The least populated Paraguay is in the
hinterland of South America. Dictator Alfredo Stroessner
ruled the country with an iron hand for nearly 35 years
before being driven into national flight following a
coup in 1989. His party, the Colorado Party, retained
power for the 2008 election and resumed it five years
later. Despite increased democracy, Paraguay is still
characterized by severe corruption and a large black
sector with extensive smuggling of drugs, among other
things. The country is poor, income per inhabitant is
among the lowest in Latin America.
Brief profiles of Paraguay, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Paraguay is located in the interior of South
America and is on the surface somewhat smaller than
Sweden. The Paraguay River flowing from north to south
divides the country into two parts: the dry and
flattened Chaco to the west and to the east of Paraneña
with rolling countryside and fertile plains.
Two other rivers form the border, Pilcomayo towards
Argentina in the west and Paraná towards Brazil in the
east. Pilcomayo merges with Paraguay near the capital
Asuncion and Paraguay in turn merges with Paraná just
south of the country. Through the rivers you reach the
Atlantic by boat.
To the east of the Paraguay River are wooded hills
that in the south turn into grasslands - Pampas -
crossed by small rivers. To the west of the river,
Chaco, or Gran Chaco, extends over half the country's
surface. Dry floods with floods make parts of Chaco the
peninsula, dominated by thorn bushes and giant cacti.
The area is not suitable for agriculture, but irrigation
ponds have sometimes created good grazing land for
cattle. The whole country is quite lowland.
Wildlife is rich and there are many kinds of birds
such as parrots, budgies and rhea (American ostrich).
Snakes are also common. Due to the rapid population
increase in eastern Paraguay, animals such as jaguars,
antelope, belt, wolf and Brazilian tapir are becoming
Eastern Paraguay has a mild, subtropical climate.
During the winter (June to August) it can be chilly with
frost some nights. The forest areas get ample and even
rainfall, even though the summer gives the most rain.
Rapid weather changes, with violent storms and sudden
downpours, are common.
In Chaco in the west, it is usually hot and dry.
During the summer (October to March) the temperature can
exceed 40 degrees. It also rains heavily while it hardly
rains at all in the winter.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
406 752 km2 (2018)
Swedish –5 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil
Capital with number of inhabitants
Asuncion 2.3 million including suburbs 1
Other major cities
Ciudad del Este, Encarnación, Concepción, Pedro Juan
Cerro Peró (also called Tres Kandú, 842 m asl)
Paraná, Paraguay, Pilcomayo
Average Precipitation / year
1 120 mm in Asuncion, 815 mm in the west, 1 525 mm in
Average / day
27 °C (Jan), 17 °C (July)
1st estimate 2014
Digging journalist Pablo Medina and his co-worker Antonia Almada are shot to
death by motorcycle perpetrators. Medina, who worked for ABC Color, wrote about
drug smuggling and had been threatened several times. He had received police
protection but was on occasions without escort. He becomes the third journalist
to be murdered in Paraguay during the year.
Protests against corruption and privatization
A series of demonstrations is being held in protest against politicians and
civil servants who are perceived as corrupt, and against the government's plans
to privatize parts of the social service.
Land is returned to indigenous people
President Cartes signs a congressional decision that the state will forcibly
redeem land from landowners in Chaco, and return it to the Sawhoyamaxa people
group belonging to the indigenous people of Enxet. It covers 14,400 hectares,
the largest land area that has so far been returned to original users.
Sawhoyamaxa were expelled from the ground in the early 1990s and many of them
have since lived on the outskirts, under difficult conditions. In 2006, the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that the state must return
the land and pay damages. The process has dragged on over time and the case has
been noticed by human rights groups also internationally. In 2013, sawhoyamaxa
tired of waiting and occupied a land area, as well as conducted several protests
Flood in Asuncion
Floods force 150,000 people from their homes in Asuncion. Heavy rainfall has
caused the Paraguay and Paraná rivers to rise above their banks.
An official survey shows a rapid reduction in poverty in the country, which
according to national estimates has fallen from 32.4 percent in 2011 to 23.8
percent in 2013. The cause is said to be high growth of an average of 7.6
percent since 2010.