PARAGUAY | President interview: The reform imperative

Jul 1, 2014

Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes says he wants to bring people out of poverty and into the official workforce – rather than raising taxes

Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara will complete one year in office in August 2014, having won Paraguay’s presidential election in April of the previous year.

Cartes is a relative newcomer to politics — he had never voted before joining the traditional Colorado party five years ago.

The 58-year-old former businessman managed to become one of the wealthiest people in his country thanks to various interests in banking, tobacco, meat and soft drinks, although he has officially severed links with all his former companies. He also controlled the Liberdad soccer club.

Cartes grew up in his native Asunción, Paraguay’s capital city, and studied engineering in the US before returning to work with his father, who imported Cessna aircrafts to the South American country.

Cartes is both a conservative in politics and a liberal in economics. But he is also a modernizer within the Colorado party, which has dominated Paraguayan politics for...

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