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Laurence Blair

Asunción, Paraguay
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About Laurence
I'm a freelance journalist based in Paraguay. I travel widely across Latin America on assignment, reporting in print, radio and video for the BBC, The New York Times, the Guardian and others.

I'm available for reporting and research assignments, including translation, fixing, live hits and investigative projects. My previous roles and clients include Oxford Analytica and The Economist Intelligence Unit, the ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank.
Languages
English Spanish
Services
Feature Stories Content Writing Risk Analysis
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Skills
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment
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Portfolio

Decades After Dictatorship, Chile Mounts Search for Hundreds Who Vanished

30 Aug 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Chile is undertaking a national search for the 1,162 individuals still missing from the 1,469 who disappeared during General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship from 1973 to 1990. This initiative comes as the country approaches the 50th anniversary of the coup that led to the military rule. President Gabriel Boric has signed a decree to formalize the search plan, emphasizing the state's duty to provide answers. The search is particularly poignant for families like that of Fernando Ortíz, a professor who was abducted in 1976 and whose remains were only recently identified.

Uruguay Saw Opportunity in China. It Got Schooled in the Hazards of Trade.

14 Jul 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Uruguay's pursuit of a trade deal with China, aimed at reducing tariffs and leveling the playing field for its beef exporters, has led to geopolitical tensions within the Mercosur trade bloc. President Luis Lacalle Pou's commitment to the deal has faced resistance from Brazil and Argentina, highlighting the challenges small nations face in navigating complex international trade dynamics.

Paraguay elects Santiago Peña, economist from the Colorado Party, as president

30 Apr 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Santiago Peña, a conservative economist, has been elected as the new president of Paraguay, maintaining the right-wing Colorado Party's control over the country. Peña's victory, with 43% of the votes, comes amid a regional shift towards the left in Latin America. His election could complicate Paraguay's relationship with the United States, especially given the recent U.S. sanctions on his political mentor, former President Horacio Cartes, for corruption and links to Hezbollah.

Paraguay Picks a New President: What You Need to Know

30 Apr 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Paraguay, a conservative nation in South America, is holding a presidential election that will test the region's recent leftward political shift. The Colorado Party's dominance is at risk as President Mario Abdo Benítez, who is ineligible for re-election due to term limits and is unpopular for his pandemic response, steps down. The election outcome will indicate whether the trend of electing leftist leaders in Latin America continues.

In Paraguay, the Colorado Party’s Election Sweep Is a Pyrrhic Victory

30 Apr 2023  |  World Politics Review
Paraguay's April 30 elections resulted in a significant victory for the Colorado Party, with Santiago Pena winning the presidency with 44% of the vote. Pena's campaign focused on job creation, public security, and reducing costs for the poor, supported by the party's strong voter mobilization and a divided opposition. The main opposition, led by Efrain Alegre of the Concertacion coalition, proposed various policy changes but was overshadowed by Alegre's anti-corruption stance.

A Corruption Scandal Is Making Waves in ‘Squeaky-Clean’ Uruguay

20 Jan 2023  |  worldpoliticsreview.com
Alejandro Astesiano, the chief bodyguard to Uruguay's center-right president Luis Lacalle Pou, was arrested for selling fake birth certificates to foreign citizens, predominantly Russians fleeing their country post-Ukraine invasion. The illegal operation, which dates back to 2013, escalated during Lacalle Pou's presidency, raising concerns about corruption in Uruguay.

A Decade After Lugo Was Ousted, Paraguay’s Left Has a Chance to Regain Power

22 Jun 2022  |  jacobin.com
A decade after the ousting of Paraguay's leftist president Fernando Lugo through a rapid parliamentary coup, the country's left has an opportunity to reclaim power in the upcoming 2023 elections. The conservative Colorado Party, which has dominated Paraguayan politics for decades, is currently weakened by internal conflicts. The opposition faces challenges such as overcoming structural obstacles and internal divisions. If successful, they could address issues like poverty, repression of activists, and environmental destruction. The article reflects on the violent history of Paraguay, the legacy of authoritarianism, and the structural weaknesses of the Paraguayan left while considering the potential for change in the political landscape.

Chile’s archaeologists fight to save the world’s oldest mummies from climate change

26 Mar 2022  |  theguardian.com
Archaeologists in Arica, Chile, are struggling to preserve the Chinchorro mummies, the world's oldest known mummies, from the impacts of climate change. Unusual weather patterns in the Atacama Desert have exposed and damaged these ancient remains. Experts face the challenge of rescuing the mummies or focusing on those already excavated, as increasing humidity affects the mummies in collections. The recent UNESCO World Heritage status and the construction of a new museum may aid in their preservation. The Chinchorro culture, dating back to 5000 BC, is known for its elaborate mummification techniques and aesthetic value. Local residents feel a connection to the Chinchorro, but efforts to promote tourism are hindered by land disputes. The mayor of the local community hopes that Chile's constitutional reform will lead to better protection of the mummies, which are at risk of vanishing due to climate change.

Paraguay capital choked by colossal smog cloud from Argentina wildfires

01 Mar 2022  |  the Guardian
A massive ash cloud from wildfires in Argentina has enveloped Asunción, Paraguay, causing severe air quality issues and visibility problems. The fires, driven by a severe drought and climate change, have devastated large areas in Argentina, including the Iberá wetlands. The Argentinian government has been criticized for its slow response, while volunteers and social media influencers have stepped in to provide support. The situation highlights the broader impacts of climate change and deforestation in the region.

Rocky road: Paraguay’s new Chaco highway threatens rare forest and last of the Ayoreo people

05 Jan 2022  |  the Guardian
Paraguay's new Chaco highway, part of the Bioceanic Corridor, poses significant threats to the Chaco forest and the Ayoreo people. Indigenous communities face increased deforestation, social marginalization, and cultural upheaval. The highway, supported by Paraguay's president Mario Abdo Benítez, aims to connect local economies with Asian markets but accelerates environmental destruction and endangers wildlife. Conservationists and indigenous leaders criticize the project, highlighting rushed consultations and the adverse impacts on traditional ways of life. The article underscores the broader implications of infrastructure development on indigenous rights and environmental sustainability.

Albion absolved: Britain was not secret instigator of Paraguay war, book claims

23 Nov 2021  |  uk.news.yahoo.com
A book by Brazilian historian Alfredo da Mota Menezes, recently published in Paraguay, challenges the long-held belief that Britain was a 'fourth ally' in the 19th-century War of the Triple Alliance, which involved Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The book, titled 'The War Is Ours: England Didn’t Cause the Paraguayan War,' argues that the conflict's causes were entirely regional, based on extensive research of British diplomatic correspondence. Despite the theory's popularity, which suggests British economic motives, historians like María Victoria Barrata and Ana Barreto Vallinoti support the book's findings. The narrative of British involvement persists, partly due to psychological reasons, offering a form of consolation for Paraguay. Parlasur has voted to create a commission to examine the conflict's 'crimes against humanity,' with some members still pointing to British influence.

Bolivian Ex-Minister of Defense Plotted a Second Coup Using U.S. Mercenaries

17 Jun 2021  |  theintercept.com
A top official in Bolivia's outgoing government plotted to use U.S. mercenaries to prevent Luis Arce from assuming the presidency after his 2020 election victory. The plan, involving hundreds of mercenaries and support from elite Bolivian military units, was never executed due to internal disagreements and the overwhelming support for Arce. The plot highlights ongoing tensions and distrust within Bolivia's political and military landscape, particularly following the controversial ousting of former President Evo Morales in 2019. Key figures involved in the plot have either fled the country or been arrested on separate charges.

Why a Tiny Guerrilla Group Has Paraguay’s Government on the Ropes

02 Sep 2020  |  World Politics Review
Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez announced a successful operation against the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), claiming the deaths of two fighters. However, it was later revealed that the deceased were two 11-year-old Argentine girls, leading to international outcry and calls for an impartial investigation by the United Nations. The incident has put the Paraguayan government under scrutiny and highlighted the complexities of its fight against the EPP.

Bolivia in danger of squandering its head start over coronavirus

03 Jul 2020  |  the Guardian
Bolivia's initial success in controlling the coronavirus pandemic is at risk due to an underprepared health system, poverty, and political conflicts. Despite early lockdown measures, the country faces a severe health crisis with overwhelmed hospitals and a rising death toll. Political tensions and inadequate government response, including corruption and lack of medical supplies, have exacerbated the situation. Experts warn that without unified efforts, Bolivia could face a catastrophe similar to neighboring countries.

Funding cuts threaten ancient sites, warn Mexican archaeologists

23 Jun 2020  |  news.yahoo.com
Mexican archaeologists are warning that significant budget cuts to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) will harm research into Mexico's pre-Columbian past and leave ancient sites vulnerable to looters. The 75% cut to INAH's operating budget is part of a broader austerity drive by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is redirecting resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Critics argue that the cuts are unnecessary and will render INAH inoperative, affecting heritage sites, museums, and the search for missing people. The cuts come as new archaeological discoveries are being made, highlighting the importance of preserving Mexico's deep indigenous past.

Funding cuts threaten ancient sites, warn Mexican archaeologists

23 Jun 2020  |  the Guardian
Mexican archaeologists warn that severe budget cuts to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) will devastate research and preservation of the country's pre-Columbian heritage. The cuts, part of a broader austerity drive by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, are intended to redirect resources to healthcare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics argue that the cuts will leave thousands of ancient sites vulnerable to looting and undermine Mexico's rich cultural heritage. The article highlights the tension between necessary healthcare funding and the preservation of cultural history.

When worlds collide

09 Jun 2020  |  restofworld.org
In June 2020, a hostage situation occurred in the central Peruvian Andes when four subcontractors from Israeli telecoms firm Gilat were detained by the indigenous Chopcca community while attempting to fix an internet mast. The community, which had been observing a strict coronavirus lockdown, was influenced by conspiracy theories linking Covid-19 to 5G networks, spread via social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. Despite technological isolation, the Chopcca have access to the internet and use apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook Lite. The incident reflects broader issues of misinformation and mistrust towards external interventions in indigenous communities. After negotiations, the detained workers were released, and the community expressed a desire to use the internet for educational purposes.

Evo Morales: indigenous leader who changed Bolivia but stayed too long

15 Nov 2019  |  news.yahoo.com
Evo Morales, Bolivia's longest-serving president, has been forced into exile following allegations of electoral fraud and a military suggestion to step down. His political journey began in El Chapare as a coca farmer and unionist, leading to his presidency in 2005. Morales' tenure saw significant economic growth and social reforms, but also accusations of authoritarianism, environmental damage, and vanity projects. Despite initial successes likened to Nelson Mandela's achievements, Morales' reluctance to groom a successor and constitutional manipulations to extend his term led to his downfall. The country now faces uncertainty, with interim leader Jeanine Áñez promising new elections amidst tensions and the dismantling of Morales' legacy.

Evo Morales: indigenous leader who changed Bolivia but stayed too long

15 Nov 2019  |  theguardian.com
Evo Morales, Bolivia's longest-serving president, has been forced into exile following allegations of electoral fraud and a military suggestion to step down. His political journey began in El Chapare, where he rose from a coca farmer to a union leader and eventually to the presidency. Morales' tenure saw significant economic growth and social reforms, but also accusations of authoritarianism, environmental damage, and vanity projects. Despite initial successes, his reluctance to groom a successor and attempts to extend his presidency led to widespread protests and a political crisis. The interim administration led by Jeanine Áñez has promised new elections amidst a tense and uncertain atmosphere.

Conquistadors tumble as indigenous Chileans tear down statues

05 Nov 2019  |  www.theguardian.com
In Chile, statues of Spanish conquistadors and other historical figures associated with the oppression of the indigenous Mapuche people have been toppled and desecrated amid widespread protests against inequality and state repression. The actions in cities like Temuco and Concepción symbolize a rejection of the official historical narrative and reflect the Mapuche's grievances over land ownership, pollution, and limited political representation. The unrest has reignited debates similar to those about Confederate monuments in the US and imperialist statues in the UK. Mapuche activists are pushing for constitutional changes to recognize Chile as a plurinational state, granting native peoples greater autonomy.

Outrage in Paraguay after Brazil cartel boss kills woman in his prison cell

22 Nov 2018  |  the Guardian
A Brazilian cartel boss, Marcelo Pinheiro, murdered an 18-year-old woman, Lidia Meza, in his high-security cell in Paraguay, sparking outrage and highlighting the country's issues with criminal impunity and corruption. Pinheiro, a leading figure in the Comando Vermelho, was attempting to avoid extradition to Brazil. The incident has raised fears of increased violence and corruption, especially with the unclear security policies of Brazil's president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro. Paraguay's president, Mario Abdo Benítez, ordered Pinheiro's extradition to Brazil, where he is now in solitary confinement.

Long Overdue, Can an Anti-Corruption Surge in Paraguay Last?

14 Nov 2018  |  World Politics Review
Paraguay has experienced numerous corruption scandals, including bribery and misuse of public funds. Despite its poor ranking in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, recent protests have targeted corrupt politicians. President Mario Abdo Benitez, from the center-right Colorado Party and son of a former dictator's lieutenant, has vowed to tackle corruption, though significant political challenges remain.

Peru’s last Inca city reveals its secrets: ‘It’s genuinely a marvel’

28 Sep 2018  |  the Guardian
The article explores the rediscovery and ongoing archaeological work at Espíritu Pampa, the last capital of the Inca state of Vilcabamba. It highlights the efforts of archaeologists and explorers in uncovering the city's secrets, including its connections to the Wari culture. The site, which resisted Spanish conquest for decades, is now being studied and preserved, with plans for a new museum and road to improve accessibility. The findings reveal a rich history of Inca resistance, cultural integration, and the potential for further discoveries.

Archaeologists and astronomers solve the mystery of Chile's Stonehenge

16 Jul 2018  |  www.theguardian.com
A collaborative project between archaeologists, historians, and astronomers, including Jimena Cruz, Dr Cecilia Sanhueza, and astronomers from ALMA and ESO, has uncovered the purpose of the saywas, ancient stone markers in Chile's Atacama desert. These markers, part of the Inca road network, align with the sun on solstices and other significant dates, serving calendrical, ritual, and political functions. The findings, which also involved interviews with retired llama herders and a survey of the saywas, confirm the markers' role in broadcasting the Inca's sacred power and mark borders between climatic zones. The research contributes to the appreciation of northern Chile's indigenous heritage.

Photos of Freddy Mamani Architecture in El Alto, Bolivia

21 May 2018  |  nationalgeographic.com
El Alto, Bolivia, is gaining attention for its New Andean Architecture, a style characterized by vibrant colors and a mix of Asian, Andean, and Hollywood influences. Freddy Mamani, a local architect, is at the forefront of this movement, creating buildings that express the identity of Bolivia's indigenous majority. The style, which includes venues like Salon de Eventos Princípe Alexander, is seen as a physical demonstration of economic power by the city's upwardly-mobile residents. Gastón Gallardo, dean of the Higher University of San Andrés, views it as a decolonization of the symbolic order. The architecture is gaining international interest, with projects planned for cities like Paris and potentially New York, Miami, and California.

Five Takeaways from Paraguay’s Presidential Election

23 Apr 2018  |  Americas Quarterly
Paraguay elected Mario Abdo Benítez as president on April 22, with the Colorado Party maintaining power by a narrow margin. The election revealed the party's strong campaign strategies and the importance of unity, while also highlighting the inaccuracies of pre-election polls. The traditional two-party system showed signs of weakening, with new parties emerging and the possibility of constitutional reform in 2019. The article also discusses the role of the media in election coverage and the potential for increased negotiation and inclusivity in Paraguayan politics.

Paraguay election: Mario Abdo Benítez victory recalls brutal dictatorship

23 Apr 2018  |  theguardian.com
Mario Abdo Benítez, associated with Paraguay's former dictator Alfredo Stroessner, won the Paraguayan election, narrowly defeating Efraín Alegre of the centre-left Alianza coalition. Despite leading in polls, Benítez's victory margin was the smallest since the return to democracy. His campaign focused on family values and hinted at military service, while avoiding outright condemnation of the dictatorship. The election result indicates a potential end to the Colorado Party's long-standing dominance, with the opposition gaining more seats in congress. Activists, including Gerónimo Ayala, remain committed to challenging the conservative political establishment.

Haunted by ghosts of its dictatorship, Paraguay set to pivot back to the right in election

20 Apr 2018  |  the Guardian
Paraguay is poised to elect Mario Abdo Benítez, son of a former secretary to dictator Alfredo Stroessner, as president, marking a shift to the right. The election underscores the country's struggle with its authoritarian past, with Abdo Benítez's rise supported by the church and rural Colorado base. Critics fear a return to dictatorship-era policies, while supporters view him as a continuation of the Colorado legacy. The article highlights the ongoing efforts to uncover the truth about desaparecidos and the mixed sentiments towards Abdo Benítez's potential presidency.

More than 350 million Latin American voters to elect new leaders in 2018

28 Dec 2017  |  theguardian.com
In 2018, over 350 million voters in Latin America will elect new presidents in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Paraguay. The elections are expected to reflect a popular reaction against corruption rather than a left-right ideological swing. High-profile elections include Mexico's Andrés Manuel López Obrador leading polls despite controversial proposals, and Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leading despite corruption charges. Far-right Jair Bolsonaro is also gaining traction in Brazil. Issues like cleaner government, rejection of political elites, and peace processes are central to voters' concerns. Venezuela's elections are uncertain due to political repression, while Bolivia and Nicaragua face challenges to democracy. Chile's Sebastian Piñera faces a divided congress in his second term. The region continues to struggle with sluggish economies, corruption, security, and drug-related violence.

Paraguay's president calls for end to unrest after killing of activist

02 Apr 2017  |  theguardian.com
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes appealed for calm following protests sparked by constitutional changes to allow his re-election. The unrest led to the storming of congress and the death of activist Rodrigo Quintana. Cartes offered condolences and promised justice, blaming business and media interests for the protests. Despite the turmoil, Cartes spoke at an investment conference, promoting Paraguay's economy. The opposition held a vigil for Quintana and called for Cartes' impeachment. The police officer responsible for Quintana's death claimed to have used rubber projectiles, and both the interior minister and police chief resigned. The mayor of Asunción urged the withdrawal of the re-election proposal, and international bodies called for dialogue. Further protests were expected.

Death of Activist Threatens to Reignite Protests in Paraguay

01 Apr 2017  |  www.theguardian.com
Violent protests erupted in Asunción, Paraguay, following political maneuvers that could allow President Horacio Cartes to seek re-election in 2018, a move opposition parties have labeled a 'coup d'etat.' The unrest led to the storming of the country's congress and its subsequent arson. The situation escalated with the death of a 25-year-old activist, Rodrigo Quintana, during a police raid on the opposition Liberal party's headquarters. This incident has raised fears of further protests. The president of the Liberal party, Efraín Alegre, was also injured in the clashes. Over 200 protesters were detained, and the police force remains on high alert. The government, supported by the Colorado party, argues that the re-election policy has a significant mandate, while opponents are challenging the amendment in court.

Paraguay fears dictatorship as president moves to amend constitution

30 Mar 2017  |  the Guardian
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, backed by the rightwing Colorado Party, is attempting to amend the constitution to allow for his re-election in 2018, a move that has been met with significant opposition and concerns of a slide towards dictatorship. Despite public opposition, the Colorado Party and some opposition legislators are pushing procedural changes in the Senate to introduce a re-election bill. Opposition parties, dissident Colorados, and citizens are resisting, with allegations of bribery and fears of a 'coup d'etat'. The political crisis follows the 2012 impeachment of leftwing President Fernando Lugo, who now seems to support the amendment, potentially benefiting from it in future elections.

Amid Old Rivalries, South America’s Silver River Promises New Riches

20 Mar 2017  |  americasquarterly.org
The Paraguay-Paraná hidrovía, stretching over 2,100 miles through South America, serves as a major commercial artery for agricultural produce, metals, manufactured goods, and fuel. Despite its environmental benefits over the region's substandard road network, the waterway faces challenges due to uneven regulations and costs imposed by the countries it connects, reflecting broader integration failures within Mercosur. The disparities in taxation and business conditions have led companies like Grupo Vessel to reposition in Paraguay, where the tax rate is significantly lower than in Argentina. The journey along the hidrovía reveals the disparities between the countries, with Paraguay's ports and river channels being less developed. However, there is evidence of slow but growing cooperation among the countries, with recent improvements in inter-governmental management and a shared interest in making the hidrovía more efficient. Despite the potential for increased shipping volumes, the route's management and development remain cautious, balancing economic interests with environmental concerns.

Amid Old Rivalries, South America’s Silver River Promises New Riches

01 Mar 2017  |  Americas Quarterly
The Paraguay-Paraná hidrovía, a major commercial waterway in South America, faces challenges and opportunities as it connects Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Bolivia. Despite historical rivalries and economic disparities, there is a growing trend of cooperation among these countries to improve the efficiency and profitability of the waterway. However, issues such as differing tax regulations, protectionism, and infrastructural limitations persist. The hidrovía's potential for increased trade and regional integration is significant, but achieving this requires careful management and sustained diplomatic efforts.

Dreams of the sea

27 Jan 2016  |  www.ft.com
Second Lieutenant Nicolas Espejo serves at a remote Bolivian naval base, reflecting Bolivia's enduring maritime aspirations despite being landlocked. Bolivia's historical loss of its coastline to Chile in the War of the Pacific continues to shape its national identity and foreign policy. President Evo Morales is spearheading efforts to regain access to the sea, including a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice and the development of a new port at Puerto Busch with financial backing from the China Development Bank. The essay explores the deep-seated national sentiment and historical grievances that drive Bolivia's quest for maritime sovereignty.

A story of prizewinning prose

06 Dec 2015  |  www.ft.com
The article by Laurence Blair, winner of the 2015 Bodley Head/FT essay prize, explores Bolivia's historical loss of its coastline to Chile during the War of the Pacific and its ongoing quest for sovereign access to the sea. It details the life of Second Lieutenant Nicolas Espejo at a remote Bolivian naval base and the country's efforts to build an international seaport at Puerto Busch with the help of a $7bn loan from the China Development Bank. The port is part of Bolivia's strategy to export resources and gain maritime access, despite being landlocked. The article also covers Bolivia's lawsuit against Chile at the International Court of Justice, seeking negotiations for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. The piece delves into the psychological impact of the territorial loss on Bolivia's national identity and the aggressive rhetoric in Bolivia-Chile relations. It concludes with Bolivia's hope that the new port will fulfill its maritime aspirations, symbolically challenging its landlocked status.

In Paraguay's remote north guerrillas are still at large, armed and dangerous

31 Aug 2015  |  the Guardian
In Paraguay's remote north, the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a Marxist rebel group, continues to evade authorities, engaging in kidnappings and killings. Despite significant military efforts, the government has been unable to dismantle the group, leading to suspicions of state complicity. The EPP finances itself through extortion and maintains a mix of Marxist-Leninist-Guevarist beliefs. The article highlights the ongoing struggle of rural communities against poverty and corruption, and the distrust of authorities that hampers efforts to combat the guerrillas.

Paraguayan 11-year-old gives birth after pregnancy sparked abortion debate

13 Aug 2015  |  the Guardian
An 11-year-old Paraguayan girl, known as Mainumby, gave birth after being denied an abortion despite being raped by her stepfather. The case has drawn significant attention to Paraguay's strict anti-abortion laws and the broader issue of child abuse in the region. Various organizations, including Amnesty International and the UN, have condemned the Paraguayan authorities for their handling of the case. The article also discusses the need for better reproductive health services and education to prevent such cases in the future.

Paraguay deploys anti-narco top guns to combat economic need for weed

25 Jun 2015  |  theguardian.com
In Paraguay, a country plagued by underdevelopment and wealth inequality, many rural communities have turned to marijuana cultivation as a means of survival. The National Anti-Drugs Secretariat (Senad) conducts eradication operations to combat the drug trade, which is fueled by economic desperation and has led to significant violence and corruption. Political movements like the Partido Paraguay Pyahura advocate for small-scale farmers, while organizations like the World Wildlife Fund support sustainable farming practices as an alternative to drug cultivation. Despite efforts to modernize drug policy and address the root causes of narcotrafficking, the challenge remains significant, with deep-seated issues of poverty and land distribution at its core.
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