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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 11:27 UTC



No plans for refugees turned down by UK to end up in Paraguay

Friday, February 23rd 2024 - 10:46 UTC
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Lord David Cameron and Foreign Minister Rubén Ramirez held a meeting on Tuesday. Lord David Cameron and Foreign Minister Rubén Ramirez held a meeting on Tuesday.

The British Embassy in Asunción Thursday denied press reports circulating in the Paraguayan capital according to which the South American country would be welcoming foreign refugees not accepted in the United Kingdom. The diplomatic mission insisted no negotiations in this regard had even been started and underlined that the sources and motives of Paraguayan outlets for publishing these reports were unknown to the legation.

Paraguayan media were clear to admit that there was “no concrete information” and that only “unofficial sources” were being quoted when saying that local Immigration authorities and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were working on reception mechanisms for refuge applicants and that these talks involved representatives from the United Kingdom.

Congressman Freddy Franco even voiced his concern for the conditions in which these foreigners would be welcomed, although he too admitted he was merely commenting on information he found through the press.

“Paraguay has always been characterized for being a hospitable country, for receiving immigrants, but to receive a large number of foreigners, we should analyze the purpose before anything else if it is with the intention that they come to work in Paraguay, obviously they must be paid the minimum wage,” he said in a radio interview.

He also asked President Santiago Peña to review the case which would also lead to the overcrowding of Paraguayan hospitals should these refugees need medical help.

According to a 2022 report from, then-UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman promoted talks to send immigrants to Paraguay and international media reported that the talks were at an advanced stage.

Read also: Lords call for the UK/Rwanda treaty to be delayed to improve asylum procedures

Peña did mention Thursday his government's intention to shut down some diplomatic missions abroad in a move to cut public spending, although he failed to mention which ones. The head of state argued that the country needed to refocus its priorities on the Middle East and Asia.

The Colorado leader spoke before the Paraguayan Industrial Union (UIP) of markets “which clearly today have what we want, which is financing, and which need what we have in abundance, which is production,” specifically in agriculture and manufacturing “which today is proving to be tremendously competitive beyond the borders of Mercosur.”

In this scenario, Peña admitted it was “no longer justified” to have a sizeable diplomatic mission wherever “there is no reciprocity with Paraguay.” Although he did not mention anyone in particular, press reports in Asunción hinted the embassies in Canada and Egypt would be suppressed in addition to consulates in Neuquén and Córdoba (Argentina), and Villamontes (Bolivia).

Peña also highlighted his country's ties with Brazil: “I have already met five times with President Lula da Silva,” he stressed. In this scenario, Paraguay plans to spend some US$ 121 million on six Brazilian-built A29 Super Tucano aircraft for its Air Force.


Categories: Politics, Brazil, Paraguay.

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