News Alerts

14 Aug 2019 | 08:47 AM UTC

Paraguay: Further protests planned in Asuncion after clashes August 13 /update 1

Paraguay News Alert

Clashes between police forces and protesters reported at August 13 demonstration in Asuncion; further protests planned for August 15

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/14/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/17/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Asuncion). COUNTRY/REGION Asunción

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Event

Clashes have been reported between protesters and police at a demonstration in Asunción on Tuesday, August 13. Violence was at times used to disperse crowds.

Further protests have been scheduled for Thursday, August 15, to mark the one-year anniversary of President Mario Abdo Benitez's presidency. Police, however, have prohibited all protests. Organizers have stated they look to hold it anyway, as the ban is unconstitutional. Protests are likely to go ahead despite the ban, increasing the possibility of further clashes between protesters and police. As a result, police are keeping several roads closed in the city's center as of Tuesday, only accessible for those who live in the area.

The location of Thursday's protest is now unclear due to the road closures and heightened police presence, though should be expected across the city with little warning.

Associated transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence is likely in the vicinity of any protest.

Context

The public has been protesting the Itaipu agreement signed between Brazil and Paraguay, which implicates Paraguay's state-owned electricity company, raising its cost to over USD 200 million. The deal would establish new tariffs, allows the purchase of energy from the Itaipu dam, and was signed and kept secret for months. Four Paraguayan government officials have resigned since the pact was exposed.

Authorities have annulled the agreement on August 1, though President Abdo Benitez still faces calls for impeachment hearings. Should representatives allocate the number of votes, the impeachment process may begin in the coming weeks. An investigation is ongoing.

Advice

Individuals in Paraguay, and particularly Asuncion, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate localized disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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