Paraguay Overview

One of the poorest countries in South America, Paraguay was also among the last to transition to democracy. Plagued by drug trafficking and corruption, central concerns of independent CSOs in Paraguay relate to funding and public trust. Many legally registered NGOs or foundations are actually the property of politicians eager to collect public funds, either for patronage connected to the provision of social services or for their own private benefit. Public demonstrations, especially those carried out by peasants, indigenous communities and students are frequently met with excessive force by the police. The exercise of the freedom of expression continues to present a challenge, as violence against journalists is prevalent and often goes unpunished.