araguay defends the construction of an “increasingly stronger” integration process within Mercosur, ten years after its suspension of this mechanism after the 2012 dismissal of the then president, Fernando Lugo.
A decade after the governments of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay applied the Ushuaia Protocol on Democratic Commitment to Asunción, this country exercises the “pro tempore” residence of Mercosur and considers what happened to be over.
“That meant an important rupture in our integration process, but what we see is that the situation has already been overcome,” the deputy minister of Economic Relations and Integration, Raúl Cano Ricciardi, told EFE.
“We look forward -he added-, and we want to continue building an increasingly stronger and more dynamic integration process”.
On June 29, 2012, the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay announced the suspension of Paraguay from the bloc until new elections were held in this country.
Seven days earlier, on June 22, 2012, Lugo had been dismissed in an “express” parliamentary impeachment trial, which had as its genesis the death of 6 policemen and 11 peasants in a land eviction operation in Curuguaty.
The suspension was decided during the XLIII Mercosur Summit that was held in the Argentine city of Mendoza, without the presence of Paraguay. “They did not let us exercise our right to defense,” the official said about that episode.
Ten years later, Paraguay is preparing for the summit of Mercosur presidents on July 21, during which the transfer of the “pro tempore” presidency to Uruguay will take place.
As a balance, the deputy minister stressed that the participation of his country recovered its “vigorousness”.
“Today we are having a full participation”, highlighted Cano Ricciardi, for whom Mercosur “was the most important bet of Paraguay’s foreign policy in economic matters”.
Regarding the figures of his country in the bloc, the deputy minister indicated that last year 62% of Paraguayan exports were destined for its Mercosur neighbors (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay).
In addition, he pointed out that 80% of the manufactures of industrial origin produced in Paraguay went to its southern partners.
On the other hand, he pointed out that his country sold around 200 million dollars in auto parts last year to Brazil and for about 48 million dollars to Argentina, despite the fact that the automotive sector has not yet been incorporated into Mercosur.
He also highlighted the interest of the Mercosur countries in making themselves known as “reliable producers of proteins of both animal and plant origin”, and respectful of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental.