Paraguay. On June 29, the former Army Chief and General Lino Oviedo voluntarily returned from his five-year exile in Argentina and Brazil. He was sentenced to ten years in prison in March 1999 for a military uprising against the government in April 1996, and is also charged with lying behind the assassination of Vice President Luis María Argaña in 1999. His return was surrounded by a major security dispute because the authorities feared a riot in solidarity with Oviedo from his followers, but nothing happened.
The issue of land reform was hot during the year. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Paraguay is 7,132,549 people in 2020. Farmer organizations, which represent the 30% of the population who do not own any land, have increased the occupations of unused land which they claim amount to an area of 100,000 hectares. In January, actions in the province of Caaguazú led to clashes with police, where two people were killed and eight injured. On September 24, the farmer’s umbrella organization then agreed with the government to accept a proposal for the immediate distribution of 13,000 hectares of land to landless farmers in exchange for an end to the land occupations initiated during the year. A week later, a land ownership tax was also introduced, which is estimated to bring in up to $ 125 million to be used for land reform. But some farmer organizations instead increased the occupations in December.
Paraguay – Asuncion
Asunción, the capital of Paraguay; 523,200 residents (2018), with suburbs 2. 3 million. Asuncion, Paraguay’s only major city, completely dominates the country’s social, cultural and economic life and is further the center of education and communication. Foreign transport is mainly via Argentina (road connection via bridge over the Paraguay River; rail via Encarnación in southeast Paraguay). A large part of the country’s exports (wood, cotton, soybeans, etc.) are shipped by riverboats from the port of Asuncion. Asuncion has a diverse industry, partly based on the region’s agricultural products.
The city was founded in 1537 (beginning with Marie Ascension Day, hence the name – Spanish Asuncion means ‘Ascension’). It was once the center of Spanish colonial politics in eastern South America, until it was overrun by Buenos Aires in the 17th century. In 1811, Asuncion became the capital of the then-formed Paraguay. The city has beautiful remains of Spanish colonial architecture.