Updates on Paraguay – The Supreme Court, the OAS, and New Trade Alliances(?)

As was expected, the Organization of American States released its report on the removal of Fernando Lugo from the presidency. The investigation criticized the Paraguayan Congress’s “poor performance” but ultimately rejected the idea that Paraguay should be suspended from the OAS, arguing that suspension would only hurt both Paraguay’s economy and society and the region’s ability to influence Paraguay via diplomatic means. Of course, not all OAS members agreed with the investigation; Brazilian OAS representative Breno Dias de Costa commented that the OAS “can’t send the message that a rupture in the democratic order is considered something trivial.”

Meanwhile, dealing with its suspension from Mercosur, Paraguayan industrialists called on the country to look to trade agreements beyond Mercosur, including the newly-formed Pacific Alliance of Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico, in order to maintain foreign trade and economic stability.

Finally, although it has been almost three weeks since Lugo’s impeachment, the political process has not come to an end, as yesterday Paraguay’s Supreme Court agreed to consider Lugo’s lawyers’ appeal that the execution of the impeachment was unconstitutional. While it seems unlikely that the Court will overturn the impeachment for any number of reasons, from the political to the economic to the social, that doesn’t mean it is outside the realm of possibility. Again, just because Lugo is out of office does not mean this process is yet over. If nothing else, hopefully the Court’s decision will better define how impeachment in Paraguay should operate in practice, so as to prevent any further institutional coups like the one Paraguay’s Congress effected in its removal of a president who by almost all accounts had not violated the Constitution.


About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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