The World Health Organization (WHO) certified Paraguay as having eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to be granted this status since Cuba in 1973. “It gives me great pleasure today to certify that Paraguay is officially free of malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, in a recorded statement.
Paraguay will have a woman president for the first time in its history, at least temporarily, after outgoing leader Horacio Cartes decided to step down ahead of schedule. Vice-President Alicia Pucheta, 68, will complete Cartes' mandate after he resigned to become a senator.
Paraguay officially moved the country's embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, with President Horacio Cartes in Israel for the ceremony, also attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Paraguay, a member of Mercosur, is now the third country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, following the United States and Guatemala. The inauguration ceremony took place at noon at the embassy’s new home in the Malkha technology park, which also houses the Guatemalan embassy.
Paraguayan authorizes have issued an arrest warrant for a man President Horacio Cartes has described as his soul brother as part of a sweeping investigation into corruption in Latin America.
The European Union and Mercosur have made some progress on how to open their markets to cars, but ended free trade talks in Brussels on Friday with finger-pointing about who was holding up a deal. The EU and the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay began on-off negotiations towards a trade alliance in 1999, with a fresh impetus since 2016.
Paraguay's business-friendly ruling party lost fewer seats in Sunday's Senate election, than expected, ensuring strict fiscal policies while lessening chances of a tax hike on the key soy sector. Farmers in the world's No. 4 soybean exporter had feared that the new Senate might approves a measure, defeated last year, that would slap a 10% levy on exports.
Paraguay's Mario Abdo Benitez, “Marito”, who represents the country's long-dominant Colorado Party, was elected as president on Sunday, landing the top job in the country with the smallest economy in Mercosur. The US-educated son of a senior aide to the country's late dictator, Abdo Benitez won slightly more than 46% of the vote, with his centrist opponent Efrain Alegre taking almost 43% in a race that was far closer than expected.
Two instructors from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst gave a course on counterterrorism from 9-13 April at the Uruguayan Naval War College in Montevideo. The purpose of the course was to provide an introduction to the key principles of the fight against terorrism and its practical application through the British approach and the study of a wide range of contemporary cases.
Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla began this week her activities as head of the Organization of American States (OAS) mission that will observe Paraguay’s April 22 elections. During an event at Paraguay’s TSJE electoral court, Chinchilla and the president of the TSJE, Jaime Bestard, signed an agreement establishing the terms of the mission, which will include 39 observers from 14 countries.
With Latin America’s three most populous countries voting for president this year, it’s easy to overlook the election in landlocked Paraguay (population 7 million) that takes place on April 22.