120 Inmates, Gangsters and Guerrillas Take Over Paraguay Prison

The incident follows the announcement that Paraguay’s biggest prison—and one of the most overcrowded in Latin America—will soon be closed.

A group of at least 120 inmates in the Tacumbú prison in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, barricaded themselves after taking two prison guards as hostages, local media reported.

RELATED: Paraguay Campesinos Sentenced for 2012 Coup-Sparking Massacre

The mutiny began Wednesday morning during a routine check, with prisoners getting upset and a riot breaking out. Two guards were taken hostage in the facility’s hall—where the most dangerous prisoners are kept—but were released 15 minutes later with injuries in the head and neck, according to authorities.

The prisoners involved in the incident reportedly belong to the Paraguayan People's Army, or EPP, an offshoot called the Armed Peasant Association, ACA, as well as Brazil's First Capital Command, PCC.

The incident follows an announcement that the prison will soon be closed and its inmates transferred to other penal facilities, with most of the inmates scheduled to be sent to the Emboscada jail, 40 miles north of Asuncion. The prison's expansion was recently completed.

Tacumbu prison is Paraguay’s biggest jail and one of the most overcrowded in Latin America, with a population of more than 3,000 inmates. The facility has been frequently criticized for prisoner abuse and poor human conditions.

Riot police and the special forces entered the prison and are talking with inmates to normalize the situation without having to use force.

  • Published in World

Paraguay’s Ousted Leader to Run in 2018 Presidential Election

The leftist candidate was endorsed by Indigenous and other grassroots organizations, during an event in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion. 

The Guasu Front, which is the main leftist electoral alliance in Paraguay, confirmed on Saturday that former president Fernando Lugo will run for the presidency in the 2018 general election.

RELATED: 5 Points About the 2012 Parliamentary Putsch Against Paraguay's Lugo

Lugo served as president of Paraguay from 2008 until June 22, 2012, when his tenure was prematurely cut short in what most leaders in the region branded a "parliamentary coup."

During an event in the Paraguayan capital in which Lugo addressed crowds, the leftist candidate was endorsed by social movements, Indigenous and grassroots organizations.

"The Front Guasu entered in the political arena to stay, we did not come to do a fashion show or exhibitionism in Paraguayan politics, we came to stay and transform our history," said Lugo.

When he became president of Paraguay, Lugo broke the six-decade rule of the right-wing Colorado Party and was seen as part of the progressive wave of leaders elected through Latin America, sometimes called the "Pink Tide."

But the former Catholic priest was removed from office by Congress in a trial that lasted just 24 hours.

RELATED: Paraguay's Curuguaty Massacre A Pretext for a Coup

Dominated by the Colorado Party, the Senate voted to impeach Lugo using the “Massacre of Curuguaty” as a pretext, a tragedy that resulted in the death of 17 people: 11 campesinos and 6 police officers, and a further 80 people being wounded.

Evidence after Curuguaty points to the incident being used by the opposition to destabilize Lugo's administration. But on Sunday Lugo said his campaign is better prepared than it was in 2008, when he ended the Colorado Party's historic hegemony, also criticizing the current administration of Horacio Cartes as a neoliberal one in favor of the nation's rich minority. 

  • Published in World

18% Approval Drop in 8 Months for Argentine President Macri

Those that disapproved of Macri most are those taking the brunt of his neoliberal economic policies.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s approval rating has plummeted since he first assumed office, according to a study released Sunday, the most dramatic fall coming from lower-income regions, which have most severely felt the consequences of his economic policy.

RELATED: Poverty Increases by 5% in Argentina Under Mauricio Macri

Entering office with a rating of 72 percent in January, Macri is now holding onto a 46 percent approval rating: a drop of about 18 percent, recorded a study conducted by Poliarquia Consultores.

Only 19 percent of respondents have a positive view of the situation in Argentina, compared to 42 percent that view it negatively; two-thirds found Macri responsible. Those that found the situation normal, or neutral, attributed it to former president Cristina Kirchner by 73 percent.

“Society evaluated the current situation critically and with great concern, but at the same time keeps high expectations with respect to the future,” said Poliarquia Consultores Director Alejandro Catterberg.

Macri polled the worst among respondents with a primary education—a quarter of respondents that previously supported Macri now do not approve of him—and in the northern and southern regions most affected by high inflation and a rise in the cost of public utilities.

  • Published in World

Venezuela: Support for Government-Opposition Dialogue Stressed

Caracas, Jun 2 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez cataloged today as a victory for her country within the OAS the support for the dialogue between the government and the opposition with the accompaniment of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur, in Spanish).

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed