In his first month as president of Paraguay, Federico Franco has thrown open the doors of his country to foreign investments that have raised questions about environmental safety.
Paraguyan rights groups are disappointed at being denied access to a delegation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) sent in this week to discover the facts behind the impeachment and removal of President Fernando Lugo on Jun. 22.
Paraguay’s isolation, following the impeachment and ouster of President Fernando Lugo 11 days ago, has grown thanks to slender recognition for the new government and souring diplomatic relations with the neighbours.
The international community, and especially the rest of South America, could play a key role in the crisis triggered in Paraguay by the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo and his replacement by Federico Franco, his vice president.
The Paraguayan Congress removed President Fernando Lugo from office Friday in an impeachment trial that lasted only a few hours.
The move, formally based on the constitution, triggered an institutional crisis for the fragile democracy in this South American country, and has been rejected by the rest of Latin America.
The death of 16 landless peasants and police officers in a clash in northeastern Paraguay drew attention once again to the long-standing problem of land ownership in the country, where 85 percent of all farmland is owned by just two percent of the population.
A group of landless families occupying rural property claimed by large landowners in eastern Paraguay agreed to move to the Ñacunday National Park, defusing a tense situation.
"I want my own computer so that I can talk to my cousins who live in Italy," says eight-year-old Camila Ojeda, sitting in front of a computer monitor on a bus that acts as a mobile cybercafé in the Paraguayan capital.
"I go out with my cart and collect plastic bottles, cardboard, paper, plastic bags; that is my work," said Laura Cardozo, proud member of a recycling group that works the Paraguayan capital's streets.
Paraguay's economy is currently growing at the fastest rate in Latin America, due to by growing demand and high prices for agricultural products, especially soy, which is driving the expansion. But the question is whether the benefits of the boom will trickle down to the poor majority.
Just two months before the austral summer season begins, Lake Ypacaraí, centrepiece of Paraguay's campaign to promote tourism, has become the centre of attention for its polluted waters.
Small-scale agriculture based on the principles of solidarity and cooperation is the only way to guarantee food sovereignty in Latin America, said peasant and indigenous activists meeting in the Paraguayan capital this week.
The Fourth Americas Social Forum kicks off Wednesday in the Paraguayan capital with a colourful march through the streets, as some 12,000 people prepare to take part in the activities organised by 50 local groups and 550 organisations from Argentina to Canada.
A year ago, Ramona Pereira was stuck with humdrum domestic drudgery in a rural village in Paraguay. Now she is the leader of a committee of women dairy producers in her community, and at 38 she feels like a new woman.
Of the many things that are not within the reach of everyone in Paraguay, safe drinking water is the one the indigenous population longs for most.