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Mayor of Ciudad del Este resigns on November 26 before federal intervention takes place

Reports indicate that on November 26 the mayor of Ciudad del Este, Sandra McLeod, resigned shortly before the federal government authorized to intervene in the city located in the Triple-Frontier area. The decision to intervene in the city followed a lengthy debate at Congress triggered by a judicial investigation against McLeod, who is suspected of embezzlement and unruly practices. In October local authorities requested the executive office to authorize such intervention to suspend McLeod from office while the investigations continued. Given that McLeod resigned before she could be suspended from her duties, the Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice (TSJE) announced that local elections would have to take place shortly. However, the TSJE rescinded its decision on November 29 after the local municipal board failed to announce whether it would accept McLeod’s resignation or not. In the meantime, María Carolina Llantes has been appointed to head the local government until further notice.

McLeod’s resignation likely comes as an attempt to avoid detention at the hand of federal agents. As a result, notwithstanding the ongoing judicial investigation, McLeod could potentially seek to run for office during upcoming elections. Following the federal intervention, the municipality of Ciudad del Este will witness reduced functions and key ministerial decisions will not be implemented. Moreover, potential conflicts between María Carolina Llantes and local officials could translate in poor coordination between agencies, possibly affecting the performance of security services.

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