The United States sanctioned former Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes this Friday for his “participation in significant acts of corruption”informed the Secretary of State of the North American Country, Antony Blinken.
“Estados Unidos señala al expresidente paraguayo Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara por su participação en actos de corrupción significados”. El ex presidente Cartes obstructed an important international investigation on transnational crime to protect himself and his criminal associate from possible prosecution and political damage. These actions undermined the stability of the democratic institutions of Paraguay, contributing to the public perception of corruption and impunity within the office of the president of Paraguay,” Blinken said in a statement.
El funcionario agregó que “estas acciones permitieron y perpetaron la participação recently documenteda de Cartes con foreign terrorist organizations and other entities designated by the United States, which undermine the security of the United States against crime and transnational terrorism and threaten regional stability“.
El Departamento de Estado also sanctioned the adult children of Cartes, Juan Pablo Cartes Montaña, Sofía Cartes Montaña and María Sol Cartes Montaña. The politician and his immediate family members will not be able to enter the North American country
“These signals reaffirm the commitment of the United States to combat corruption, which harms the public interest, hinders the economic prosperity of countries and reduces the capacity of governments to respond effectively to the needs of their people. The United States follows by the side of all Paraguayans, in support of democracy and the rule of law and will continue to promote the surrender of accounts of those who abuse public power for personal benefit”, concluded Blinken.
For his part, the ambassador of the United States in Paraguay, Marc Ostfieldaseguró que esta “no será nuestra ultimo signalamiento en Paraguay”. “The United States will use all the tools at their disposal — investigations, extraditions, financial sanctions and visa restrictions, among others — to combat corruption and organized crime in every opportunity, anywhere in the world.” We will do this without considering the political affiliation, the wealth or the personal connections of the persons involved. The United States will stand by the Paraguayan people and its institutions, supporting the democratic principles of transparency and the State of Right“, he said.
While the spokesperson of the White House, Ned Priceindicó que Estados Unidos se posicina contra la corrupción y promotes “the surrender of accounts of government officials who participate in corruption”. “Reaffirmamos el compromiso de Estados Unidos de combatir la corrupción, que socava la fe del pueblo Paraguayo en sus democratic institutions”, he said.
Pedido de capture en Brasil
Cartes, who served as president of Paraguay between August 2013 and August 2018, is owner of a conglomerate of 25 companiesincluding one of the three media conglomerates of Paraguay.
The former president has been questioned by alleged irregularities in his multimillionaire heritage and has been investigated in Brazil for his links with the leader of a money laundering network.
The federal judge Marcelo Bretas, in charge of the investigations in Rio de Janeiro about the millionaire frauds that occurred in the state oil company Petrobras and uncovered a vast plot of corruption of an international dimension, asked for the international capture of cards in November 2019.
The Fiscalía suspected that the ex-mandator helped a Darío Messerconsidered as the “mayor cambista de Brasil” and detained in Sao Paulo in July 2019, a huir de Paraguay.
According to the investigations, Messer led a sophisticated network of transnational money laundering that moved millions of dollars in the last decades and was an essential figure for the practice of crimes such as corruption, tax evasion and currency evasion.
The plane of Emtrasur
El grupo de negocios de Cartes es propietario, entre otros, de la Tabacalera del Este (Tabesa), que last mayo he sent a cargo of cigarettes to Aruba in a Venezuelan-Iranian plane investigated in Argentina for alleged international terrorism.
Tabesa dismissed in June last year any connection with the Venezuelan-Iranian plane, indicating that the final comprador was in charge of contracting a broker and getting the aircraft.
The vice president of Paraguay, Hugo Velázquezhabló del case of the Venezuelan-Iranian plane en su paso por Paraguay en mayo pasado, 20 días antes de ser retenido en Buenos Aires. En dialog con Infobaeacusó al ex mandatario Horacio Cartes de hacer negocios con supuestos terroristas.
“There are several hypotheses (about the arrival of the plane) and that is already in the hands of the security and research organizations that must discover what really happened. Lo cierto y concreto es que este avión con crewación de supuestos terrorists, ingresó al Paraguay para llevar cigarettes de Tabesa, propiedad de Horacio Cartes“, he declared.
In an interview with Infobae held on June 29, Velázquez also said that the Comisión de Lavado del Congreso Paraguayo should quote a Cartes:Aquí deben ser llamados los involucrados directos que hicieron negocios con estos supuesutos terroristas, empezando por Horacio Cartes. Ellos deben dar explicaciones respecto a lo ocurrido con el avión iraní”.