Dissident Paraguayan Given Safe Conduct To Argentina
ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) _ A dissident member of the ruling Colorado Party who feared arrest and asked the Argentine Embassy for political asylum was allowed to leave the country Friday, relatives reported.
They said Juan Galaverna, 35, crossed from Asuncion into the bordering Argentine city of Clorinda accompanied by an Argentine Embassy official, Aldo Fraticelli. The Uruguayan relatives, contacted by The Associated Press by telephone, spoke on condition they not be identified.
Marcos Breton, a spokesman at the Argentine Embassy, would only confirm that Galaverna was no longer at Ambassador Raul Quijano’s residence, where he had been sheltered since making his plea for asylum on Thursday. ″He left today,″ Breton said, declining to elaborate.
Earlier in the day, Quijano met with Foreign Minister Carlos Saldivar in an effort to obtain safe-conduct passage for Galaverna, who was chairman of the municipal board of Ypacarai, a city 20 miles east of the capital of Asuncion.
Galaverna had sought asylum on grounds of political persecution. He said police planned to arrest him, apparently for a speech in which he called Paraguay’s authoritarian president, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner a ″gringo,″ a derogatory term for North Americans.
His asylum bid was first made public Thursday by House of Deputies member Luis Becker, also a Colorado dissident from Ypacarai, who said Galaverna faced arrest.
Interior Minister Sabino Montanaro denied any arrest warrant had been issued for Galaverna. He said the police delivered an Interior Ministry citation warning against any public rallies that had been planned Sunday to mark the anniversary of Ypacarai’s founding.
″There is no political persecution,″ Montanaro said. ″There is no possibility of arresting him because he has immunity″ due to his public office. ″We only wanted to inform him of a decision to impose order in Ypacarai. If this man wants to seek refuge, it is his own problem.″
Galaverna and Becker belong to an anti-Stroessner faction within the Colorado Party known as ″the ethical ones.″ They have denounced the 73-year- old ruler’s methods and demand that he be replaced by a civilian candidate in scheduled 1988 presidential elections.
Stroessner came to power in a 1954 coup and over the years has stifled opposition to his conservative rule.