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US sanctions Paraguay vice president over ‘corruption’

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The United States on Friday sanctioned the vice president of Paraguay, Hugo Velazquez, over “significant corruption,” barring him from entering the country.

Velazquez and close associate Juan Carlos Duarte were accused of being involved in “bribery of a public official and interference in public processes,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The designation also blocks their immediate family members from entering the United States.

Duarte allegedly offered an undisclosed bribe to a Paraguayan official to obstruct an investigation related to the vice president’s financial interests, according to the statement.

He is also accused of breach of trust as legal advisor to the hydroelectric plant, Yacyreta Bi-National Entity, built between Paraguay and Argentina.

“These designations reaffirm the commitment of the United States to combat corruption,” Blinken said.

Last July, the United States announced a ban on former Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes, accusing the businessman-turned-politician of corruption and links to “terrorist” groups.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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