Conectas condemns assault on democracy in Paraguay
Organization expresses concern over Honduran precedent and calls for firm stance by regional bodies in defense of the institutional order
June 26, 2012
The ousting of Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo is an assault on democracy, as it blatantly violates the basic principles of the right to defense and due legal process, placing at risk the democratic gains achieved at great cost in Latin America’s recent history. For these reasons, it should be denounced quickly, clearly and firmly by all countries in the region, both individually and as a block. Conectas also commends the official responses from the region criticizing Lugo’s removal from office.
The accusations against the Paraguayan president should – just like in any other democratic system where solid institutions uphold democracy – observe due legal process, one of the pillars of which is the right to defense, in the time and circumstances appropriate to the severity of the charges.
The coup in Honduras, three years ago, illustrates how institutional breaches veiled as bureaucratic and procedural acts can ambush democracy in the region and deteriorate the human rights situation. As a result, Conectas is urging governments to draw on remedies available from regional organizations such as the OAS, Unasul and Mercosur to stand in defense of democracy in Paraguay, or otherwise risk a setback whose effects will be harmful not only for Paraguay, but also for the whole of Latin America.