Top Story — On Friday, the Paraguayan Senate will decide whether Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo should be impeached for his handling of a violent land conflict that left at least 17 people dead. Paraguay’s lower house of Congress agreed in a near unanimous vote Thursday that impeachment proceedings against the president should begin after Lugo refused to resign after last week’s violence. In a massive police operation last Friday to oust landless peasants from an area they had been occupying for weeks, at least six officers and eleven farmers were killed. Over the weekend, Paraguay’s interior minister and chief of police were both forced to resign, and on Thursday, Lugo’s own Liberal Party withdrew its support of the president. If impeached, Paraguayan Vice President Federico Franco would complete Lugo’s term, scheduled to end in 2013. UNASUR pledged to send a group of foreign ministers to Paraguay to observe the impeachment proceedings.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed Latino leaders in Orlando and said he would “replace” U.S. President Barack Obama’s order to suspend deportation of young undocumented immigrants.
- The family of murdered ICE Agent Jaime Zapata has filed a wrongful death claim against the U.S. Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for its failed “Operation Fast and Furious”, which put arms in the hands of Mexican gangs.
- Mexican marines captured Jesus Alfredo Guzman, son of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “Shorty” Guzman, on Thursday.
- A freighter ran aground on a reef near Puerto Rico on Thursday, stranding about 100 Haitian migrants, most of whom swam to shore.
- Although no one has come to claim their bodies, eleven people who died last week when a boat full of Haitian migrants sunk will be buried in a community funeral, while twelve remain missing.
- Cuban social media fans attended the three-day Click Festival in Havana, despite accusations from state media that the event was an attempt to foment subversive activity on the island.
- Two Nicaraguan soldiers were sentenced to 17 years in jail for giving military secrets to Luis Felipe Rios Castaño of Colombia, who was posing as a Spanish journalist.
- A view inside a Honduran prison shows how inmate bosses have organized the prison like a micro-state.
- Costa Rica’s bio-prospecting agreement with pharmaceutical company Merck has not caught on in other countries due to opposition.
- Members of an elite Bolivian police force took over their barracks near the presidential palace on Thursday in a bid for higher pay.
- Colombian armed forces commander Gen. Alejandro Navas said that the military had killed four members of the FARC and three criminals in operations in Antioquia.
- Ecuador’s government has not yet issued a decision on whether the country will grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
- Peruvian police said that 7 people were killed in a bus crash in southern Peru.
- Venezuelan Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said the country’s homicide rate was 50 homicides per 100,000 people, amounting to 14,000 homicides last year.
- After surviving the 2007 Pan-American Games, Residents of Rio’s Vila Autodromo have been told that their homes will be razed to make room for infrastructure projects for the 2016 Olympic Games.
- Argentina’s General Labor Federation, an umbrella group for numerous unions, will go on a nationwide strike next Wednesday in an attempt to raise wages.
Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.