Weekly Report - 28 July 2022 (WR-22-30)

US shakes up Paraguayan politics

A bolt from the blue could potentially reshape Paraguayan politics and the fight against organised crime. Former president Horacio Cartes (2013-2018) was blacklisted by the US Department of State on 22 July, accused of “involvement in significant corruption”. Cartes has a powerful hold over a significant part of the ruling Asociación Nacional Republicana-Partido Colorado (ANR-PC), which in turn has held a stranglehold on the presidency since 1948 bar a five-year hiatus directly before his term in office. Allegations of corruption have swirled around Cartes for years, with his Tabacalera del Este SA (Tabesa) tobacco company accused of providing a legal front for a cigarette-smuggling empire. Cartes has appeared untouchable - but that could be about to change. The US blacklisting stirred Paraguay’s congress into action, and it has moved to impeach the attorney general, long suspected of shielding Cartes from prosecution.

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