Paraguay. According to COUNTRYAAH, Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay which is located in South America. The ruling National Republican Organization-Colorado Party (ANR-PC) lost big in the municipal elections held November 15. Most notable was the loss of the mayor’s post in the capital Asuncion, where the party ruled for 14 years and considered the key to President Horacio Cartes being re-elected as President in 2018. Now the post went to Mario Ferreiro from the leftist coalition Juntos Podemos (Together we can) who promised to fight tax evasion and poverty in the city. Otherwise, ANR-PC won in more municipalities than in the last municipal elections in 2010, but lost at the same time in the most populous, including five provincial capitals. The largest opposition party The True Liberal Radical Party (PLRA) took power in six of the country’s largest cities.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Paraguay country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
President Carte’s government was also affected by allegations of corruption. In May, a tavern was unveiled where the police were involved in illegal fuel purchases. At about the same time, Paraguay’s legal community presented evidence that a secretary at the National Audit Office received bribes. The opposition accused the Office of the Auditor General Óscar Rubén Velázquez to be behind the scheme and demanded the departure of his and Home Secretary Francisco de Varga. In June, the media then published an audio recording that allegedly documented a conversation between a convicted Brazilian drug lord and government officials revealing the authorities’ links to organized crime. Among other things, the state drug police would have been paid in exchange for information.
Two of the country’s farmer organizations conducted several protest marches to Asuncion in February with a total of 2,500 participants. The most serious protests concerned the government’s plans for mineral extraction in a national park in the Chaco region near the border with Bolivia. Both the World Wildlife Fund WWF and local environmental organizations and the indigenous people of the area protested against the project.
In December, Paraguay suffered the worst floods in 50 years as the Paraguay River rose over its banks. About 100,000 people were evacuated in the capital Asuncion.
Paraguay – An internal and isolated country
Paraguay is among the very few states in South America and the landlocked world, although it has navigable rivers to their mouths. Isolation, communication difficulties, scarcity of resources have hindered its population and economic development: the vast grasslands, useful as pastures, are its main asset, but international cooperation is the most promising prospect.
Land of Indians
Divided from north to south by the great river that gave the country its name, the western (Chaco) and eastern regions of Paraguay are very different: the former is semi-arid, depopulated and suitable only for pastoralism; the second is covered by grasslands and, on the reliefs, by forests; almost the entire population is concentrated in its central-southern part. The climate is subtropical, rainy in the east; in the rainy season the rivers overflow and flood the prairies. Wildlife and wildlife are still very rich.
The residents are Guaranì Indians and mestizos: very few Europeans, because the country has never attracted a strong immigration: on the contrary, it is a land of emigration.
Paraguay is not rich in resources and livestock – and to some extent agriculture – is still the main support of the economy. The few industries, almost all linked to the agri-food sector, are concentrated in the capital Asunción, a modern and populous city (1,620,000 residents). Economic cooperation with neighboring states is progressively improving conditions in the country.
A long way towards democracy
Originally inhabited by Indian tribes, Paraguay was joined in the 16th century by Europeans and explored, on behalf of Spain, by Sebastiano Caboto in 1526-32. In 1537 the city of Asunción (the current capital) was founded, which became one of the most important centers of Spanish colonization. Between the 16th and 17th centuries the town was joined by the Jesuits who founded a series of communities, the reducciones, in which they gathered the indigenous peoples in order to educate them, to evangelize them and to promote forms of economic and social development inspired by the model of evangelical communism. In 1750, when Spain decided to cede part of Paraguayan territory to Portugal, the Jesuits led the resistance of the communities through an armed conflict that weakened the missions. The experience of the reducciones ended in 1767, when the Jesuits were expelled from Spain.
In 1811 Paraguay gained independence. From 1814 to 1870 it was dominated by dictatorial governments, which ultimately led the country to a disastrous war against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (1864-70). A phase of political instability followed after 1870, in a context of substantial backwardness. Relative economic growth only took place in the early 20th century. A new war with Bolivia (1932-35), although victorious, destabilized the country, favoring the rise to power of the military. Particularly hard was the dictatorship established by Alfredo Stroessner, in government from 1954 to 1989. More and more opposed in the country and abroad, Stroessner was finally deposed by a coup. The military government came to power, and later reconfirmed in free elections, he promised the return of democracy and adopted a liberal economic policy. The following years, in which democracy also consolidated, were nevertheless marked by profound political instability, the permanent influence of the military, substantial economic stagnation and serious internal unrest.