As Catholic bishop, Paraguay's president fathered a child
On Monday, President Fernando Lugo admitted he had a son while still an ordained bishop
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As a presidential candidate, Lugo was the ultimate political outsider who overcame the political establishment to be elected president last April.Skip to next paragraph
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His election garnered worldwide attention for this poor, landlocked country. Before Lugo, no priest had been elected president of a Latin American country in living memory, much less one who hewed to the liberation theology of agitating on behalf of the oppressed.
His inauguration in August marked the first time in Paraguay's 197-year history that the ruling party willingly ceded power to the elected opposition.
Lugo has been a popular president, taking over with a vow to serve the dispossessed. He dresses the part, eschewing a tie and wearing closed-toed sandals.
Government officials initially denied Carrillo's claims last week, suggesting that political enemies were engaged in a smear campaign. Newspapers picked up on the story, noting that Lugo had denied rumors during last year's presidential campaign that he had children.
On Monday, Lugo finally told the truth.
"Here and now, before my people and my conscience, I declare with absolute honesty and a sense of duty and transparency in relation to the controversy provoked by the paternity suit, that there was a relationship with Viviana Carrillo," Lugo said.
"I assume all responsibilities . . . and recognize the paternity of the child," Lugo said, adding that he wanted to protect the privacy of his son, Guillermo Armindo Carrillo.
Lugo said he wouldn't comment further.
He was scheduled to travel to Venezuela later this week for a two-day meeting that begins Tuesday. It was organized by President Hugo Chávez to discuss a common strategy with political allies in advance of the Summit of the Americas.
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McClatchy Newspapers 2009