Electoral Processes

Civic Participation
Media and Journalism
Political Process Monitoring
Transparency and Accountability

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CREER: Civil society oversight to tackle organized crime and corruption in elections 


The Problem
The influence of organized crime and corruption is an escalating threat in Paraguay's political landscape, particularly during elections. This pervasive issue undermines democratic processes and necessitates robust oversight from civil society. Key challenges include a lack of transparency in political financing, normalization of corruption, and inadequate engagement from civil society stakeholders.  

The Approach
CREER aims to address rule of law problems that undermine democracy and good governance by monitoring and exposing irregularities in political financing. The project was launched in January 2023 and its target regions include Asunción and the Department of Alto Paraná in Paraguay, known for their political significance and prevalence of organized crime and corruption. Major activities include comprehensive capacity-building workshops and training sessions designed to equip journalists and civil society actors with investigative techniques and legal frameworks to effectively monitor political financing and expose irregularities. The project also facilitates roundtable discussions and public events, fostering dialogue among diverse stakeholders and encouraging collaborative approaches towards tackling political financing irregularities. Furthermore, a research incubator initiative targets students and researchers, engaging them in academic research related to the influence of organized crime and corruption in politics. Additionally, the project forms strategic alliances with influential private sector groups to leverage their influence and resources in combating corruption. 

The Impact

  • 8 oversight actions to combat the influence of organized crime in politics. 

  • 50+ media publications to raise awareness; 2 newspaper front pages and 5 live TV interviews. 

  • 2 ongoing investigations in the academic sector. 

  • 10 journalistic investigations generated in bootcamps were published. 

  • Engaged 2 private universities. 

  • 5 alliances with business sector partners. 

  • Empowered 120 civil society key actors, including women, youth, LGBTQ+ representatives, and grassroots organizations, fostering increased vigilance and action against political financing irregularities and corruption. 

  • Engaged with five civil society organizations in oversight actions. 

  • 6 key actors including journalists, academics, and businesswomen involved in raising awareness among the public. 

  • 2 technical collaboration tables with the Electoral Tribunal to enhance oversight of political financing by institutions, resulted in heightened transparency and scrutiny. 

The Future
Semillas para la Democracia intends to broaden their collaborative networks, implement advanced training programs, and expand the Research Incubator initiative. Public awareness campaigns will inform citizens about transparency, while policy advocacy aims to strengthen governance. They seek sustainable funding models and technological integration to extend their reach to regions with low civic engagement.