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Weekly Report - 4 February 2021 (WR-21-05)

PARAGUAY: Opposition leader denounces political persecution

Efraín Alegre, the president of the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (PLRA), Paraguay’s main opposition party, has decided to take a stance against what he believes is an attempt by the judiciary to persecute him politically. Alegre has opted to go to jail rather than be put on trial for what he claims are spurious charges. Alegre’s actions have produced a commotion. The political opposition and local media are warning that his detention is a sign of the growing co-optation of the judiciary by the ruling Asociación Nacional Republicana-Partido Colorado (ANR-PC), and of a dangerous weakening of democracy. With Alegre increasingly viewed as a political martyr by some, his case has heightened political tensions and could be a catalyst for unrest.

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