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Riots in Paraguay after fire verdict

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Riots in Paraguay after fire verdict


Emotions boiled over in a court in Paraguay at the end of a trial relating to a fire that killed 350 people. Relatives of the victims and survivors were angry that three men charged over the blaze were convicted of involuntary manslaughter rather than murder. The violence spilled out onto the streets of the capital, Asuncion. Local T.V. relayed live images of people storming a supermarket.

It was a store from the same chain where the fire broke out two years ago causing the South American country’s worst peacetime tragedy. The owner of the supermarket, his son and a security guard were accused of locking the doors as the flames spread, preventing people from escaping. They denied the charge. The conviction for involuntary manslaughter normally carries a maximum prison term of seven years. After the verdict was announced a victims’ support group claimed the judges had been bribed.

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