|1.||an inland republic in South America: colonized by the Spanish from 1537, gaining independence in 1811; lost 142 500 sq km (55 000 sq miles) of territory and over half its population after its defeat in the war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay (1865--70). It is divided by the Paraguay River into a sparsely inhabited semiarid region (Chaco) in the west, and a central region of wooded hills, tropical forests, and rich grasslands, rising to the Paraná plateau in the east. Official languages: Spanish and Guarani. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: guarani. Capital: Asunción. Pop: 6 018 000 (2004 est). Area: 406 750 sq km (157 047 sq miles)|
|2.||a river in South America flowing south through Brazil and Paraguay to the Paraná River. Length: about 2400 km (1500 miles)|
Note: Controlled for many decades by a highly repressive military government. A civilian was elected president in 1993.
Note: Reputed sanctuary for Nazi fugitives.