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Paraguay: the Bishop ask the Government to be honest and take responsibility for the Itaipú dam affair and the “secret agreement” with Brazil

 

A secretly-signed agreement. Protests in the country. And the Bishops asking for transparency. The case of the agreement with Brazil about the country’s energy supplies through the Itaipú dam, the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, has kicked up a storm in Paraguay. The huge dam is in Paranà, on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The energy requirements of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo depend on such power plant. A “secret agreement” was signed on 24th May between the Government, led by Mario Abdo Benítez, and Brazil. Once the contents have been revealed, Pedro Ferreira, president of the electricity provider of Paraguay (Ande), resigned from his office, saying that the agreement would bind Paraguay to buy more energy that it needed and that was due to the extortionate attitude of Eletrobas, Brazil’s electricity provider. All this sparked off lots of rallies and protests that led the Senate to vote on an appeal against the agreement and force the Government to renegotiate it. In a release, the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay, which is holding its assembly over these days, asked the Government to explain quite a few points of the secretly-signed bilateral agreement. “We believe – the message says – that the case of the Itaipú dam and the stipulation of new conditions in the renegotiation of Annex C to the treaty, due in 2023, are wise and strategic for Paraguay”. A high level of “love for one’s country, involvement and social participation” are, therefore, needed. The Bishops appreciate that the population held rallies, thus showing it wants information and care for the common good. And they hope that the criteria that will inspire the Government in the new negotiations may be “the pursuit of the common good, responsibility and transparency”, goals that should be reached with the help of experts from different backgrounds.

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