Paraguay Vice President reverses decision to resign

Paraguay: the vice-president reconsiders his decision to resign

Paraguayan Vice President Hugo Velazquez said on Thursday that he had been informed by the prosecutor that there were no charges against him.

Vice President of the Paraguay Hugo Velazquez, subject to US sanctions for alleged corruption, reversed his decision to resign on Thursday; he intends to stay in office and defend his innocence.

When I pledged to resign, I assumed there was an investigation against me, but I received a notice from the prosecution stating that there is no charge, a declared Mr. Velazquez at a press conference in Asuncion.

Hugo Velazquez, 54, vice-president of Paraguay for four years and his election on a ticket from the Colorado Party (conservative) with President Mario Abdo Benitez, was sanctioned by the United States last week for his involvement in significant acts of corruption.

The State Department accuses a close associate of Mr. Velazquez of having offered, on his initiative, a bribe – more than #x27;one million dollars, according to the US Embassy in Asuncion – to a high-ranking Paraguayan official to obstruct an investigation related to the Vice President's financial interests.

The latter, a close collaborator and their families are therefore prohibited from entering American territory.

In the process, Mr. Velazquez claimed his innocence, his intention to defend himself, but indicated that he would step down from the vice presidency in a few days, to avoid harming the head of state or the Colorado Party.

Hugo Velazquez helps himself to an infusion of mate during his press conference.

Many sectors have asked me to reconsider my resignation, underlined Thursday Mr. Velazquez, considering that the fact that the vice president resigned for corruption should not go down in history.

My resignation was the proper thing to do, assuming that there was a procedure, but the public prosecutor has absolutely nothing against me, he insisted, combative. The American accusations speak of attempted corruption. I want to know who is the official they tried to bribe, and what is the file in which I have a financial interest.

In July, before M Velazquez, the United States had announced sanctions as well as the ban on entry into their territory of former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes (2013-2018), because they accused him also corruption and links with foreign terrorist organizations.

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