ASUNCION – The Paraguayan government commemorated on Monday the 82nd anniversary of the signing of the Peace Protocol of the 1932-1935 Chaco War, with an event that honored those fallen in its battles, along with two survivors.
Pablo Rodriguez and Martin Yegros were decorated with the Cross of the Defender medal by Defense Minister Diogenes Martinez during an event at the Victory Barracks in the city of San Lorenzo, near Asuncion.
The minister, accompanied by the military high command, also awarded medals posthumously to the families of Sgt. Zacarias Guillen and infantryman Serapio Rolon, both recently deceased.
On the occasion of the commemoration, several floral wreaths were placed in the Victoria Barracks where the history of that war is preserved, and includes a cemetery that holds the remains of some 500 former combatants who survived the conflict.
Up to now, around 300 Paraguayan veterans of the Chaco War are still living, according to the Defense Ministry.
Last Friday, and as previously announced at the commemoration of the Chaco Peace, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes presented a floral tribute at the Army Command while paying homage to the soldiers who fought in that war.
On June 12, 1935, the two countries involved signed the ceasefire in Buenos Aires, though the final peace treaty was not signed until three years later, on July 21, 1938.
The so-called Chaco War exploded between Bolivia and Paraguay for possession of vast lands in the arid region, which for the former country is currently a rich source of natural gas.