The prison sentences of former ministers of Agriculture and Livestock Enzo Cardozo and Rody Godoy for fraud and breach of trust were confirmed Thursday by Paraguay's Supreme Court, which turned down the unconstitutionality actions filed by the defendants, who were therefore transferred to the national Tacumbú penitentiary for the next 10 and 7 years respectively.
Both former officials had been convicted on Nov. 28, 2022. Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals upheld their sentences, but they were both under house arrest.
Prosecutors had proven that between April 2012 and May 2013, the then Ministers of Agriculture and Livestock Enzo Cardozo and Rody Godoy authorized the disbursement of more than ₲ 68.9 billion (US$ 9.8 million) to finance fruit and vegetable projects for small producers nationwide.
However, the disbursements were made without any project to justify them. According to the records, all the projects were drafted after the resolutions were signed and were presented only after the rendering of accounts.
Cardozo authorized a total of 7 disbursements for more than ₲ 60 billion, while his successor authorized another three disbursements for over ₲ 8 billion.
Cardozo was Minister of Agriculture and Livestock during the government of President Fernando Lugo (2008-2012), while Godoy served under President Federico Franco (2012-2013). They are both from the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA).