Jul 02 2012

Paraguayan President Ousted In a Coup Linked to Giant Agribusiness, Monsanto

Paraguayan activists and journalists are condemning the June 22 ouster of president Fernando Lugo as a “parliamentary coup” following a one day impeachment trial resulting in a 39-4 Senate vote to impeach the reformist leader. The decision brought out protesters in Paraguay’s capital, Asuncion, where 2,000 people camped out in front of the nation’s Congress, while rural farmers and peasant organizations blocked roads in the countryside. Meanwhile, Lugo’s removal and his replacement by vice president Frederico Franco has been met with concern and suspicion from other South American governments. Presidents from Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela on Friday withheld recognition of the new government, while members of the regional trade bloc Mercosur suspended Paraguay’s membership in the organization. The United States State Department in comments made last week, urged calm but had yet to issue a definitive reaction to the coup. Writing for the Guardian, US economist Mark Weisbrot criticized the tepid US response saying, “The conclusion is obvious: any rightwing faction, military or civilian, that can overthrow a democratically elected, left-of-center government, will get support from the United States government.”

Lugo, whose 2008 election ended the 60-year reign of the conservative Colorado party, campaigned on a platform of land reform in a country where just 2% of the population controls over 75% of the arable land. The move to oust Lugo came on the heels of a shootout between peasant farmers and police that killed 17. The peasants were occupying land owned by former Colorado party senator, Blas N. Riquelme, one of Paraguay’s richest men.

Despite claims by Franco that his rise to power is constitutional, many Paraguayans have expressed fears that Lugo’s removal means an end to this generation’s chance at democracy. It also casts doubt on the countries ability to resolve its crippling poverty, which afflicts over a third of its population.

GUEST: Javiera Rulli, Argentinian researcher who has written extensively on Paraguay

One response so far

One Response to “Paraguayan President Ousted In a Coup Linked to Giant Agribusiness, Monsanto”

  1. Jason Flores-Williamson 30 May 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Trial Attorneys † Advocates † Defenders

    Amado St† Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 † 505-469-5050 † Jfw@jfwlaw.net


    Dear Friends at Uprise:

    Thank you for your outstanding work.

    My law office has begun to litigate against Monsanto. We are the forefront of community organization here, developing several class actions as well temporary restraining orders to enjoin the merger between Monsanto and Syngenta. Here our litigation is covered in Vice and blow this is the speech I gave at last Saturday’s March Against Monsanto.

    In July, I am going to Uruguay and Paraguay. I would like to connect with food security activists/farmers/organizers there in contemplation of filing an action with the international court, and, depending on jurisdictional and standing issues, here in the United States. This is all of course pro bono. These countries are affected by Monsanto and should be empowered to seek redress in the United States.

    It would be outstandingly helpful if you have connections in either Uruguay or Paraguay that would enable us to begin a dialogue—helping in whatever way we can—these nations in defense of their food supplies.


    /s/Jason Flores-Williams, Esq.