WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
19 Jun 2007 | News

Paraguay’s Justice System Needs Credibility, says Fernando Lugo

Paraguayan presidential candidate Fernando Lugo Méndez said today he was deeply concerned about the high rates of corruption in his country, saying corruption was holding back its development, but that Paraguay “is feeling the new winds that are blowing through the region.”

“I don’t know of any country in which the justice system has so little credibility as in Paraguay,” said Lugo in an event sponsored by the Washington Office on Latin America and the George Washington University.

WOLA Executive Director Joy Olson introduced Lugo and praised the sincerity with which he has approached “issues involving the exclusion of large sectors of society, corruption, and the need for more equitable growth.”

Lugo said that “the lack of credibility in the justice system spills over into the electoral system, in which the authorities show a clear preference for the Colorado Party.” A former Roman Catholic bishop. Lugo currently leads opinion polls for Paraguay’s presidential elections next year in spite of the fact that he does not belong to an established political party.

In power since 1947, the Colorado Party is the world’s longest-ruling party currently in power.

Contact: Joel Fyke, Program Officer, (1 202) 797 2171, ext. 204; Roger Atwood, Communications Director, (1 202) 797 2171, ext. 211

Fernando Lugo and WOLA Executive Director Joy Olson at a WOLA/GW event on Monday, June 18 (Photo: Jeremy Bigwood)