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Man hurt in clash with Paraguayan police loses his eye

Asuncion, Jan 23 (EFE).- A man who took a rubber bullet in the eye when he and other peasants clashed with Paraguayan police deployed to protect a tractor spraying toxic pesticides near their homes will lose his eye, a hospital director told Efe Thursday. Anibal Alegre, 67, is undergoing surgery at the Emergency Medical Center, Dr. Anibal Filartiga said.

Latin America Facebook launches Guarani language site in 3-month experiment for Paraguay

ASUNCION, Paraguay - Paraguayans can now navigate social media, post and poke in their country's main indigenous language following the launch of a Guarani version of Facebook. The version with Guarani settings will be available in Paraguay for three months. It will then be evaluated in light of disputes over Guarani spelling and usage. Guarani is spoken by the majority of Paraguayans, and Guarani teacher Tadeo Zarratea says it has three versions: traditional, academic and yopara, which is a mix of Spanish and traditional Guarani.

Paraguay president's son faces assault charges in US

Juan Pablo Cartes, oldest son of Paraguay President Horacio Cartes, was freed on bail in the United States after a weekend arrest for assault, a prison spokesman said Monday. Cartes was released "Sunday afternoon after paying $15,000" bail, said a spokesman for Miami's Turner Guilford Knight jail. The 29-year-old was arrested in Bal Harbour, just north of Miami Beach, Sunday morning and must appear in court within three to six weeks, the spokesman said. The Paraguayan president's son lives in Miami where he is a student, according to local media reports.

Drug trafficking trial underway for Paraguay leader's relative

A trial has begun in Uruguay for a relative of Paraguay's president Horacio Cartes, who faces charges of drug trafficking, Uruguayan officials said. Juan Domingo Viveros Cartes, a cousin of the president's father, is being prosecuted for "a crime of trafficking illicit drugs," according to a statement from the Interior Ministry released late Friday. He was arrested July 29, when he was caught flying a Cessna 210 plane registered to Paraguay without proper permission in northern Uruguay. He was intercepted by the Uruguayan Air Force and forced to land.

Five killed by leftist guerrillas in Paraguay

Leftist guerrillas kidnapped and killed five guards who worked for a cattle ranch north of Asuncion, police said Sunday. Another police officer was wounded in an ambush when he and other officers arrived on the scene. Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas attributed the deaths to the Paraguayan People's Army, a Marxist guerrilla group. It was the first attack by the group since the swearing-in Thursday of conservative businessman Horacio Cartes to a five-year term as president.

Thousands in Paraguay slam political corruption

Asuncion, Jun 22 (EFE).- A crowd some 3,000 strong marched Saturday through the streets of downtown Asuncion after gathering in front of Congress to denounce corruption and berate Paraguay's politicians. Close to 3,000 people rallied in the Plaza de Armas, just a few meters (yards) from the National Congress, where union leaders, local politicians, activists and citizens of all kinds took turns addressing the crowd over a public microphone.

Paraguay becomes South America's used car paradise

Asuncion, May 20 (EFE).- Paraguay has become the main destination in South America for used cars from Japan, the United States and other countries, thanks to new regulations aimed at making it easier to import automobiles so low-income consumers can purchase vehicles. Used cars are all the rage in Paraguay, where vehicles that have been shipped from thousands of kilometers away are put to use as soon as they are repaired and made fit for the road. "No one is dumb and everyone knows that the prices we have are good," used car dealer Francisco Lopez told Efe.

Asuncion street vendors, Paraguay's informal economy in action

Asuncion, May 11 (EFE).- Money changers and car parkers, paperboys, vendors of fruit juice and handicrafts, soccer articles and herbs for the popular drink called "terere," populate the streets of Asuncion and represent the informal economy that allows hundreds of thousands of families to survive. According to the Permanent Household Survey, Paraguay in 2011 had an economically active population of 3.2 million, with 5.6 percent unemployed and almost 708,000 people underemployed.

Paraguay's president-elect ordered on bed rest

Paraguay's president-elect, millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes, a political neophyte with alleged drug ties, is on absolute bed rest after doctors discovered he had a herniated disk. The 56-year-old conservative tobacco baron, of the opposition Colorado Party, underwent an MRI at a private hospital on Tuesday, a statement said, where doctors discovered the problem. The president-elect will need to make a "temporary suspension of his activities in the coming days, according to medical recommendations," the statement said.

Opposition candidate wins Paraguay's presidential election

Asuncion, Apr 22 (EFE).- Opposition candidate Horacio Cartes won Paraguay's presidential election. "This is a victory for the Republic of Paraguay because all Paraguayans have won, the party won, but the Republic of Paraguay is the winner," Cartes, of the Colorado Party, told supporters Sunday night. Cartes's main rival, Efrain Alegre, conceded earlier in the evening. Cartes won 45.91 percent of the vote, while Alegre garnered 36.84 percent, with 81.06 percent of the ballots counted, the national elections commission said.
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