Monday afternoon, Paraguayan President Luis Gonzalez Macchi decreed the State of Siege for five days to check massive protests all over the country claiming for his resign. The measure has been announced by the Ministry of Internal Affair in a press conference.
Paraguay is being shaken by a wave of demonstrations, marches and road blocks organized by the militarist leader Lino Oviedo, who is currently exiled in Brazil. Oviedo is blamed of being responsible for the organization of several coups and conspiracy against the constitutional authorities. However, the ex-General is still popular among some sectors of the lower classes.
Protests had been announced some days ago and the Government reacted by mobilizing army troops and the police, to custody country borders and prevent possible attacks to public buildings. Oviedo, from Brazil had expressed his imminent return to Paraguay, from his long-time exile.
Lino Oviedo is wanted by the Paraguayan courts as the mastermind of the assassination of Mr. Luis Maria Argana, Vice – President of Paraguay in March 1999. The ex-General escaped to Argentina, where his personal friend and Argentina President Carlos Menem benefited him with political asylum.
After the end of Menem’s mandate in December 1999, Oviedo left Argentina and was found in Brazil running away from the police and disguised in woman clothes. Sued in Brazil, was declared non guilty and started looking for revenge against his opponents; President Luis Gonzalez Macchi is among them.
On the other hand, Paraguay is in the middle of a serious economical crisis aggravated by Argentina collapse and Brazilian instability. Today, both the political and the economical factors forecast storming times for its citizens.
Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.RU Argentina
Photo : Ex-General Lino Oviedo on his way back. (Reuters)