22 may. 2024

The risks of stirring the hornet’s nest

There is no doubt that the denunciation by the Interior Minister, Arnaldo Giuzzio, and the case of Pastor Emilio Abreu, stirred up and overheated the oppressive atmosphere of January. Both generated debate to the point of polarization and highlighted deep issues that go beyond mere controversy.

The Giuzzio versus Horacio Cartes case has strong political implications and hits the electoral stage. The Interior Minister, whom the cartismo has declared as its enemy number one since his appointment in an area that it managed at will, made a bold and risky move by denouncing the former president of the Republic for the alleged commission of money laundering from smuggling, illicit enrichment and false statement. He did not do it before the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the natural agency for this type of denunciation, but before the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Asset Laundering (Seprelad). This decision was disqualified by the cartismo spokesmen and some jurists as a childish mistake.

But to point out that former prosecutor Giuzzio made a legal error by choosing this route is even more childish. It is public knowledge that the Prosecutor’s Office is co-opted by the cartismo. It is enough to look at the cases of politicians prosecuted for corruption which, if there were no media or citizen pressure, would remain in the freezer, in the eternal paperwork of impunity.

Giuzzio took a curve to then directly attack the case before the Prosecutor’s Office, which will have less room for maneuver with the documentation presented by Seprelad, SET (Secretariat for Taxation) and other institutions. But here, Seprelad is the key. It is one of the few agencies that are not under the control of the former president. Seprelad’s Minister is Carlos Arregui, also a former prosecutor and considered another enemy of the tobacco industry owner. This institution will provide the most substantial information, as it will get reports from its peers around the world, especially from Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Aruba and the United States. This is also a way to gain time. If the Prosecutor’s Office was the first instance, the case would have been delayed or dismissed. As it was known, the Prosecutor’s Office was prepared to receive the denunciation with the strategy already studied, and like many, was surprised by the “bypass” of the Minister of the Interior.

Beyond the accusations, the point that draws the most attention is the presentation of the denunciation against the most powerful politician in the country, who does not spare institutional norms to achieve his objectives. Undoubtedly, it has an electoral connotation. Cartes not only disputes the presidency of the Republic again (via Santiago Peña), but is also a candidate for the presidency of ruling party ANR. The fact that Giuzzio has done it, speaks of the consent of President Mario Abdo Benítez and a protection beyond borders, and the United States inevitably appears on that horizon. Whether myth or reality, it is difficult to believe that such a move does not have an international wink.

We will see how far the vice president and presidential candidate Hugo Velázquez steps on the accelerator, whose campaign axis is to shoot against Cartes’ economic capacity. “They can’t even take their money to Foz do Yguazu, they need the State for their business,” he said days ago.

Beyond the electoral dispute, this denunciation is a battle with the flavor of war. It is difficult to predict the end. For now, this situation confirms why Cartes has always requested the heads of Giuzzio and Arregui, who today are the real stone in his shoes.

ABREU’S CASE. The serious health condition of the evangelical pastor who directs the “Centro Familiar de Adoración”, a church attended by powerful members of politics, unleashed the anger of a sector of the population. Emilio Abreu will undergo a bone marrow transplant at the IPS, thanks to an agreement with the Institute of Ablation and Transplantation (dependent on the Ministry of Health), which exonerates any beneficiary from paying the costs. This intervention is estimated at between 200,000 and 300,000 dollars, according to Dr. Gustavo Melgarejo, head of INAT. The controversy was generated because he is not an IPS insured and because of the speed of the resolution (8 days), in addition to his economic capacity. Although the family and the health authorities deny it, the case stands out for the privilege and the smell of influence peddling. And that is the reason for the indignation, not his right to health, which now to justify, the health authorities recite the importance of universal coverage for all Paraguayans. The reason for the anger is precisely the inequality in the treatment, for that desperate pilgrimage and even the death of many people with no ties to power, as could be seen from the countless testimonies that appeared.

May the Abreu case points towards a universal public health system, without privileges or exclusions.

Más contenido de esta sección
No se admitirá a homosexuales. Tampoco chicos con aritos ni tatuajes. No se admitirá a jóvenes que solo hablen guaraní o aquellos que visten todo de negro, se pinten el pelo o usen ropa oversize. No se admitirá nenes que usen camiseta rosa o niñas que lleven el pelo corto como varones o usen piercing o cualquier otra “cosa rara” que pueda incidir en el resto del grupo.