Paraguay. On June 22, an overwhelming majority of members in both chambers of Congress voted to bring President Fernando Lugo to trial. The charges relate to “substandard performance of duties”, namely the President’s handling of certain specific issues. Some of them had constitutional grounds, such as the president’s failure to consult Congress before the signing of the democracy clause in the so-called Ushuaia II Protocol under the South American Free Trade Organization Mercosur, while others had obvious political character, such as the failure to implement land reform, which Lugo revealed not been alone though.
Vice President Federico Franco took over the office on the same day. The neighboring countries reacted with strong skepticism about the events in Paraguay and the country was temporarily excluded from Mercosur until April 2013 when presidential elections are held. The hardest in their condemnations were the heads of state in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Argentina, who characterized the event as a disguised coup and, among other things, called home his diplomatic staff. A summit was quickly convened in Mendoza, Argentina to discuss the situation, and the newly appointed President Franco was not invited. Franco, for his part, promised that the presidential elections will be held just as the Constitution requires. At the same time, he accused the other countries of having implemented a kind of coup within Mercosur by taking the opportunity to accept Venezuela’s entry into the organization.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Paraguay. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
The judicial process was triggered by several incidents in connection with the land reform in Paraguay. At the end of February, for example, landless peasants who occupied an area of land in the eastern part of the country to the national park ayacunday, which caused environmental activists to protest. Worst of all was the clashes between land occupants and police in the province of Canindeyú in mid-June where at least 17 people were shot dead.
According to countryaah, the population of Paraguay in 2012 was 6,688,635, ranking number 107 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.370% yearly, and the population density was 16.8355 people per km2.
The major foreign colonies are the Italian, Spanish and German ones. The Italian colony (about 9000 people) is very well seen and organized, and has eminent representatives in all branches of the country’s industrial life. Indeed, it has been the most important element of Paraguay’s development over the past decades. There are about 5,000 Germans, 40% of whom come from the Brazilian states of Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. About 6000 are the Spaniards, who live mainly in the cities, employed in industries and businesses. There are also numerous Catalans.
The relative population of Paraguay is just over 3 residents per sq. km, a figure that, in South America, is higher only than that of Bolivia. It should be noted that the population of the Paraguayan Chaco is estimated at only 67,500 residents, So that in eastern Paraguay the density would be 5 residents per sq. km.
The areas where the population is densest are found along the Paraguay River and especially in the countryside around the capital, Asuncion, which is home to about a tenth of the total population. While some departments of the center even exceed 20 and even 40 residents per sq. km. (Guairá 24.1; Paraguarí 42.7), the easternmost departments have almost all a density lower than that of the whole country. Asunción had 48,000 residents in 1857, down to 15,000 in 1869; in 1931 it reached 91,000 residents There are few other cities of any importance: Villarrica (10,000 residents) Is at the center of a very fertile agricultural district, on the central railway; Concepción (6000 residents), On the left bank of the Paraguay river, is the commercial center of the northern part of the republic, towards which the loads of mate, the products of quebracho ; Encamación (3000 residents) Is located on the Paraná opposite the Argentine Posadas (a ferry-boat service connects the Argentine section of the Buenos Aires-Asunción railway with the Paraguayan one).