Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Paraguayans glued to presidential paternity scandal
Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:45pm EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Kevin Gray
ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayans are transfixed over a real-life soap opera set in the presidential palace: paternity claims by three women against bishop-turned-president Fernando Lugo.
The president, once known as the "bishop of the poor" but now seen as something of a playboy, stunned Paraguayans two weeks ago by admitting he had fathered a child while he was a Roman Catholic bishop. The acknowledgment came after the mother filed a paternity suit.
Since then, two other women have come forward with similar claims and Lugo, instead of denying them, asked the nation to forgive him.
The scandal has proved fodder for a torrent of e-mail jokes circulating in Asuncion, and even a popular song whose title is "Lugaucho" _ a wordplay on Lugo's name and gaucho, Paraguayan slang for playboy.
One newspaper cartoon poked fun at the issue, showing presidential security guards pushing a baby stroller for triplets. Some jokes take aim at Lugo breaking his celibacy vows, but apparently respecting church rules against condoms.
Radio and TV talk shows buzz with the latest rumors, some suggesting Lugo may have even more children.
Many Paraguayans chuckle when asked about the scandal. But some express disillusionment with Lugo, who swept to office as a political outsider last year, ending more than 60 years of one-party rule in one of the world's most corrupt countries.
"We thought we'd finally found the answer to fix our broken political system," said Jorge Giminez, a 34-year-old bus driver. "Who can you trust if you can't trust a bishop?"
Others voiced support for the president, dismissing the uproar as orchestrated by the Colorado party that Lugo ousted from power and many Paraguayans blame for the country's corruption.
"Why is this coming out now?" asked Rafael Quiroz, a mechanic. "The Colorados want to undermine him."
Polls show Lugo's popularity has fallen to below 50 percent from nearly 70 percent before the scandal. But most analysts say it is unlikely to seriously damage his government because of Paraguay's macho culture.
On Friday, Lugo, 57, apologized for the scandal in an attempt to move forward. His lawyers, he said, were dealing with the claims submitted by the second and third women.
One woman, Benigna Leguizamon, a poor, 27-year-old soap vendor, wants child support for her 6-year-old son who she said Lugo had fathered.
Another woman, Damiana Hortensia Moran, 39, has defended the president and initially said she did not intend to sue him. But she hinted she may change her mind after the president has so far failed to recognize her son, who is one-and-a-half years old. Continued...
View article on single page
Brown takes new strategy to Afghanistan, Pakistan
also on reuters
Blog: Monetizing antiquities (without selling them)
What cereal are you? Job interview queries on Web
Slideshow: The highest-earning mothers in showbiz
More International News
World battles to curb deadly Mexico flu strain
Mexico City stays on feet despite flu crisis
U.N. tells Sri Lanka president of casualty concerns
Learning from SARS, China vows swift flu reporting
Peru grants asylum to Venezuelan opposition leader
More International News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
World closer to swine flu pandemic | Video
World battles to curb deadly Mexico flu strain | Video
Ex-soldier bragged about Iraqi rape, deaths: lawyer
Two more California students have swine flu
Madoff unit auctioned for $25.5 million
Obama plane photo op startles New Yorkers
Fear a high school reunion? Hire a stripper
U.S. tells BofA, Citi to increase capital: report
Nuclear bomber hangar among endangered U.S. sites
S&P futures drop on report Citi/BofA may need capital
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
U.S. launches flu PR blitz
Experts warn of swine flu pandemic
New device Twitters baby kicks
Swine flu outbreak map
Swine flu fears spread
Mexican swine flu spreads to Europe
GM slashing more jobs
Mumbai prepares for Thursday polls
Quake hits flu-stricken Mexico
New "torture" memos?
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.