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Paraguay could appeal Mercosur sanctions before the International Court of Justice

Monday, July 23rd 2012 - 19:16 UTC
Full article 17 comments
The International Court in The Hague The International Court in The Hague

Paraguay is prepared to demand Mercosur co-members before the International Court of Justice at The Hague for what it describes as “violation of signed treaties” and sustained “international isolation” following the rejection of an appeal to have sanctions lifted.

The land-locked country and Mercosur junior member was suspended a month ago from Mercosur following the removal of Fernando Lugo as president and his replacement by Federico Franco as a consequence of a political impeachment which complied with the procedure contemplated in the country’s Constitution.

Mercosur not only suspended Paraguay until next year’s elections, April 2013, but in the same act approved the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of the group, a decision which had been frozen for several years because the Paraguayan Senate would not vote the annexation.

Paraguay later appealed the sanctions to the Mercosur Standing Review Tribunal which on Sunday announced, on a divided decision, there was no rise to the demand since the case the needed procedural instances for the presentation of controversy cases had not been complied. Paraguay described the ruling as “unacceptable”.

“It is perfectly possible and feasible” that the government presents its case before the International court of Justice said Paraguayan sources from the Foreign Ministry which rejected the resolution from the Mercosur Standing Review tribunal.

“We are considering demanding Mercosur both for suspending Paraguay and for incorporating Venezuela with out the consent from Paraguay”, added the sources which were reproduced in all the Asuncion media on Monday.

Allegedly the Paraguayan case could be based in the violation of the Ouro Preto Treaty ratified not so long ago by the four full members and which states that “no country can be sanctioned when one of the signatories in absent”.

Another argument in consideration are the statements from Uruguayan president Jose Mujica during the Mendoza Mercosur summit when he justified the decisions saying that sometimes “the political must prevail over the juridical”

However opinions at the Paraguayan Foreign ministry are not unanimous since it is also aware that the Mercosur suspension extends until April 2013, when the general elections are scheduled, and by that time the demand could be senseless if the case extends much longer.

According to the same reports discussions at the Review Tribunal were “heated” since the Uruguayan member was against sanctions to Paraguay. The tribunal is made up of two Brazilian delegates and one each for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

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  • Spainexpat

    The ICJ would rule in Paraguay's favour, but more than likely the ruling would be ignored and it is doubtful it would ever get to that stage before next April.

    Jul 23rd, 2012 - 07:32 pm 0
  • EnginnerAbroad

    Another argument in consideration are the statements from Uruguayan president Jose Mujica during the Mendoza Mercosur summit when he justified the decisions saying that sometimes “the political must prevail over the juridical”

    Wow, statements like that could create a dangerous presedence in Mercsour law. i.e. if as long as WE fell it is in the best ploitical intrest we can disregard the actual laws and do what we want. Mercscour really is becoming closer in its new members political ideals than I first thought.

    Paraguay has a very strong case to put in front of the ICJ, Mercosur have disregarded and broken signed and ratified international agreements. The inclusion of Venezula is ilegal under Mercosur law. Be intresting to see what happends when the ICJ say just this and demand Venezula is removed. I see Paraguay leaving Mercosur and forming closer ties with Chile, Peru, EU and USA. The latters support they will probably obtained by allowing the US to build a milatry and air base in Paraguay along with insurnaces that they will defend Paraguay rights against its bully neighbours.

    Jul 23rd, 2012 - 07:41 pm 0
  • jerry

    Several times I have seen posts here about a U.S. military base in Paraguay. Where did this rumor(?) originate? I have never read about, nor talked to anybody, who has even mentioned a U.S. military base in Paraguay, nor the plans to have one. Can someone help?

    Jul 23rd, 2012 - 08:32 pm 0
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