Paraguay's Public Prosecutor's Office Tuesday announced it would launch an investigation into the allegations of the United States Embassy in Asunción whereby Vice President Hugo Velázquez and his family were added to the State Department's list of significantly corrupt individuals.
Attorney General Sandra Quiñónez appointed Prosecutors Liliana Alcaraz and Osmar Legal from the Special Economic Crimes and Anticorruption Units to handle the case.
US Ambassador Marc Ostfield said on August 12 that Velázquez had obstructed an investigation against him by offering a US$ 1 million bribe.
For the same case, the United States also sanctioned former prosecutor and Yacyretá Binational Entity (EBY) legal advisor Juan Carlos Duarte, a close aide of the Vice President and who would have allegedly been the link
between him and the official to be bribed. After learning of the US sanction, Duarte was sacked by EBY's Paraguayan Director and former President Nicanor Duarte Frutos.
Velázquez had announced he would resign but changed his mind a week later on the grounds that the US measure bore no criminal consequences other than a ban from entering that country or managing any assets he might have there. The Vice President only stepped down from next year's presidential race.
Former President Horacio Cartés and his family have also been blacklisted by the Joseph Biden administration.