hand, thus forcing Lugo's Agriculture Minister to seek to quit. But this is far from over. For a president already facing many challenges -- internal political struggles, corruption, and the perception that his own leadership style is ineffective -- Lugo must now also worry about possible impeachment charges. There is no doubt that Oviedo and Duarte are bent on regaining leadership roles in Paraguayan politics (and, ahem, economics). As Defense Chief Admiral Benitez recently told Ambassador (ref E), "Oviedo has been plotting since the day he was born." Rumors and conspiracy theories are indeed the lifeblood of Paraguayan politics, and should be viewed as the norm. It is when the rumors stop that we really should start worrying. END COMMENT. Please visit us at http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/asuncion

AYALDE http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09ASUNCION189&q=federico-franco

Magda Hassan
06-30-2012, 12:53 AM
The Paraguay Coup: Carefully Organized, Assisted by Unidentified Snipers

Nil NIKANDROV (http://www.strategic-culture.org/authors/nil-nikandrov.html) | 27.06.2012 | 00:00

http://www.strategic-culture.org/images/news/2012/06/27/s11774.jpgThe operation launched by the US Department of State and the CIA with the aim of displacing Paraguay's first leftist president Fernando Lugo entered the final phase on June 16, when police forces were dispatched to evict squatters from the Morumbí farm in the Curuguaty district, near the Brazilian border. The land holding is known to be owned by Paraguayan businessman and politician Blas Riquelme. Upon arriving to the site, the police unexpectedly came under professional gunfire from rifles with the caliber high enough to drill bulletproof waists. The chief of a special operations police unit (GEO) and his deputy were shot dead, and the police to which instructions had been issued to avoid using force was left with no choice but to return fire. Eleven civilians were mowed down and dozens – wounded as a result.The bloody incident in Curuguaty immediately drew response from the Paraguayan legislature, with the parliamentarians and senators, mostly representatives of right-centrist parties, charging that president Lugo had lost his grip on the situation and was unable to run the country. Even the Liberal Party which upheld Lugo's candidacy in the 2008 elections distanced itself from its former protégé. Overall, Lugo faced an impeachment which he described as the parliament's “express coup”. Lugo's legal counselors were given practically no time to prepare for his defense vis-a-vis the parliament, but, in fact, it was clear that the critics of the president had no intention to dive into details and the senate's verdict was a forgone conclusion. The whole operation which led to the displacement of Lugo was carefully planned so as to rule out an unbiased parliamentary inquiry and was implemented as a snap offensive. No doubt, part of the motivation behind the rush was to have Lugo ousted before Paraguay's UNASUR peers could convene for consultations and decide on a set of measures in his support. The victory must have been easy for the coordinators of the plot from the US embassy in Asunción. It is true that Lugo's presidency was fairly nominal as the parliament, the police, and the army in Paraguay were on the side of the opposition. Having thrived on USAID funding for decades a cohort of NGOs were prepared to orchestrate mass protests if the anti-Lugo plan stalled but did not have to, and - apart from the death toll in Curuguaty – the overthrowing of the legitimate president in Paraguay deserves to be listed as an exemplary case on the record of the US intelligence community. A team of UNASUR envoys headed by the organization's secretary general, Venezuelan Alí Rodríguez Araque, toured Paraguay, met with Lugo and with a parliamentary delegation, and witnessed the impeachment procedure, but were unable to redirect the developments. The Paraguayan Senators showed little regard for the visitors, not to say that they were openly hostile. Lugo, it must be noted, showed a complete lack of will to par the challenge – contrary to his initial pledge to defend himself at the parliamentary hearings, he simply watched them on TV from his residence. Citing his commitment to law, the president being lawlessly ejected accepted the impeachment ruling (to which only four senators said No). Lugo's inaction can be largely attributed to his having no leverage under the circumstances: over the three years of his presidency, he failed to build a popular support base and, when the pressure peaked, still had no party of his own or a populist movement to back him. Street protests demonstrating support for Lugo erupted incoherently on the impeachment day but were dispersed by the police which used water machines, tear gas, and rubber bullets against the crowds. Paraguayan vice president Federico Franco who was sworn in without delay as Lugo was out is to stay in office until the ousted president's term expires in August, 2013. The elections are due the same month, and Washington openly favors Colorado party leader Horacio Cartes, a businessmen whom, according to ABC Color, US DEA briefly suspected of money laundering and complicity with drug cartels. The twist in Cartes' reputation is reflected in some of the cables put on display by WikiLeaks, and chances are US agencies have assembled such a stockpile of reports implicating Cartes that Washington should have no difficulty keeping him – like quite a few Latin American presidents - under tight control. While Lugo's unfinished term was marked with Paraguay's sluggish drift towards Latin American populist regimes, the right-conservative takeover promises that the country will fully submit to the US dictate. The agenda looming on the horizon likely includes efforts to destabilize UNASUR by forming within the alliance a dissenting bloc to balance the influences of Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. It can be expected as well that new life will be breathed into Washington's other project – the bracketing within some sort of a new union of Chili, Peru, Columbia, and Mexico – in order to weaken Brazil internationally.UNAUR secretary general Alí Rodríguez Araque said the dismissal of Lugo was unconstitutional and was tantamount to a disguised coup, and further stressed that many of Latin American governments would deny recognition to Franco. Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff cited the charters of UNASUR and MECOSUR to suggest expelling Paraguay from the groups over the violation of democratic norms. Argentine's Cristina Kirchner also opined that sanctions against Paraguay would be appropriate. She described the developments in the country as a coup and mentioned in the context the coup attempts against R. Correa and E. Morales and the putsch in which M. Zelaya had been deposed in Honduras. The Argentinian leader stated firmly that such undemocratic phenomena are unacceptable for the region and said action would be taken in line with the decisions to be made by MECOSUR. Ecuadoran president R. Correa expressed support for D. Rousseff's call to put to work the provisions of the UNASUR charter which warrant various forms of pressure – non-recognition of the corresponding governments, exclusion of countries guilty of undemocratic conduct from the alliance, and the closure of borders – as punishment for putschists. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega contributed similar statements on the issue. Prospects for a serious investigation into the shooting incident in Paraguay are bleak. The bloodshed helped the opponents of F. Lugo by adding credibility to their grievances list, while the majority of Latin America watchers discern parallels between the recent Paraguayan drama and the April, 2002 shooting at the Llaguno Bridge in Caracas. In the latter case, snipers randomly fired on anti-Chavez protesters, Chavez's supporters, and whoever happened to pass by. The incident was blamed on the forces under Chavez's command, but curious circumstances surfaced later: for example, a CNN correspondent managed to record an interview with the army officers opposing Chavez who, as it transpired, were aware of the planned sniper attack and the imminent fatalities. Several versions of the Curuguaty shooting incident are found on the web. One potential explanation is that the responsibility lay with Blas Riquelme who hired the snipers via his army connections but then, however, it remains unclear why the snipers fired on the police. An alternative version is that the episode was a provocation staged by the Paraguayan People's Army, a shadow group supposedly forged by the police to fight extremists. This hypothetic origin may be the reason why the army lives on despite the intense work being done in Paraguay by invited US and Colombian anti-terrorism experts. Alvarado Godoy wrote on the site titled Descubriendo Verdades (Disclosing the Truth) that the whole episode had been “montaje fabricado”, essentially a show following a certain blueprint. He claims to have information that the operation involved US Navy Seals who stayed in Paraguay to train the country's marines (Fusna). The storyline does not sound exotic considering how often US citizens get caught with sniper rifles across Latin America, as recently in Argentine and Bolivia. The CIA, DEA, and the US Defense Intelligence Agency routinely hire contractors to pull off covert operations with firearms being used. The straightforward forecast is that the pattern successfully tested by the US in Honduras and Paraguay – the pseudo-constitutional displacement of defiant leaders – will be extensively replicated in Latin America over the coming years. Yet, Washington would be naïve to believe that the accompanying violence can be contained. In Honduras, the puppet government of P. Lobo clings to power at the cost of waging a terror campaign which already took hundreds of lives of progressive politicians, journalists, trade union activists, student and Indian leaders, and that almost surely is what the future holds for Paraguay.

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 05:34 AM
A Coup Over Land: The Resource War Behind Paraguay’s Crisis

What lies behind today’s headlines, political fights and struggles for justice in Paraguay is a conflict over access to land.
Police evict landless farmers from settlement in San Marcos, Paraguay, 2008.
Photo Credit: Evan Abramson
July 18, 2012 |
Each bullet hole on the downtown Asunción, Paraguay light posts tells a story. Some of them are from civil wars decades ago, some from successful and unsuccessful coups, others from police crackdowns. The size of the hole, the angle of the ricochet, all tell of an escape, a death, another dictator in the palace by the river.
On June 22 of this year, a new tyrant entered the government palace. The right-wing Federico Franco became president in what has been deemed a parliamentary coup against democratically-elected, left-leaning 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. Here, a look at the history of Paraguay's resource war for land, the events leading up to the coup, and the story of one farming community’s resistance places land at the heart of nation’s current crisis.
The Coup and the Land
Hope surrounded the electoral victory of Fernando Lugo in 2008, a victory which ended the right wing Colorado Party’s 61 year dominance of Paraguayan politics. It was a victory against the injustice and nightmare of the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship (1954-1989), and a new addition to the region’s left-leaning governments. The election of Lugo, a former bishop and adherent to liberation theology, was due in large part to grassroots support from the campesino (small farmer) sector and Lugo's promise of long-overdue land reform.
Yet Lugo was isolated politically from the very beginning. He needed to ally with the right to win the election; his Vice President Federico Franco is a leader in the right wing Liberal Party and was a vocal opponent of Lugo since shortly after Lugo came to power. Throughout Lugo’s time in office the Colorado Party maintained a majority in Congress and there were various right wing attempts to impeach the “Red Bishop.” Such challenges have impeded Lugo’s progress and created a political and media environment dominated by near-constant attacks and criticism toward Lugo.
At the same time, Lugo was no friend of the campesino sector that helped bring him into power. His administration regularly called for the severe repression and criminalization (http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5896) of the country’s campesino movements. He was therefore isolated from above at the political level, and lacked a strong political base below due to his stance toward social movements and the slow pace of land reform. None the less, many leftist and campesino sectors still saw Lugo as a relative ally and source of hope in the face of the right wing alternative.
The issue that finally tipped the scales toward the June 22 Parliamentary coup against Lugo was a conflict over land. In April of this year, 60 landless campesinos occupied land (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/paraguay-archives-44/3705-tragic-week-in-paraguay) in Curuguaty, in northeastern Paraguay. This land is owned by former Colorado Senator Blas N. Riquelme, one of the richest people and largest landowners in the country. In 1969, the Stroessner administration illegally gave Riquelme 50,000 hectares of land that was supposed to be destined to poor farmers as a part of land reform. Since the return to democracy in 1989, campesinos have been struggling to gain access to this land. The April occupation of land was one such attempt. On June 15, security forces arrived in Curuguaty to evict the landless settlement. The subsequent confrontation during the eviction (the specific details of which are still shrouded in confusion (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/paraguay-archives-44/3705-tragic-week-in-paraguay)) led to the death of 17 people, including 11 campesinos and 6 police officers. Eighty people were wounded.
While certainly the bloodiest confrontation of this kind since the dictatorship, it was but one of dozens of such conflicts that had taken place in recent years in a nation with enormous inequality in land distribution. The right’s response to such conflicts typically involved siding with the land owners and business leaders, and criminalizing campesino activists. With the tragedy of Curuguaty, the right saw yet another opportunity to move against Lugo.
The right blamed Lugo for the bloody events at Curuguaty, an accusation which was unfounded, but served as fodder for the ongoing political attacks against the president. In response to critics, Lugo replaced (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/paraguay-archives-44/3705-tragic-week-in-paraguay) his Interior Minister with Colorado Party member Candia Amarilla, a former State Prosecutor known for his criminalization of leftist social and campesino groups, and who was trained in Colombia to export Plan Colombia-style policies to Paraguay. Lugo also made the Police Commissioner Moran Arnaldo Sanabria (who was in charge of the Curuguaty operation) the National Director of Police.
In this way, Lugo handed over the state’s main security and repressive powers to the Colorado Party. The move was an an effort to avoid impeachment from the right, but it backfired (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/paraguay-archives-44/3705-tragic-week-in-paraguay); the Liberal Party opposed Lugo’s replacements and, empowered by the criticisms leveled against Lugo’s handling of Curuguaty, collaborated with the Colorado Party and other right wing parties in Congress to move forward with the impeachment.
The process began on June 21, and within 24 hours the Senate gathered and officially initiated the trial, granting Lugo only two hours to defend himself. The next day, Lugo was removed from office in a 39-4 vote. He was accused of encouraging landless farmers' occupations, poor performance as president, and failing to bring about social harmony in the country. Lugo stepped down and Vice President and Liberal Party leader Federico Franco took his place. New elections are now scheduled to take place in April of 2013.
This Parliamentary coup was condemned as undemocratic and illegal by many Latin American leaders (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/06/201262383641605671.html) who refused to recognize Franco as the legitimate president. In response to the coup, Latin American trade and political blocs such as Unasur and Mercosur have suspended Paraguay’s participation in their organizations until next year’s elections. Unsurprisingly, the Organization of American States decided to not suspend Paraguay’s membership in the group because, according to OAS secretary general (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gx1o4RbueyeFU7l8aBIsxIPpCwyQ?docId=ee6fd899b b6b4da9a7ef3aea902196cf) Jose Miguel Insulza, doing so would create further problems in the country and isolate it regionally. This is the second such coup in the region in recent years; in June 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted under similar circumstances (http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/25/coup_in_paraguay_will_us_join).
The backdrop to this political fight is a struggle over how to control, use and distribute Paraguay’s vast land. Approximately 2% of landowners control 80% of Paraguay’s land, and some 87,000 farming families are landless. While Lugo failed to meet many of his campaign promises to the campesino sector, he did in fact work to block many of the right’s policies that would worsen the crisis in the countryside. For example, Lugo and his cabinet resisted the use of Monsanto’s transgenic cotton seeds in Paraguay, a move that likely contributed to his ouster (http://www.bolpress.com/art.php?Cod=2012062303). Yet even before Lugo was elected, political alliances and victories were shaped by the question of land. Multinational agro-industrial corporations are fully entrenched in Paraguayan politics, and their fundamental enemies in this resource war have always been the Paraguayan campesino.
A Sea of Soy
For decades small farmers in Paraguay have been tormented by a tidal wave of GMO soy crops and pesticides expanding across the countryside. Paraguay is the fourth largest producer of soy in the world, and soy makes up (http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6455) 40 percent of Paraguayan exports and 10 percent of the country’s GDP. An estimated (http://lasojamata.iskra.net/en/node/91) twenty million liters of agrochemicals are sprayed across Paraguay each year, poisoning the people, water, farmland and livestock that come in its path.
Managing the gargantuan agro-industry are transnational seed, agricultural and agro-chemical companies including Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, Dupont, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and Bunge. International financial institutions and development banks have promoted and bankrolled the agro-export business of monoculture crops—much of Paraguayan soy goes to feed animals in Europe. The profits have united political and corporate entities from Brazil, the US, and Paraguay, and increased the importance of Paraguay’s cooperation with international businesses.
Since the 1980s, national military and paramilitary groups connected to large agribusinesses and landowners have evicted almost 100,000 small farmers from their homes and fields and forced the relocation of countless indigenous communities in favor of soy fields. While more than a hundred campesino leaders have been assassinated in this time, only one of the cases was investigated with results leading to the conviction of the killer. In the same period, more than two thousand other campesinos have faced trumped-up charges for their resistance to the soy industry. The vast majority of Paraguayan farmers have been poisoned off their land either intentionally or as a side effect of the hazardous pesticides dumped by soy cultivation in Paraguay every year. Beginning in the 1990s (http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3093/the_multinational_beanfield_war/), as farmers saw their animals dying, crops withering, families sickening, and wells contaminated, most packed up and moved to the city.
The havoc wreaked by agro-industries has created some of the most grave human rights violations since Stroessner’s reign.A report produced by the Committee of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of the United Nations stated that “the expansion of the cultivation of soy has brought with it the indiscriminate use of toxic pesticides, provoking death and sickness in children and adults, contamination of water, disappearance of ecosystems, and damage to the traditional nutritional resources of the communities.”
The expansion of the soy industry has occurred in tandem with violent oppression of small farmers and indigenous communities who occupy the vast land holdings of the wealthy. Most rural Paraguayans cultivate diverse subsistence crops on small plots of ten to twenty hectares, but do not have titles to their land nor do they typically receive assistance from the state. The Paraguayan government has historically represented the soy growers in this conflict by using the police and judicial system to punish campesino leaders.
The small farming community of Tekojoja has been on the front line of this struggle for years. Its history and struggle is representative of countless other farming communities in the Paraguayan countryside.
Tekojoja’s Resistance
The first of several buses we would take from Asunción toward Tekojoja in April of 2009 heated up like a sauna as polka played on the radio. Hawkers came on the bus selling sunglasses, radios, and pirated DVDs. Particularly dedicated salesmen gave impassioned speeches about the superior characteristics of their product, pushing samples onto the unwilling and bored passengers. One sales pitch promised that garlic pills could cure insomnia and cancer.
We passed countless fields of soy and Cargill silos, but also vegetable stands from small farmers and simple roadside restaurants where people could escape into the shade with a cold beer. The dirt road from Caaguazú toward Tekojoja was a rutted expanse of churning red sand; it took us three hours to travel 50 kilometers. The bus fought its way over the deep potholes, the engine reaching a fevered pitch, and every one of its metal bones rattling along with those of its passengers.
That same night, we arrived in Tekojoja and went to Gilda Roa’s house, a government-made structure without running water (though the government built the buildings, it never completed the plumbing). A land and farmer rights activist, Roa’s shirt portrayed plants breaking through a bar code. Inside her house, the walls were covered with anti-soy and anti-GMO posters. She pulled up plastic chairs for us in front of the garden with bright stars as a backdrop, and began talking. Roa spent 2000–2002 in Asunción studying to be a nurse, and had worked as one in a nearby town. At the time of our visit, in April of 2009, she was dedicated exclusively to activism in her community. As Paraguayan folk music played on the radio, and moths bounced around the lights, Roa told us the story of her community and its fight against GMO soy.
The community of Tekojoja is home of the Popular Agrarian Movement (MAP) of Paraguay. It is a place that has faced enormous repression from the soy farmers and their thugs, and led a legendary resistance against them, producing many campesino leaders.
Tekojoja stands on land given to campesinos as part of a Public Land Reform Program. In the 1990s (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/45/44/), Brazilian soy farmers—with armed thugs, lawyers, and political connections to protect them—gradually expanded onto the community’s land, forcing a series of violent evictions of the farming families. In 2003 (http://lasojamata.iskra.net/en/node/91), the MAP began to recover the lands taken from them by Brazilians, but corrupt judges and the mercenaries hired by soy producers kept pushing the farmers off their land.
On December 2, 2004, Brazilian land owners accompanied by police burned down numerous houses and farmland in Tekojoja as part of an eviction process. A statement from the MAP (http://www.lasojamata.org/node/15) described this brutal act:
[A]fter the tractors destroyed our crops, they came with their big machines and started immediately to sow soy while smoke was still rising from the ashes of our houses. The next day we came back with oxen and replanted all the fields over the prepared land. When the police came, we faced them with our tools and machetes. There were around seventy of us and we were ready to confront them. In the end they left.
The campesinos’ houses and crops were destroyed and they had no assurances that the Brazilians would not orchestrate another eviction. Still, as most had no place to go, the community members decided to persevere, staying on the land and fighting for legal recognition as the owners. Roa explained, “We planted seeds with fear as we didn’t know if our crops would be destroyed. And we began to reconstruct the houses.” But again at 4 a.m. on June 24, 2005, the Brazilians and police attacked the community. “They arrested children, blind people, old men, and pregnant women, everyone, throwing them all in a truck.” Roa said. “They threw gas and oil on the houses, burning them all down as the arrests went on.”
In this standoff between the thugs, police, and unarmed campesinos, two farmers, who the Brazilians mistakenly identified as MAP leaders and brothers Jorge and Antonio Galeano, were killed by gunfire. One of the victims was Angel Cristaldo Rotela, a 23 year old who was about to be married, and had just finished building his own home the day before the police burned it to the ground. The wife of Leoncio Torres, the other victim, was left a widow with eight children. A memorial stands in the center of the community in memory of the fallen campesinos.
After the murders, campesinos and activists from around the country rallied in support of Tekojoja, supplying the besieged community members with tarps and food. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled that the land should go to the local farmers, and as part of the reparations for the violence the community suffered, President Nicanor Frutos commissioned the building of forty-eight homes. The plight of Tekojoja sheds light on the situation many farming communities are finding themselves in across Paraguay. While the residents of Tekojoja remain on their land, many others are forced to flee to slums in the city as soy producers push them off their land.
Roa explained this cycle of displacement:
When the small farmers are desperate, and the pesticides are hurting them, there is no money, and so they sell their land for a little money, which is more than they’ve ever had, thinking that life in the city will be better, easy—but it’s not so easy. A lot of people who end up gathering garbage in the city are from the countryside. They don’t know how to manage their money, so for example, they’ll spend all their money on a used, broken-down car first, and then end up in the city broke, without any jobs or place to stay.
The victory of Tekojoja was due to the tenacity of the farmers who refused to leave their land for the false promise of rich city life. But their fight is far from over. Though they tore the soy plants out of their land, residents live sandwiched between seemingly limitless expanses of soy, and they, their animals, and their crops continue to suffer from exposure to toxic pesticides.
By dawn the next day, most of Roa’s neighbors were already up, getting to work before the sun made labor unbearable. Chickens milled about houses, the red dirt yards were still damp from the night’s dew, and radios tuned in to a community radio station mixing music with political commentary in Guaraní. A neighboring community activist invited us to his house to start the day with Paraguayans’ essential beverage, yerba maté served hot in the morning and specially prepared with coconut and rosemary. We sat in his kitchen as the sun streamed through the cracks between the boards in the wall, illuminating ribbons of smoke from the fire, while his children and pigs played on the dirt floor.
An ominous presence loomed over this bucolic scene. The neighboring Brazilian soy farmers had already shown up with their tractors, spraying pesticides on nearby crops. I could smell the chemicals in the air already. We walked toward the fields until the sweet, toxic odor grew stronger. We passed one tractor very closely as clouds of the pesticides drifted toward us. I began to feel a disorienting sensation of dizziness and nausea. My eyes, throat and lungs burned and my head ached, something the locals go through on a daily basis. The physical illness caused by the pesticides contributes to breaking down the campesino resistance.
I am reminded that this is a besieged community, not just because of the soy crops that circle these islands of humanity, or the pesticides that seep into every water source, crop, and conversation, but also because the Brazilian soy farmers live next to and drive through these impoverished communities with total impunity, and with the windows of their shiny new trucks rolled up tightly. Mounted somewhat precariously on the back of a few mopeds, we bounced along the dirt roads, which petered out into paths to another cluster of homes. On our way there, we passed one Brazilian who glared at us until we were out of sight. Roa knew him: he had participated in the razing and burning of their homes. The fact that he was still free added insult to injury. And if the locals were to accuse him, said Roa, or even yell at the Brazilian murderers, police would show up and haul them off to jail. “This is the hardest part,” she explained. “That we see them and can’t do anything.”
The moped rolled to a stop in front of Virginia Barrientos’ home, a few miles from Roa’s, directly bordering a soy field. The land Barrientos lived on for the past four years is a peninsula jutting into the sea of soy. She occupied her land, which used to be covered with soy, in February of 2005 and won legal ownership to it. But life since gaining the land has been far from easy; pesticides have terrorized her family since they moved there.
“Just before we harvest our food the Brazilians will spray very powerful pesticides,” Barrientos explained. “This spraying causes the headaches, nausea, diarrhea we all suffer.” Her thin children were gathered with her on the porch of the home. “There are a lot of problems with the water,” she continued. “When it rains, the pesticides affect our only water source.”
Barrientos said the pesticides affected her plants and animals as well, making some of the crops that do actually grow taste too bitter to eat. Her pigs’ newborn babies died, and the chickens were ill. Part of the problem, she pointed out, is that the Brazilian soy farmers intentionally choose to fumigate during strong winds which blow the poison onto her land. We passed dead corn stalks on the way to her well, which she insisted on showing us. It was located at the end of a long field of soy, so that the runoff from the field dripped into the well, concentrating the pesticides in her only water source. The family lives in a poisoned misery, while the soy producer responsible for it lives in comparative luxury away from his fields.
Isabel Rivas, a neighbor of Barrientos’ with a big smile and loud laugh in spite of her grim living situation, told us, “When we drink the water we can smell the chemicals. It turns out they were washing the chemical sprayers in our source of water, in a little stream nearby.” Barrientos stood in front of her house while breastfeeding her baby as chickens pecked at peanuts in the yard. Her children stared at us with wide eyes. “We can’t go anywhere else.”
While Lugo’s inability and unwillingness to sufficiently address such hardships was a betrayal of this grassroots sector, the recent coup against Lugo was also a coup against hope, a coup against Barrientos and her children, Roas and her neighbors, and the hundreds of thousands of farmers struggling the countryside. Behind this coup lies the vast land, some of it poisoned, some still fertile, and much of it tear and blood-soaked. Until the demand of land justice is realized, there will be no peace in Paraguay, regardless of who sleeps in the presidential palace.
http://www.alternet.org/story/156372/a_coup_over_land%3A_the_resource_war_behind_paragu ay%E2%80%99s_crisis?paging=off

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 05:37 AM
Paraguay’s Bitter Harvest: Multinational Corporations Reap Benefits from Coup Government (http://www.towardfreedom.com/americas/2909-paraguays-bitter-harvest-multinational-corporations-reap-benefits-from-coup-government) Thursday, 26 July 2012 10:03 Benjamin Dangl


http://www.towardfreedom.com/images/stories/0-1-0-riotinto.py.2.jpgParaguayan officials negotiating with Rio Tinto on July 17. Photo: ABC Color

In a July 22nd speech marking the one month anniversary of the [URL="http://www.towardfreedom.com/americas/2898-a-coup-over-land-the-resource-war-behind-paraguays-crisis"]parliamentary coup (http://digg.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.towardfreedom.com%2Fam ericas%2F2909-paraguays-bitter-harvest-multinational-corporations-reap-benefits-from-coup-government&title=Paraguay%E2%80%99s%20Bitter%20Harvest:%20Mul tinational%20Corporations%20Reap%20Benefits%20from %20Coup%20Government) that overthrow left-leaning Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, the former leader denounced that a motivating interest among the coup-plotters was a sought-after deal between Paraguay and the Montreal-based mining company, Rio Tinto Alcan.“Those who pushed for the coup are those who want to solidify the negotiations with the multinational Rio Tinto Alcan, betraying the energetic sovereignty and interests of our country,” Lugo told supporters (http://www.bolpress.com/art.php?Cod=2012072307).
Such an accusation represents the widespread discontent (http://www.adital.com.br/site/noticia.asp?lang=ES&cod=68907) among Paraguayan people toward current negotiations between Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) and the government of Federico Franco, Lugo’s right wing replacement.
It also points toward the Franco administration’s larger strategy to open up Paraguay to multinational corporate exploitation, from Rio Tinto Alcan to Monsanto.
The RTA deal for a $4 billion dollar aluminum plant on the shores of the Paraná River had been stalled by the Lugo administration due to concerns over the plant’s environmental impact, as well as how much the company would pay for electricity from Paraguay’s Itaipú and Yacyretá hydroelectric power plants.
Yet shortly after taking office, Franco fast-tracked the RTA negotiations (http://ea.com.py/franco-acelera-tramites-para-que-trasnacionales-operen-en-paraguay/), pressuring his new Minister of Industry and Commerce to swiftly move forward with the deal. Civil society protests ensued and, as Lugo’s comments about the RTA deal suggest, the issue has become a rallying point for justice amidst post-coup Paraguay’s political and social crisis.
The views of Paraguayan engineer Ricardo Canese reflect the main concerns of citizens opposing the deal. In an article from the Paraguayan social research institute BASE-IS, Canese explained (http://ea.com.py/para-ricardo-canese-que-el-gobierno-de-franco-hable-de-cobrar-60usmgwh-a-rio-tinto-es-solo-para-frenar-criticas/) that the proposed deal with RTA would disproportionately benefit the company in that the government – through the taxation of the Paraguayan people – would be subsidizing a massive amount of RTA’s energy over a period of 30 years.
Canese further criticized the fact that the taxpayers would be spending $700 million dollars in infrastructure to allow the company to install their operations in the country. And while RTA pledges to create 1,250 jobs, the company would annually use the same amount of electricity that 9.6 million people use during the same period.
Because of the controversial terms that Franco is pushing for with RTA, Lugo believes that the contract will be discontinued once a democratic government returns to power; new elections are slated to take place in April of next year. In one interview, (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/paraguay-archives-44/3766-post-coup-paraguay-an-interview-with-fernando-lugo) Lugo said, "I strongly doubt that the Paraguayan people will be respecting such a license that gives a single company the right to the electricity for a price as low as they have been talking about. This whole deal is very questionable."
In addition to Franco’s work with RTA, his administration has also allowed Monsanto an expanded presence in Paraguay. Such a move will worsen the existing crisis in the countryside (http://www.towardfreedom.com/americas/2898-a-coup-over-land-the-resource-war-behind-paraguays-crisis), an area ravaged by soy plantations and pesticides, and where just 2% of landowners control 80% of the land.
In the lead-up to the coup, Lugo and his administration resisted the use of Monsanto’s GMO cotton seeds in the country. Yet just after taking power, the Franco administration threw government critics of the plan out of office, and moved ahead (http://upsidedownworld.org/main/news-briefs-archives-68/3716-monsanto-strikes-in-paraguay) to approve the use of the controversial seeds in the country.
These two relationships with multinational corporations clearly show where the interests of the Franco administration lie. They also demonstrate that, while the Lugo administration failed to fully implement its plans (http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5896) for land reform, justice and expanded rights in Paraguay, the Franco administration, in just one month in office, has already proven to be closer ally of corporate globalization.
As Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano said in an interview regarding the coup (http://lapoderosa.org.ar/?p=9382) in Paraguay, the Lugo government tried “to bring about changes that were aimed at making the country more independent and just, but this was an unpardonable sin for the power brokers.”

Jan Klimkowski
07-08-2013, 01:18 PM
United Fruit Company capitalism, exploitation of the campesinos & shock therapy in the interests of foreign multinationals, is alive and kicking.

Magda Hassan
12-07-2014, 01:06 PM
Paraguay: Legislators Accused of Narcopolitics Won't Be Removed

http://www.telesurtv.net/__export/1417487679659/sites/telesur/img/news/2014/12/01/0011857065.jpg_1718483346.jpg_1718483346.jpg The three legislators allegedly held phone conversations with drug-traffickers. (Photo: Twitter)

Published 1 December 2014

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Paraguayan representatives refused to remove their three fellow legislators, despite the evidence presented by the National Anti-Drug Office and the senate.
Three legislators from the governing party Colorado (conservative), (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguays-Ruling-Party-Linked-to-Organized-Crime-20141110-0022.html) accused of being directly linked to criminal groups by the Senate, will still maintain their positions as national representatives, authorities from the Chamber of Deputies informed on Monday.
Despite evidence presented by the National Anti-Drug Office (Senad), legislators ruled that until the Attorney General's Office makes a formal request, they could not be dismissed and investigated.
Newspaper (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Many-Paraguayan-Politicians-Heavily-Linked-to-Drug-Trafficking-20141019-0035.html)Ultima Hora first revealed allegedly suspicious relationships (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Many-Paraguayan-Politicians-Heavily-Linked-to-Drug-Trafficking-20141019-0035.html) that Bernardo Villalba, Marcial Lezcano and Freddy D’Ecclesiis had with drug-traffickers. Then the Senate held a public presentation in the Chamber of Deputies (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguay-Legislators-Accused-of-Narco-Links-in-Plenary-Session--20141121-0050.html), and presented a denunciation before the Public Prosecutor (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Senate-Report-Evidences-Paraguays-Narcopolitics-20141124-0019.html) against the three legislators cited in the Senad report.
The evidence essentially consisted in wiretapped conversations with drug-traffickers from the northern part of the country, the Tri-Border Area between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, known for being a transnational hub of cocaine.
A journalist investigating these groups was recently assassinated in the region, (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguayan-Journalist-Murdered-20141017-0035.html) shortly before the country discovered how much its elites were involved in narcopolitics. (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguayan-Journalists-Union-Denounces-Narco-Politics-20141020-0077.html)
So far the three legislators have denied the accusations, although Villalba admitted that he did defend alleged drug-traffickers as a lawyer.
During an international congress organized by the progressive party Frente Guasu, Juan Pozo Alvarez, a Cuban official from the International Relations Department of the Communist Party, warned that “at all levels, there are people linked with drug-trafficking in the region.” He explained that although “we all convert ourselves into victims” of this plague, political parties are often tempted to take part in it and obtain indirect advantages from drug-trafficking, in an “opportunistic fashion.”
See more: Social Movements March Against Impunity in Paraguay (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Social-Movements-March-Against-Impunity-in-Paraguay-20141103-0064.html)
Paraguayan Mayor Linked to Murder of Journalist (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguayan-Mayor-Linked-to-Murder-of-Journalist-20141022-0037.html)
Paraguayan Guerrilla and Land Conflict: The Next Colombia?

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Paraguay-Legislators-Accused-of-Narcopolitics-Wont-Be-Removed-20141201-0057.html (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/Paraguayan-Guerrilla-and-Land-Conflict-The-Next-Colombia-20141008-0073.html)