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Latin America Gentrified: How A Rent Gap Can Change Everything

Gentrification is affecting many Latin American cities. As residents push back, there are worries that existing residents and cultures alike will be erased.

MEXICO CITY — In Latin American cities such as Medellín, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, real estate rental prices have increased considerably, with values even above inflation. The problem arises as a consequence of the construction, and remodeling of old buildings or houses, in neighborhoods located on the outskirts of large cities which have been left in the hands of real estate developers or businessmen. One of the main impacts of these decisions is an increase in social inequality.

Gentrification occurs when low-income or middle-class residents are displaced by a population with greater economic power. The wealthier people then settle in neighborhoods that are often considered "disreputable", according to Carla Escoffié, a lawyer specializing in human rights and housing issues.

“They arrive in these places and begin to impact the consumption dynamics, the price of rent, cost of living and other factors. They generate a revaluation, then prices start to rise until the original population begins to be displaced symbolically and economically,” says Escoffié.

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Potty-Mouthed Grandma Strikes A Chord In Paraguay Protests

Amid a wave of protests against the Paraguayan government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, one unlikely voice — that of a sharp-tongued, silver-haired abuelita (grandmother) — has stood out above the chorus of discontent.

One of countless people taking to the streets in the capital Asunción in recent days, the elderly woman has yet to be publicly identified. But her opinion of the country's president, Mario Abdo Benítez of the conservative Colorado Party, is now widely known following an impromptu interview Sunday with a reporter from the Paraguayan news outlet ABC TV.

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Sorry England, Guarani Natives Of Paraguay Say They Invented Soccer

Paraguay's Ministry of Culture says the real birthplace of the game the English named football, and gave rules to, was not in fact England. The Jesuits may have the proof.

ASUNCION — Sports fans around the world have long believed that the game of soccer was born in England, where its rules were set down in 1863.

But now the government of Paraguay insists that the Guaraní, the natives from the "southern-cone" region of South America, were kicking a ball around much earlier. This was documented in the 18th century by the Jesuits working here to convert the natives to Catholicism, the religion of the alternately civilizing and genocidal European conquerors.

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Cutting Cures: Medicinal Plants Under Threat In Paraguay

“Here you have a stevia, that’s for diabetes," says Téodora, a sun-weathered snippet of a woman of around 50, proudly beginning a tour of her medicinal plant nursery.

She points out the Paraguayan lemongrass, for nerves; and a plant with little purple flowers, called “forever alive”, which is excellent for the heart.” All told, her three-hectare plantation contains some 60 species of plants used in Paraguay for medicinal purposes.

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Why Shoppers From Paraguay Are Flooding Across The Border Into Argentina

ASUNCIÓN – Latin Americans are not the type to pass on a bargain, especially if it’s being offered by a neighbor.

This is why Paraguay has been mercilessly milking all it can from the depreciation of the Argentine peso. This can be seen in the exchange rate between the two currencies – but also in the cross-border shopping trips that Paraguayans have been massively indulging in.

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What Cartes Thinks - The Blunt-Talking Billionaire Set To Be Paraguay's Next President

Horacio Cartes won a comfortable victory in last weekend's election, putting the long-ruling Colorado Party back in power. But this time it may be a new brand of personality politics.

ASUNCION – Horacio Cartes’ foray into politics was controversial and dizzying at the same time. In just three years, the 56-year-old billionaire businessman went from running a soccer club to being the Presidential candidate for the Colorado Party, the most traditional and powerful party in Paraguay. Now he's set to be the nation's next President.

In order to achieve this, he invested $20 million in his campaign, a figure that represents only a tiny drop of his huge empire.

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Political Novice Horacio Cartes Wins Paraguay Elections



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Christine Legrand

Paraguay's First Woman Presidential Candidate Tries To Crack Macho Culture

Lilian Soto is a longshot to win Sunday's election, but she may have already changed the last South American country to have female voting rights.

ASUNCION - In Sunday's national election, Paraguay, a country still both firmly patriarchal and culturally macho, will have the possibility to vote for the first time for a woman to be their president.

The feminist party, Kuña Pyrenda ("platform" in the indigenous language Guarani), has put forth Lilian Soto, a surgeon and graduate in Public Administration from the University of Ohio, to lead the South American nation of 6.5 million. Magui Balbuena, head of the National Coordination of Rural and Indigenous Women, is running for vice president.

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Diplomacy And Divas: Did An Argentine Pop Star Steal Paraguayan Jewels?

Don't cry for her, Moria Casán...or the $85,000 diamond and sapphire set

BUENOS AIRES/ASUNCION - Argentine actress and pop star Moria Casán is still in trouble for supposedly stealing a sapphire and diamond necklace and earring set worth around $85,000. Paraguayan officials have issued an international arrest warrant for Casán, her manager and her assistant.

Her lawyers have requested that she be exempt from preventative incarceration, and have also requested that she be allowed to make all of her court appearances from Argentina, saying that they do not trust that she will be treated fairly in Paraguay.

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A Coup d'Etat? Backlash Across Latin America To Paraguay Impeachment

CLARIN (Argentina), LA NACION (Argentina) ABC COLOR (Paraguay)

ASUNCION - Paraguay's neighbors have reacted harshly to what they see as the undemocratic removal of Fernando Lugo from power last Friday.

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Hugo Olazar

How Many Children Did Paraguay’s President Father When He Was A Catholic Bishop?

President Fernando Lugo has recognized his second child from his days as a supposedly celibate Catholic man of the cloth. Other paternity suits from various women are outstanding. Some estimates of the number of offspring might make a rock star blush.

ASUNCION - The President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, has recognized paternity of a second child conceived while he was a Catholic bishop in San Pedro.

The announcement on Tuesday by Lugo's lawyer that the president is the father of a now 10-year-old boy follows the public confession in 2009 that the bishop-turned-politician had a son with another woman. And there are still two pending paternity cases, from another two women, from Lugo's time as a supposedly celibate man of the cloth. One of the women waiting for a decision on a paternity case said that the President has another three sons, all with different women, in the department of San Pedro, the poorest region in Paraguay.

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Felipe Aldunate

National Branding: Why Latin America Lags In Worldwide Reputation Rankings

When it comes to public perceptions, Latin America still trails other regions. But there are changes afoot. In its annual “Country Brand” ranking, U.S. firm FutureBrand found Brazil’s reputation soaring. That’s not the case for Paraguay, a booming but eas

ASUNCIÓN -- Conducting business meetings isn't easy when people don't even know you exist. Just ask Eduardo Clari, an investments specialist with Rediex, Paraguay's state export and investment promotion agency. "They confuse us with Uruguay. Or else they think we're part of Brazil," says Clari. "It's difficult to market the country abroad when nobody knows anything about it."

The executive recently traveled to China, where he presented a list of tax incentives available to companies willing to set up manufacturing in Paraguay, which has privileged access to the Brazilian market and boasted the world's third highest rate of economic growth last year (14.4%). "But the Chinese have no idea Paraguay exists," he says.

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