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World News \ Americas

Paraguayans protest plans to lift presidential term limits

View of Congress building in Asuncion a day after the demonstration - REUTERS

View of Congress building in Asuncion a day after the demonstration - REUTERS

01/04/2017 19:47

(Vatican Radio) An attempt to remove one term Presidential limits in Paraguay, has resulted in riots during which the Congress building in the Capitol Asuncion has been attacked, looted and burned. 

Listen to the report by James Blears:

President Horacio Cartes` Administration ends next year. However Senators have narrowly approved a bill, which means a President can run yet again.  

This overturns a law added to Paraguary`s Constitution in 1992 restricting a President to one single five year term.  
Paraguayans are determined NOT to ever again be in the repressive grip of a dictator. General Alfredo Stroessner launched a coup in 1954.  His dictatorship lasted 35 long years. He himself referred to it as "State of siege."  He was ousted in 1989,  and died at the ripe old age of 93,  in Brazil in 2006. 

Demonstrators chanting that this won`t be repeated,  smashed windows in the Congress Building, gained access and trashed offices of legislators who`ve supported this amendment.  Mounted riot police were rapidly deployed on the streets,  water cannon and volleys of rubber bullets were launched.  One activists has  been killed and thirty people have been injured including Legislators. Scores have been arrested. 

President Cartes is appealing for calm. 

01/04/2017 19:47