Paraguay's Supreme Court has elected Antonio Fretes with 8 votes as Chief Justice for the fifth time, it was announced Wednesday. He has already chaired one of the country's branches of Government in 2005/2006, 2009/2010, 2013/2014, 2015/2016 and now 2022/2023.
Fretes will turn 74 March 10 and is due to retire next year, which is why eight of his colleagues chose to give him the chance to round up his career from the helm of the Supreme Court.
Alberto Martínez Simón was elected Deputy Chief Justice and Manuel Ramírez Candia will be third in line. But Ramírez Candia resigned his appointment and Justice Carolina Llanes was named instead, it was reported.
After thanking his colleagues for their vote, Fretes vowed to do everything in his power to uphold Justice in the country. “This is something we must all carry out together,” he stressed.
Fretes also said one of his priorities would be to continue strengthening access to justice for vulnerable people, especially children and adolescents in situations of violence, in addition to strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights.
The Judge announced he would try to get an autonomous building for magistrates who handle these cases.
Fretes also insisted on the importance of the press, which needs to be an ally in the construction of transparency and credibility.
In February of last year, César Diesel Junghanns was elected Chief Justice for 2021/2022, with César Garay Zuccolillo and Luis María Benítez Riera next in the order of succession.
Earlier this month, Paraguay's Judiciary came under the spotlight when magistrates and prosecutors were reportedly involved in a blackmail scandal, while the Attorney General's Office is said to have shelved complaints against Paraguayan politicians.