After alleged sexual misconduct in Taiwan, Paraguayan official resigns

Paraguayan official tenders his resignation after being accused of sexual harassment of female Taiwanese translator

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Julian A. Vega. (Image from Julian A. Vega Facebook)

Julian A. Vega. (Image from Julian A. Vega Facebook)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After news broke in Taiwan that a Paraguayan official had been asked to leave Taiwan for allegedly sexually harassing a female Taiwanese translator, and in the midst of a visit by the President of Paraguay to Taiwan, Julian A. Vega has submitted his resignation.

After news broke on Sunday that Vega, the director of Paraguay's Immigration Bureau, had been accused of sexual misconduct while in Taiwan, he formally submitted his resignation to Interior Minister Juan Ernesto Villamayor yesterday (Oct. 8), reported ABC Color. In an interview with Radio ABC Cardinal, Villamayor said he accepted Vega's resignation, despite the fact that he had just arrived in Taiwan the previous Thursday (Oct. 4).

Vega had arrived in Taipei last week at the invitation of the Taiwanese National Immigration Agency (NIA) to take part in a standardized training program for immigration officials. He was assigned a female Taiwanese translator to assist him in communication for what was to be an eight-day visit.

However, on Sunday it was reported that the translator had accused him of "rubbing her thigh." On Oct. 5, she filed a report with the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office accusing the Paraguayan official of sexual misconduct, reported Liberty Times.

A settlement was reached in private that same day in which formal charges would not be pressed, but that Vega would leave Taiwan as soon as possible. He is reportedly due to fly back to Paraguay today.

In an interview with Radio ABC Cardinal, Vega said that it was a "misunderstanding" and explained that he had only touched the thigh of the woman to ask her the meaning of a word. He went on to say that it was a difference in "custom" and that he did not realize he had done something wrong. "We sat down to talk and clarify. I explained how our custom is and that I did not know that it was something that could not be done, and they understood. They have a very rigid law, which I did not know."

Meanwhile, a delegation led by President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez is on an official state visit to Taiwan that will run from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11 that will include participation in the country's National Day celebration tomorrow.