ASUNCION – The restoration of Paraguay’s Congress began Tuesday, almost a year after part of the building was set ablaze during a protest against a legislative push to override the constitutional ban on presidential reelections.
During a ceremony marking the start of the restoration, the leader of the Senate, Fernando Lugo, said that the first stage will involve structural repairs on the parts of building most damaged by the fire, which spread from the entrance and the ground floor to part of the upper levels.
Lugo told reporters that the building’s insurance will cover 825 million guaranies ($150,000) in repair work and that the restoration will be completed in 75 days.
Once the structural repairs are done, the restoration of the rest of the damaged areas will begin, he said.
The Paraguayan Congress was set ablaze on March 31, 2017, when a demonstration in Asuncion turned violent and protesters entered, ransacked and set fire to the part of the building housing the Senate
More than 200 people were arrested and upwards of 30 were injured during the incident, and one young Liberal Party activist died after being shot by the police during a pre-dawn raid on party headquarters in Asuncion.
The damaged part of the Congress had since been closed and cordoned off.