On 4 October, the national government held the launch ceremony of the Higher Technical Institute of Penitentiary Education and Training in Paraguay. The event was chaired by the President of the Republic Mario Abdo Benítez, and included the participation of the President of the Supreme Court of Justice César Diésel, the Minister of Justice Cecilia Pérez Rivas, the Minister of Education and Sciences Juan Manuel Brunetti and the Delegation of the European Union in Paraguay, José María Cueto – Person responsible for monitoring and focal point of the EL PAcCTO programme.
In her speech, Minister of Justice Cecilia Pérez Rivas defined the inauguration of this institute as the meeting of the promise to restart the process of prison reform in Paraguay, laying the foundations for its fulfilment. Indeed, she argued that it is not important to build more prisons, but to provide the operators with excellent training and professionalism that can and will make a difference in the process of rehabilitating imprisoned persons.
“This is a great challenge, but being part of the RAP – LA/ EU Bi-regional Penitentiary Academies Network – and being able to count on the support of the EL PAcCTO programme to combat organised crime in Latin America, financed by the European Union, Paraguay is finally an active member of the international community and will be able to honour its internal and international obligations. With these words, the Minister of Justice, concluded the launch ceremony of the Higher Technical Institute for Penitentiary Education and Training, highlighting once again the importance and effectiveness of the EU/LCA bi-regional cooperation programmes.
The launch of the Institute is an important result of the work that EL PAcCTO has been carrying out since 2018 to improve the prison system in Paraguay, in close coordination with local authorities.
The Minister said that “In the coming weeks the technical course to enter prison management will begin, for all those who intend to work in the new penitentiary centres. Although the budgetary situation for post-pandemic prisons is complex, we are working to get things started as planned, by opening and operating new centres. The institution that we inaugurate today is the first penitentiary academy in Paraguay, which is a member of the RAP and has the support of EL PAcCTO and the embassies of the United States and Brazil, thus guaranteeing the ongoing implementation of the activities”.