Paraguay’s Neighbors Denounce Lugo’s Removal, Isolate Successor
June 25, 2012 By Staff
Top Story — The ouster of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo from office on Friday has shocked and angered Paraguay’s Latin American neighbors, leading Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela to withdraw their ambassadors from Paraguay over the weekend. The presidents of Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic said they would not recognize the country’s new president, former Paraguayan Vice President Federico Franco, who took Lugo’s place following his impeachment on Friday in a 39-4 Senate vote. Fellow Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay suspended Paraguay from a meeting of the regional trade bloc in Argentina on Monday, and Venezuela has said it will suspend all fuel shipments to Paraguay. Meanwhile, Lugo has characterized his removal from office as a “parliamentary coup” and said that he and his former government ministers would meet on Monday to form a parallel government. Lugo says he hopes protests will prompt Paraguayan lawmakers to reverse his impeachment.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Thousands marched in a protest against Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto on Sunday while the candidate sought to distance himself from the old policies of his party, the PRI.
- Two U.S. border patrol agents and brothers will face trial next month on accusations that they helped smuggle people across the U.S.-Mexico border.
- A bus accident in the Mexican state of Guerrero killed 32 people.
- U.S. authorities said they would expand the use of Predator drones over the Caribbean to monitor drug trafficking.
- U.S. crews are seeking to contain fuel leaks from a freighter run aground off the coast of Puerto Rico.
- Cuban media reported that no cases of viral Hepatitis B among children younger than 15 have appeared on the island in the last 23 years.
- The U.S. Embassy in Honduras reported that a U.S. DEA agent killed a Honduran suspect during a raid on a smuggling operation on Saturday.
- Honduran Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said police had seized $450,000, as well as cocaine and 12 vehicles, during a drug raid on Saturday.
- An official with the Los Angeles housing authority was apprehended in Guatemala and returned to the U.S. to face charges for corruption.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales said he would not deploy troops to combat a three-day police strike in which several police stations have been destroyed.
- Four Colombian soldiers died Saturday when their Cessna crashed in central Colombia.
- Peru is the number one source of the world’s cocaine, according to U.N. and U.S. estimates.
- “Lonesome George,” the last-known Pinta Island tortoise, died at age 100 in the Galapagos Islands.
- The Uruguayan government said that although it seeks to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana, it will place a ban on sales of the drug to foreigners.
- An Argentine bishop was forced to resign after photos circulated of him with a woman on a Mexican beach.
Image: Fernando Lugo Méndez @ Flickr.