Amnesty International calls for end of violence against women in Paraguay; Lugo announces revision in income tax laws; Cocaine production located in Ciudad del Este.
Amnesty International calls for the end of domestic violence in Paraguay
Amnesty International (A.I) this week released a statement condemning the situation of domestic violence in Paraguay following the death of a woman at the hands of her partner. The incident in question occurred on Thursday when a 31-year-old woman, Nancy Echevarría, was beaten repeatedly with a hammer and left for dead by her partner, Ricardo Aguilar, 48. Echevarría’s injuries proved fatal and she died 24 hours later in hospital.
On Friday, Aguilar was sent to Tacumbú Prison (a high security prison in a barrio of Asunción) where he is being charged with murder. It was later revealed that he had been living a double life and has a wife and children. Echevarría leaves behind three young children from a previous relationship.
A spokesperson from A.I said this week, “State power has the obligation not only to respect the rights of women and to prevent the abuses against their fundamental rights, but also to use their wherewithal to promote those rights, to protect them and to make them a reality.” They went on to say that women in Paraguay “continue to suffer violence and discrimination” and that “their rights aren’t respected” which in this case resulted in Echevarría’s death.
On International Women’s day the week beforehand, A.I in Paraguay had launched a reactionary campaign condemning domestic abuse with the slogan “violence against women in Paraguay is a reality, don’t let it become a tradition.” It revealed that according to the Secretaria de la Mujer (Department of Women) on average in 2011, 7 women per day reported cases of domestic abuse to the police.
Violence against women in Paraguay was propelled into the spotlight last August with the very public case of Adolfo Trotte, the ex director and barra brava (leader of a hooligan support group) of Olimpia (one the country’s famous football clubs) who murdered his wife, Sonia Vera and fled the country. He subsequently turned himself in at Clorinda (Northern Argentina) before being transported back to Paraguay by state police. Trotte attended his preliminary hearing on Friday where he admitted full responsibility for his actions saying “nobody has the right to kill anyone, I want to be judged for what I did.”
After the Trotte case, a new system of support was announced for women suffering domestic abuse with the establishment of a ‘violence hotline’ which women can reach by dialling 137.
A.I and the Women’s Department continue to fight against all types of abuse against women so that it won’t become a “cultural pattern handed down from generation to generation.“
Lugo announces the need for revisions in income tax laws
President of the Republic, Fernando Lugo, announced plans this week for a revision in income tax laws in Paraguay stating that “[Paraguayans] all need to pay income tax in order to ensure the development of our country.“
Paraguay currently has the lowest taxes in the region, paying just 13% in comparison to the 25% average in neighbouring countries. Lugo said that a raise in taxes was necessary in order for the country to be able to improve the condition of its basic services.
Lugo also took the opportunity to criticise certain groups of the population by reminding of the US$ 360 million payout that Paraguay is due to receive from Brazil from their joint venture, the Itaipú damn, which straddles the border of the two countries. He said that the problem now was oganising “how the money would be spent.“
Man arrested in conjunction with a cocaine production plant in Ciudad del Este
A man was arrested this week in Ciudad del Este (the Paraguayan city on the triple border with Argentina and Brazil) following the discovery of a cocaine production unit located on private property. The man was later identified as 50-year-old Carlos Eduardo Rodríguez, a Colombian citizen.
The anti-drugs unit of the national Police department arrived at the property on Saturday where they discovered an improvised lab which was used to refine the Cocaine from paste to powder.
In total, the Police located 875 grams Cocaine paste, two kilos of Phenacetin, one kils of Potassium Permanganate and 25 litres of Chloric Acid.
Paraguayan news website Paraguay.com reported that 5 similar arrests had been made in the region related to connecting crimes.