Paraguay. The gap between President Luis González Macchi and Vice President Júlio César Franco from the opposition party PLRA (Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico) has widened during the year and developed into a veritable domestic political struggle. Several members of government resigned from their posts, and the president’s attempt to reform the government and create a new coalition was sabotaged by the PLRA. In May, the PLRA, which is believed to be seeking to put Franco in the presidential post, also requested that a judicial process against the president begin. However, public opinion has shown no interest in the struggle of top politicians; in the mayor’s election held in November, up to 60% of voters from voting. In September, one week after a PLRA demonstration in the capital Asuncion for the president’s departure, also demanded that industry leaders and trade unions in a common public manifestation instead devote themselves to the government to take action against smuggling, tax fraud and corruption. The price increases for gasoline, water and electricity in January also led to widespread protests, not least from farmers, throughout the year.
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In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in New York on September 11, attention was directed to the Arab immigrant colony in Ciudad del Este, where, according to the US police, the al-Qaeda terrorist network had an operation center. In November, however, Paraguay’s foreign minister could deny the information.
According to Countryaah, the population of Paraguay in 2001 was 5,823,985, ranking number 103 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.810% yearly, and the population density was 14.6592 people per km2.