Paternity claims in Paraguay dropped

Third woman withdraws paternity claim against Paraguayan president

By Catholic News Service

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- The third woman to have filed a paternity claim against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, former Catholic bishop of San Pedro, withdrew the suit Feb. 2, citing "personal reasons."

Hortensia Moran had claimed that Lugo fathered her son, who is now 2. A spokesman for the president denied reports that Lugo had reached a financial settlement with Moran.

A scandal erupted in Paraguay in April 2009, when Lugo admitted having fathered the then-2-year-old son of Viviana Carrillo, a former parishioner, while he was still a bishop. He legally recognized the boy and agreed to pay child support.

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Another woman, Benigna Leguizamon, filed a paternity suit against Lugo that month, but withdrew it later in the year. Paraguayan newspapers reported that Leguizamon, who had lived in a shack in a poor neighborhood, has moved to a better home and has a car and a police guard.

On Feb. 2, Lugo's lawyer, Marcos Farina, said he did not know whether financial settlements had been reached with either of the women who withdrew the paternity suits.

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