Democratisation and Institutionalised Corruption in Paraguay

  • R. Andrew Nickson
Part of the Institute of Latin American Studies Series book series


Paraguay is unusual in Latin America: it has had one of the least corrupt and also one of the most corrupt governments in the post-independence history of the sub-continent.’1 Doctor José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia was the absolute ruler of Paraguay from 1814 to 1840 and was the founding father of the Paraguayan nation after independence from Spain.2 Known as El Supremo, because of the mixture of fear and respect which he engendered, his regime was acknowledged by both admirers and detractors to be extraordinarily free of corruption.3 A modern scholar of the Francia period concluded:

Francia’s incorruptible honesty, especially during his tenure as dictator, became proverbial. Avoiding the accumulation of any substantial personal wealth or property, he lived a modest, semisecluded bachelor’s life on a fraction of the salary established for him by the popular congresses. Furthermore, as Francia left no heirs, upon his death on September 20, 1840, all of his belongings, in accordance with the laws that he had promulgated, were automatically confiscated by the state.4


Public Sector Armed Force Money Laundering Structural Reform Political Corruption 
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Copyright information

© Institute of Latin American Studies 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Andrew Nickson

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