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Police: Paraguayan leader’s son arrested in US

October 22, 2013

BAL HARBOR, Florida (AP) — The son of Paraguay’s president was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery and later released, accused of punching someone during a weekend party at a luxury apartment complex in suburban Miami, according to police reports released Tuesday.

Officers arrested 28-year-old Juan Pablo Cartes Montana early Sunday in Bal Harbour, an affluent community north of Miami Beach, police said. Cartes, who is taking non-credit English-language classes at Miami-Dade College, is the son of Paraguay President Horacio Cartes.

The police report said the younger Cartes argued with a guest, asked the individual to leave a party at his apartment and allegedly punched the guest in the left eye as security guards escorted the guest through the lobby. The guest’s gender was not specified in the report.

Cartes was jailed and subsequently released on $1,500 bail Sunday.

A man who answered a telephone listed for Cartes didn’t identify himself by name and declined to discuss details of the case.

Earlier Tuesday, El Nuevo Herald reported that Cartes said in a phone interview that he was sorry for the incident and said it was not his fault.

Cartes’ father is a tobacco magnate turned politician. The Paraguayan president was elected in April after his predecessor at the helm of that South American nation was impeached and removed from office. The senior Cartes helped build a fortune with two dozen companies in industries including banking, soft drinks and soccer.

After opponents complained about conflicts of interest, the elder Cartes said he transferred his ownership in all his companies. His sister, Sarah Cartes, now runs the Grupo Cartes. Sarah Cartes is also the name listed as the manager of the company that owns Juan Pablo Cartes’ $2.8 million apartment, according to Miami-Dade County and Florida records.