On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, several social and political groups organized a massive march in Paraguay in support of human rights and against the economic and social policies of the South American country’s government.
Among the protesters were teachers, and employees organized in the Central Class-Based Union Current, farmworkers of the National Farm Workers Federation, Guasu Front activists and Paraguayen Party Pyahura, representatives of the Defense Commission for Human Rights and the Journalists’ Union of Paraguay, according to Prensa Latina.
Thousands of people converged in downtown Asuncion for the demonstration, which included among its ranks farmworkers, chanting slogans for jobs and demanding the resignation of Paraguay’s president, Horacio Cartes.
The president has been accused of graft and corruption. A contracting firm owned by Cartes, Aero Centro, has receive US$419, 000 since January 2014, as revealed by investigative journalists at the dailies ABC Color and La Semana in July.
Cartes has distanced himself from the left, expressing his support to neoliberal policies. In reference to capitalism, Cartes told ABC last year: “Capitalism, in all its strengths and weaknesses, has shown itself to be the only model that can be regenerated following adversity.
Blanca Avalos, in the name of the organization of Education Workers, described the Paraguayan government’s policies as antisocial and the lack of jobs and future for its youth, homelessness and poverty human rights violations. The Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean ( SEDLAC) reported that in 2013, Paraguay’s poverty rate was over 35 percent, while 10 percentage points higher than Venezuela’s, for instance.
On this day, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was signed and adopted in 1948 by the U.N. General Assembly.