Paraguay voters on Sunday elected
Horacio Cartes of the conservative Colorado Party as their new
The 57-year-old Cartes beat Efrain
Alegre of the Liberal Party by 9 points.
In his acceptance speech, Cartes, with
the Paraguayan flag wrapped around his neck and tears in his eyes,
said he would be the president of all Paraguayans.
“I didn't come to work alone, this
country is going to make strong progress once we all realize we have
to work together,” Cartes, a businessman, said.
Cartes' election dampens the hopes of
gay rights activists lobbying for passage of a marriage bill.
In a radio interview last week, Cartes
compared gay people to “monkeys” and said that when being gay
became normal he would begin believing in the “end of the world.”
“I still believe in normalcy and if
someone chooses to, well, everyone does what they want with their
life, but take it to normal and I think I'll start believing in the
end of the world. Let's maintain normalcy, and whoever wants to be
happy swinging from branch to branch, can return to monkey.”
He went on to threaten harm to himself
if his son were to marry a man.
“I would shoot myself in the balls,
because I do not agree,” he said during the interview with Radio
Chaco Boreal. “I'll shoot my own balls, sincerely! [My son] isn't
short of anything in life.”
After neighbor Argentina legalized gay
nuptials in 2010, activists in Paraguay held out hope for a similar
law in Paraguay. Activists introduced a bill to Congress, which
failed to act on the proposal.