The state is a fiction

Estela Ruíz Díaz Por Estela Ruíz Díaz

That was the evaluation of a former senior presidential official to explain in a private meeting the inability of the institutional apparatus to solve people’s problems, whether due to corruption, inefficiency, indolence or negligence. Between resigned and defeated, he said that, even with the pen in his hand, the orders are lost in the tangle of interests of the different political and economic factions that have hijacked the State. Sectors ranging from the most powerful to fifth-class officials who put the stick on the wheel. All this, thanks to the weak institutional architecture designed to hinder or slow down changes and favor the eternally privileged.

The acts of corruption of the different institutions are not new, one more rogue than another, but it is different to know the details, individualize the names and understand the modus operandi of those who pervert the State. The metastasis of this cancer is so wide that the few who fulfill their function by making strenuous efforts to move the heavy and onerous machinery are overwhelmed by unfaithful and corrupt officials. Then, the worst happens: why be responsible, honest and efficient, if the biggest prize goes to others, the rogues, the accomplices, the scoundrels.

NON-VIABLE. According to current events, today we see how the Police is under the spotlight for the involvement of its members in drug trafficking. The Prosecutor's Office is not far away, although with greater institutional dissimulation: shelving of hot political cases, delays in indictments, weak investigations, or directly acting as scroungers of the political adversaries of the moment. It is not by chance that the former Attorney General, Díaz Verón, is being prosecuted for enrichment and money laundering, or that a former minister of the Supreme Court of Justice, Óscar Bajac, is on trial for bribery.

Today the political trial of the Attorney general, Sandra Quiñónez, is being debated. Although she is part of the colorado dispute, her administration has lost credibility and trust due to the political submission and corruption of many of its members who impudently display their ill-gotten money. Beyond the debate on the votes to remove its head, the Public Prosecutor's Office has never before reached such a level of degradation in which due obedience is no longer disguised. If she saves her skin, it will only be for the political protection of those who want to keep the institution under their dominions.

The police are in the same situation. While they are accomplices of drug traffickers, smugglers and every criminal circulating in the Republic, they persecute citizens who walk dogs. If the Ministry of the Interior and the Police Command do not clean-up their ranks, there will be no spectacular operation to wash their faces. Only a deep purge will disinfect the police ranks.

Each issue, each controversy reveals how destroyed the institutions are. Not long ago it was the Ministry of the Environment that not only demonstrated its inability to safeguard the ecosystem, but has also been part of the ecocide, Congress is no longer even astonishing, and the Judiciary is unable to shake off its destructive elements. Wasn't it that the immobility of the Supreme Court would result in greater judicial independence? Since 2009, the ministers successively declare themselves quasi-perpetual in their positions (they retire at age 75), but the Justice has not shown significant progress. Paraguay remains one of the world's most corrupt and an unreliable nation for investments.

Thus, successively in the daily events, in the eternal pilgrimage of the search for solutions, the citizen feels more and more that the State, which should provide solutions, sounds more and more like a utopian invention.

It works, of course, not to achieve the great transformations that the country has needed for decades, but to confirm privileges and increase inequalities.

For the ruling elites, the State is a reality.

For the rest of the common people, who expect that their lives will improve with better education, health, security and quality public services, for them, the State is a fiction.

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