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.
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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.