The media presented a constitutional protection for Nicanor Duarte Frutos to deliver public information, after he omitted a ruling from the Ministry of Justice. His whim goes against all measures to combat corruption. According to legal specialists, a constitutional rule is violated. The case is now in the hands of First Instance Judge Alice de Lorenzi.
After several attempts for the Yacyretá Binational Entity (EBY) to deliver the information on its spending on advertising and social assistance, through the Access to Public Information Law, and that it has not passed the corresponding data, the newspaper La Nación decided to present a lawsuit against the entity. The lack of transparency of director Nicanor Duarte Frutos also affects the image of the country, according to analysts.
The document presented this Friday before the Judiciary is a constitutional protection for Yacyretá to deliver the public information requested by this means. Said judicial appeal was sponsored by the legal advisor of Grupo Nación, Dr. Raúl Prono, who acted on behalf of the requests made by investigative journalist Jhojhanni Vega Fiorini.
“This is a transit that began in October, EBY argued that we should process the authorization for the delivery of this documentation with the Foreign Ministry, which is incorrect, the very Directorate of Access to Public Information of the Ministry of Justice already ordered in a they report that EBY is a public source of information and that there is no prior procedure at the Foreign Ministry ”, the lawyer recalled.
Likewise, he stressed that at the time Yacyretá also said that it could not provide this information because they are governed by a treaty that is supposedly above the law, which does not apply in this case either. According to the lawyer, a right is being exercised based on a law that regulates a constitutional provision referring to Article 28 of the right to information.
According to this article, public sources of information are free for all. “The law will regulate the modalities, terms and penalties corresponding to them, so that this right is effective. Any person affected by the dissemination of false, distorted or ambiguous information has the right to demand its rectification or clarification by the same means and under the same conditions that it has been disclosed, without prejudice to other compensatory rights ”, reads the National Constitution .
The case was finally in the hands of the judge of the First Instance for Children and Adolescents of the 2nd shift, Alice de Lorenzi, who was bypassed to attend the amparo. Next week the Court must issue a transfer order to EBY, which will answer within the time limits established by law.
Last Monday, January 25, journalists Rossana Escobar and Jhojhanni Vega Fiorini, from the Research area of Grupo Nación, presented an injunction to the director of EBY, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, to provide information on the accountability of expenses in social help and publicity. However, the entity only offered in response the publication of very limited data on its website.
Duarte Frutos’ whim of not providing data on his spending on advertising and social investments not only constitutes a violation of the law but also affects the image of the country that is currently facing the Mutual Evaluation (EM) process before the Group of Financial Action of Latin America (Gafilat), in which the country must defend advances in money laundering and terrorist financing before its peers or member countries.
According to specialists from the economic sector, the attitude of Duarte Frutos goes against the transparency policies that are imposed to present the country in the best way. “I think they contribute negatively, because the first establishment that should be transparent is precisely the public sector,” said the former Minister of Finance, César Barreto, when asked about it.
He indicated that Yacyretá should provide the information that is requested since for some reason the data is requested. “Any act of government that implies a lack of transparency conspires against this (EM), because acts of corruption are related to preceding crimes of money laundering and are punishable,” said Barreto.
For his part, Diego Marcet Oviedo, general director of Legal Advice of the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Property Laundering (Seprelad), pointed out that the precept of transparency is judicially protected so it is also important that it is about a state policy. “A Gafilat evaluator looks at the threat, vulnerability and consequence of laundering, and if corruption is a threat, transparency policies help to combat this phenomenon because it is important that all public management is transparent,” said Marcet.
Finally, the economist Juan Cresta said that the refusal of an institution like Yacyretá could also affect the image of the country. “It is extremely important that the entire system is transparent, that all the rules are followed,” he said. If it does not pass the Gafilat evaluation, Paraguay would be on the “gray list” and lose many investments.
So far it is known that about US $ 70 million were distributed by Yacyretá by Nicanor Duarte Frutos, through social transfers, as obtained from the entity’s portal. What is not known is how it was spent, how much it was purchased, the contractors and the beneficiaries of many of the social programs financed by the binational.