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March 29, 1999



Noting the swearing in of the new President of Paraguay, Luis Angel González Macchi, I offer my greetings and congratulations to the people of that South American nation and to their national leaders for having carried out a peaceful transfer of power, within the framework of the Constitution and in a manner that preserves the democratic process.

After several days of uncertainty following the unspeakable assassination of Vice President Luis María Argaña, the political situation in Paraguay is currently returning to normal, a process in which the Paraguayan people and their authorities have played a fundamental role.

I would like to reiterate the urgency of seeing that the people responsible for the brutal assassination of Vice President Argaña be captured and brought to justice under Paraguayan law. I also deeply lament that several citizens lost their lives during public demonstrations in the city of Asunción, a situation that also needs to be fully investigated.

This moment marks the end of polarization and a time for reconciliation. I earnestly hope that the democratic process in Paraguay will continue to be strengthened with the participation of all sectors of society, and to that end I offer the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) and its member nations, which are committed to strengthening democracy throughout the hemisphere.


César Gaviria
OAS Secretary General
Washington, D.C.



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