A Secret Energy Deal With Brazil Plunges Paraguay Into Crisis

President Mario Abdo Benitez speaks to the nation, accompanied by his wife Silvana Lopez Moreira, from the Palacio de Lopez in Asuncion, Paraguay, Aug. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).
President Mario Abdo Benitez speaks to the nation, accompanied by his wife Silvana Lopez Moreira, from the Palacio de Lopez in Asuncion, Paraguay, Aug. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).

Small, landlocked Paraguay has been engulfed in a political storm that has seen both its president and vice president nearly impeached in recent weeks. The crisis began on July 23 when Pedro Ferreira, the head of the National Electricity Administration, the state-owned energy company known as ANDE, resigned. Ferreira claimed that he was being pressured to add his signature to a secret energy deal with Brazil that had been negotiated behind closed doors by high-ranking officials in May. Ferreira described the deal as constituting “high treason.” The agreement, which was cancelled by Paraguay and Brazil on Aug. 1 as the […]

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