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Paraguay: Trans-Chaco Rally Postponed

Every year, drivers from across the globe descend on Paraguay's Chaco Region to participate in the Trans-Chaco Rally, which has been running since 1971. This year, the region of the Grand Chaco has been especially hit hard by drought. A State of Emergency had been declared for the area. As a result, the government announced that it would be postponing the race [es] citing the need to allow for aid workers to provide assistance to the region's 18,000 families, including many from indigenous groups.

Carlos Rodríguez of Rescatar [es] does not agree with the suspension of the race [es], and explains how the government arrived at the decision:

Cuando se declara una situación de emergencia como aconteció ahora es que se evaluó el cuadro crítico de un fenómeno natural y su efecto sobre los bienes, la infraestructura y la vulnerabilidad de poblaciones existentes donde se produce el fenómeno. Un equipo técnico hizo una estimación del impacto en las actividades cotidianas y de desarrollo y recomendó establecer medidas para reducir la vulnerabilidad y mitigar los efectos de la sequía. Entre ellos, la suspensión del rally.

When one declares a state of emergency such as this, one critically evalutes the natural phenonemon and its effect on property, infrastructure and the vulnerability of the population located where this phenomenon took place. A technical team made an estimation of the impact on daily activities and development and recommended that measures be established to reduce the vulnerability and mitigate the effects of the drought. Among these recommendations, the suspension of the rally.

Marta Escurra wonders what other consequences may result in the suspension of the race [es]:

El rally consiste en un puñado de días, para ser precisos tres, y sí… es cierto que dentro de ese marco ocurren “cosas extrañas” que luego vemos reflejadas en los diarios sensasionalistas. Pero también es cierto que además de los rallystas otras personas dependen económicamente de la competencia y es tal vez su única entrada de dinero honesto en todo el año.

The rally consists of a pair of days, or to be more precise three days, and yes… it is true that within that framework that there are “strange things” that happen that end up in the sensationalist newspapers. It is also true that besides the rally drivers, there are other people that depend economically on the competition and it maybe their only source of honest money during the entire year.

The hardships facing families is not limited to the Chaco region, and Jorge Torres Romero looks at populations closer to home and writes [es]:

La otra cuestión. Se declara emergencia por la sequía, pero Camilo se pasa hablando de las caries, problemas respiratorios y complicaciones de la salud de centenares de familias de varias comunidades indígenas. No hace falta ir tan lejos. Acá en los bañados de Asunción, al menos a mil metros de su oficina se va a encontrar con mayores problemas odontológicos y respiratorios ya sea por la basura y por la contaminación. ¿Por qué no plantea declarar estado de emergencia la zona del bañado?

The other question. An emergency was declared due to the drought, but Camilo (Soares, the Minister of National Emergency) talks about cavities, respiratory problems and health complications facing hundreds of families from indigenous communities. One does not need to go that far. Here in the outskirts of Asunción, at approximately 1000 meters from his office, one can find people with worse dental and respiratory problemas due to the trash and contamination. Why don't they propose declaring a state of emergency in those outskirts?

Many are upset at the suspension of the rally, as it is the 2nd most popular sporting activity outside of football in the country.

2 comments

  • Its about the only thing they talk about on the news in Paraguay right now. . . it seems that not very many people agree with them canceling it.

  • Chris Duerksen

    I’ts the stupedest thing in the hole world! Why not wait with bringing the indigenous there food and Water. They didn’t die until now, they wont die if they wait 1 week!

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