• Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:04 pm

Fire, smoke, gunshots in Paraguay capital as pandemic response ignites protests

  • Published at 11:03 am March 6th, 2021
Paraguay protests, Asuncion, Paraguay Covid-19 protests
Riot police officers clash with a demonstrator during a protest against President Mario Abdo Benitez's health policies and the lack of Covid-19 vaccines in Asuncion, Paraguay March 5, 2021. REUTERS

The clash between protesters and police broke out amid growing outrage as Covid-19 infections hit record levels and hospitals verged on collapse throughout the South American nation

Protesters clashed with police in Paraguay´s capital, Asuncion, late on Friday as anger over the government´s handling of the coronavirus crisis boiled onto the streets and forced the resignation of the country´s top health official.

Security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas on hundreds of rioters who gathered around the Congress building in downtown Asuncion, while protesters broke down security barriers, burned road barricades and threw stones at police.

The riots, which turned the capital's historic center into a make-shift battlefield of fire, smoke and gunshots, broke out amid growing outrage as coronavirus infections hit record levels and hospitals verged on collapse throughout the South American nation.

"It is a pity that young people have taken this too far. They are people who seek only to destroy," Interior Minister Arnaldo Giuzzio told the Telefuturo television channel. "This violence does not make sense."

Earlier on Friday, health minister Julio Mazzoleni resigned, a day after lawmakers called for his ouster.

Mazzoleni is the latest of several top health officials across Latin America forced from their jobs in recent weeks amid increasing anger over the handling of the pandemic and slow rollout of vaccinations.

Mazzoleni initially rebuked the Senate's non-binding declaration asking him to leave, but hours later conceded following a meeting with President Mario Abdo.

Abdo appointed Dr Julio Borba, a vice minister, to take Mazzoleni's place. Borba told reporters he would begin tracking down medicine and supplies immediately.

Paraguay is posting record numbers of cases daily, according to a Reuters tally, with 115 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days.

The country has vaccinated less than 0.1% of its population, the data shows. 


51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail