Paraguayan President Removes Army Commander From Office
By Dialogo May 21, 2009This Wednesday, government sources informed that the Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo has removed the Army Commander Alfredo Machuca from Office and named General Oscar Velázquez as his replacement. The change in command was announced after Lugo held a meeting with the leaders of the Armed Forces at the Presidential Escort Battalion Headquarters. Machuca’s dismissal took place after a week of harsh criticism against him for having agreed to provide a location for a meeting of young South American leftists at the Army’s Engineering Unit. More than a thousand of these young men met and held the so called “II Encuentro de Jóvenes Progresistas de Latinoamérica” (Second Congress of Latin American Progressive Youth) and they displayed flags and leftist slogans within the military installations. Parties from the opposition and retired military associations condemned what for them was considered to be an abuse. Machucha was blamed for having given his permission for this meeting to be held. The Constitution prohibits political meetings within the Armed Forces. A legislator from the opposition announced that he would file a request for a public trial against Lugo for this case.