Paraguay is legalizing the situation of Brazilians who live and work around the city of Katueté, located in the state of Canindeyú, that lies on the border with Brazil. The fact is that Canindeyú is rural and most of the farming is done by Brazilians (soy, wheat and cassava) who have a reputation as hard-working.
The industry in the state runs predominantly on Brazilian capital. The area is famous for being the center of what Paraguayans call “a new cultural component, the Brasiguayo population.”
For the last two weeks Paraguayan authorities have been in Katueté and the surrounding area working with local officials on documents and bureaucratic processes.
But in Paraguay, the problem of the Brasiguayos pales next to others. After the coup in Honduras last year many observers said that the next candidate for failed state in Latin America was Paraguay.
All the ingredients are present. There is an armed, leftist guerrilla movement and a powerful drug cartel. The government is weak, corruption is rampant and commerce is powered by a huge shadow economy.
The guerrillas have links to the FARC in Colombia, the drug lords have links to criminal organizations in Brazil. And there is a real danger of all the bad guys linking up and creating a critical mass.
That came close to happening last week when a Paraguayan senator (and former governor), famous for combating corruption and drugs, was shot in an assassination attempt. Two of the senators aides were killed. So far the police have arrested four suspects in the crime – all of them Brazilians.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, in a border town on Monday. Suffice it to say that there were some worries about security – the town, on the Brazilian side of the border, where the presidents met in lies just across the border from where last week’s assassination attempt occurred.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is looking for a new secretary general. The organization, which was formed in 2008 by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guiana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, seeks to coordinate political, economic and social activities, especially in the areas of energy, telecommunications, science and education – with emphasis on the adoption of regional financial mechanisms.
Since its creation UNASUR has been presided over by a president of one of the member countries. At the moment the office is temporarily occupied by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. However, there is a consensus that it is time to elect a secretary general and Nestor Kirchner of Argentina, a deputy and former president, who is also the husband of the president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, was chosen for the post.
Besides electing a secretary general, UNASUR also discussed setting up a South American fund for reconstruction of Haiti and a position with regard to the November election in Honduras.
Some South American countries remain concerned about the political moral hazard of recognizing the victory of Porfirio Lobo, which came about after the overthrow of an elected government headed by Manuel Zelaya.
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