Senate lawmakers in Paraguay approved a 30-day state of emergency in the northern region, which is meant to fight against various members of a militant group that has been attacking police stations and conducting kidnappings across the country, according to the Associated Press
President Fernando Lugo signed the legislation immediately on Saturday. He had originally asked for a 60-day suspension but was provided 30 days instead.
Under a state of emergency, the Paraguayan President will be able to order arrests and transfer suspects without court approval. The latest legislation also places limits on civil liberties such as the right to assemble, which would prohibit protests and demonstrations.
However, Press TV
reports that opposition members and critics of Lugo feel his security policies could lead to abuse by security forces and the Paraguayan People’s Army. But other opposition leaders believe it’s the best move the President can make in order to combat militants in the region.
Speaker of the Upper House and Senator, Miguel Carrizosa, said in a statement, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune
, “Ranch owners and farm hands, and the people who live in these states, do not deserve to live in fear. Even in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion many people fear that the EPP has extended its criminal activities to urban areas.”
Lugo is a former Roman Catholic bishop.