Juan Carlos Wasmosy
|Juan Carlos Wasmosy|
|48th President of Paraguay|
August 15, 1993 – August 15, 1998
|Vice President||Ángel Seifart|
|Preceded by||Andrés Rodríguez|
|Succeeded by||Raúl Cubas Grau|
December 15, 1938 |
|Political party||Colorado Party|
Born in Asunción, Paraguay, Wasmosy trained as a civil engineer and became head of the Paraguayan consortium working on the Itaipu Dam. During this project, he amassed a large amount of wealth. He served as minister of integration under President Andrés Rodríguez.
His ancestors (Dániel Vámosy and József Vámosy – who changed his name into Wamosy) immigrated to South America from Debrecen, Hungary in 1828. at that time, the surname of the family was Vámosy. His relative, Alceu Wamosy (1895–1923), a famous Brazilian writer, is also from this ancestry. Juan Carlos Wasmosy went to see the home town of his ancestors in 1995 during his official visit to Hungary.
Rodríguez endorsed Wasmosy as his successor in the 1993 elections. He won with approximately 40 percent of the vote in what is generally acknowledged to be the first honest election in the country's history (the country had gained independence in 1811), with Domingo Laino finishing a close second. Although there were confirmed cases of fraud, a team of international observers led by Jimmy Carter concluded that Wasmosy's margin of victory was large enough to offset any wrongdoing. Carter also noted that opposition candidates took 60 percent of the vote between them—a remarkable figure in a country where opposition had been barely tolerated for most of its history up to that point.
However, he became very unpopular when he appointed many of longtime dictator Alfredo Stroessner's supporters to government posts. He also failed to continue the limited reforms of Rodríguez.
Lino Oviedo, head of the Paraguayan army, allegedly attempted a coup in April 1996. Wasmosy countered by offering Oviedo a ministerial position, but soon imprisoned him. In 1998, Raúl Cubas stood for the Colorado Party presidential nomination, his main policy being freeing Oviedo, and won.
In 2002, Wasmosy was convicted of defrauding the Paraguayan state and was himself sentenced to four years in prison. The sentence was later appealed.
- World Briefing | Americas: Paraguay: Ex-President Convicted Of Corruption, April 16, 2002, NYTimes
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|President of Paraguay