Protests in Asunción end in clashes outside Colorado Party HQ
Asunción, Mar 8 (efe-epa).- The fourth day of protests in Asunción against the government of President Mario Abdo Benitez ended on Monday in clashes in front of the headquarters of the conservative Colorado Party after several hours of peaceful demonstrations near the Congress building.
Protesters signaled dissatisfaction with the Cabinet shuffle announced by Abdo Benitez over the weekend and reiterated their demands for the resignation of the entire government and an end to decades of conservative mandates.
Although peaceful protests had been held in front of the Congress building earlier in the day, there were repeated clashes outside the Colorado Party’s headquarters, with protesters throwing toilet paper rolls and lighting small fires at the building’s entrance, which were contained, without damage.
People in the vicinity of the headquarters told local media that those who caused the altercations had appeared on the spot only to escalate tensions and then disappeared.
Yet another night ended with the intervention of the riot police and the presence of water cannon in the area to disperse the protesters.
Earlier, at 6 pm, anti-government protesters had gathered in front of the Congress building, in accordance with their declaration of protesting “every day, until they resign.”
They protested peacefully, demanding the resignation of the entire Cabinet.
Protests have also been staged outside the residence of former president Horacio Cartes, Abdo Benítez’s rival in the Colorado Party.
Cartes continues to wield a lot of power, both in the country as well as the party.
Abdo Benítez’s salvation from the impeachment that the opposition is preparing depends on the position the Honor Colorado bench, led by the former president, will take in the coming days.
As night fell, there were some moments of tension as police brought two water cannon near the area where the protesters gathered, although they were within the security perimeter where the police stood.
This led some of the demonstrators to respond with an attempt to break through the perimeter although the situation was eased after dialog between the police and the protesters.
During Monday’s protests, several demonstrators also directed their ire at the press and chanted slogans against the country’s main media groups.
Protests against Abdo Benitez’s administration began on Friday evening, in response to citizen discontent with the government’s handling of the pandemic.
The protesters have pledged to continue the rallies until the entire government resigns. EFE-EPA