Fernando Lugo, elected President of Paraguay in 2008, was impeached and removed from office by the Congress of Paraguay in June 2012. On 21 June the Chamber of Deputies voted 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo, and the Senate removed him from office the following day, by 39 votes to 4, resulting in Vice President Federico Franco, who had broken with Lugo, becoming President. Lugo contends he was denied due process because he did not have enough time to prepare a defense. A number of Latin American governments declared the proceeding was effectively a coup d'état. Lugo himself formally accepted the impeachment, but called it a "parliamentary coup".
|Impeachment of Fernando Lugo|
Fernando Lugo in 2010
|Date||22 June 2012|
|Participants||Fernando Lugo and Congress of Paraguay|
|Outcome||Fernando Lugo is removed from office and succeeded by vice president Federico Franco|
The election of Lugo broke a 61-year period in office for the Colorado Party (ANR-PC). Lugo was aided by the presence of Federico Franco of the traditional opposition party Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA) on the ticket as its Vice Presidential candidate. Lugo's electoral coalition, Patriotic Alliance for Change (APC), was able to elect him as President (gaining 42.3% of the vote, against the second-placed Colorado candidate's 31.8%). However the Liberals and Colorados retained a majority of both houses of Congress. The Liberal Party, initially a member of the Alliance, withdrew in 2009, leaving the Alliance with just a handful of Congressional seats.
A US Embassy cable from March 2009 (posted on WikiLeaks) discussed the intention of Lino Oviedo and ex-President Nicanor Duarte to organise the impeachment of Lugo as a means to gain power. The cable is quoted as saying "Duarte's and Oviedo's shared goal: Find a 'cause celebre' to champion so as to change the current political equation, break the political deadlock in Congress, impeach Lugo and regain their own political relevance. Oviedo's dream scenario involves legally impeaching Lugo, even if on spurious grounds." The document goes on to suggest that Oviedo would be a leading candidate for the Vice Presidency, once Federico Franco had replaced Lugo as President, while Duarte might attain the Senate presidency. The document concludes "Farfetched? Perhaps. But not entirely unprecedented in Paraguayan politics."
In mid-May 2012 around 150 landless farmers occupied the Campos Morombi belonging to ex-Colorado Senator Blas Riquelme. The farmers said the land, in Curuguaty in the eastern Canindeyú Department, had been taken illegally during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. On 15 June 2012 a police operation to evict landless farmers, enforcing a court order obtained by Riquelme, led to the death of 6 police officers and 11 farmers. The eviction involved over 300 police evicting over 150 farmers; according to the BBC, "the eviction escalated into violence and the farmers opened fire on the police." According to some sources, the eviction involved both the Special Operations Group (Grupo Especial de Operaciones, GEO) and police, and the first persons to die were the chief and deputy of the GEO operation, leading the GEO to employ helicopters, flamethrowers and tear gas against the farmers. The GEO chief and deputy had approached the farmers for dialogue without arms drawn, not expecting violence, and were both shot in the head. Local witnesses said the farmers had been infiltrated by an unknown group of men using heavy weapons not employed by the occupying farmers, and that these had been the shooters. Some suspected the involvement of the Paraguayan People’s Army. On 16 June Lugo accepted the resignation of his interior minister Carlos Filizzola and of National Police chief General Paulino Rojas. On 16 June former National General Counsel Rubén Candia Amarilla, a controversial figure from the Colorado Party, took over the Ministry of Interior. Immediately, the PLRA (Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico, or Authentic Radical Liberal party) requested the dismissal of Candia Amarilla and the new National Police chief Arnaldo Sanabria, who led the police operation that ended in the deaths of the farmers in Curuguaty. On 19 June "Emilio Camacho, auditor of the Paraguayan Land Institute (INDERT), confirmed that Blas Riquelme did not have the title to the 2,000 hectares." On 20 June Lugo announced a special commission to investigate the incident.
The Chamber cited the 15 June incident as well as insecurity, nepotism and a controversial land purchase to vote 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo on 21 June 2012. The Senate took up the case the next day. The impeachment was attended by a delegation of Foreign Affairs ministers from the other nations of the Union of South American Nations. The vote ended with 39 votes for Lugo's removal and four for his continuity, which removed Lugo from office and made Vice President Federico Franco (who had broken with Lugo earlier) the new president of Paraguay. Lugo announced that he would denounce the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, stating that the time to prepare a legal defence, just two hours, may be unconstitutional.
The impeachment was endorsed by the Supreme Court of Paraguay and by the country's electoral court on 25 June. The next day, Lugo stated that while he still believed his impeachment amounted to a coup, nothing short of a "miraculous" reversal of course by Congress would allow him to regain office. Short of that, he said, "all my legal possibilities ended yesterday ... Legally there is no other way to reverse this situation." The electoral court declared that Lugo had been duly removed from office under Article 225, and that Federico Franco had correctly succeeded as President under Article 234.
|Chamber of Deputies vote on initiating impeachment proceedings against President Fernando Lugo.|
|Ballot||21 June 2012|
|Required majority||54 out of 80 (67.50%)|
76 / 80
1 / 80
0 / 80
3 / 80
|Chamber of Senators vote on removing President Fernando Lugo from office.|
|Ballot||22 June 2012|
|Required majority||30 out of 45 (66.67%)|
39 / 45
4 / 45
0 / 130
2 / 45
The presidents of Paraguay's neighbouring countries rejected Lugo's removal from office, and compared it to a coup d'état. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff proposed suspending Paraguay's membership in Mercosur and the Union of South American Nations. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic announced that they would not recognize Franco as president. Condemnation also came from more rightist governments in the region, such as Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Lugo's removal has drawn comparisons to the ousting of Honduras's Manuel Zelaya in 2009; like the ousting of Lugo, it was defended as legal and constitutional while being denounced as a coup across the Western Hemisphere's political spectrum.
Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries issued a joint statement condemning the events as a coup, and a number of countries (ALBA members Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador, as well as non-members Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico) withdrew their ambassadors to Paraguay. Mercosur suspended Paraguay, and Ecuador has said it may invoke UNASUR's democratic clause, which could lead to the expulsion of Paraguay from both bodies.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 23 June issued a statement declaring, "unacceptable the speed with which the impeachment of the constitutional and democratically elected President was conducted. Considering that it was a process for the removal of a Head of State, it is highly questionable that this could be done within 24 hours while still respecting the due process guarantees necessary for an impartial trial. The Commission considers that the procedure that was followed affects the rule of law."
In contrast, some Uruguayan opposition politicians and analysts regarded the impeachment as lawful under the Paraguayan constitution, such as Juan Carlos Doyenart, Julio María Sanguinetti and Sergio Abreu.
The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens") is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 2010, and will end on December 31, 2019.2013 Paraguayan general election
General elections were held in Paraguay on 21 April 2013. They resulted in a return to power of the Colorado Party that had ruled the country for 60 years before losing power in 2008. The presidential elections were won by the Colorado Party's Horacio Cartes, who defeated Efraín Alegre of the Paraguay Alegre alliance. The Colorado Party also won the most seats in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.Authentic Radical Liberal Party
The Authentic Radical Liberal Party (Spanish: Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico or PLRA) is a centrist liberal political party in Paraguay. The party is a full member of Liberal International. The liberales, as they are known, are the leading opposition to the dominant conservative Colorado Party. They have taken this position since the end of the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship in 1989. They are the political successors of the Liberal Party.
The party was formed by Domingo Laíno, Carmen Casco de Lara Castro, Carlos Alberto González, Miguel Ángel Martínez Yaryes, and others in 1978, in opposition to the Constitutional Amendment of 1977 which allowed no term limits to the re-election of the Paraguayan president.At the 2003 legislative elections, the party won 25.7% of the popular vote and 21 out of 80 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24.3%, leading to 12 out of 45 seats in the Senate. Its candidate at the presidential elections of the same day, Julio César Franco, won 24.0% of the popular vote.
In the presidential elections of 2008, the party achieved victory over the Colorado Party for the first time in 61 years through a political alliance headed by leftist Fernando Lugo and composed by other left-wing political parties. At the 2008 legislative elections, the party won 26 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 14 seats in the Senate. They are approximately tied with the Colorados in the number of seats won in the House of Deputies and the Senate.
Following the June 2012 Impeachment of Fernando Lugo the governing alliance fell apart, and Vice-President Federico Franco took over the presidency, thus exercising the first all-PLRA government in Paraguay.Blas Riquelme
Blas Nicolás Riquelme Centurión (born 3 February 1929, Lambaré, died 2 September 2012; Asunción) was a Paraguayan politician and businessman. He was a member of the Senate of Paraguay for the Colorado Party from 1989 to 2008, and was elected President of the party, succeeding Luis María Argaña; he resigned in 1994. He was a candidate in the Colorado Party's 1996 primary election for the 1998 presidential election, backed by Lino Oviedo. He was leader of the Movimiento Tradicionalismo Democrático (TRADEM), and one of the major financiers of the Colorado Party. He was President of the Chamber of Industry until 1984.As a businessman, Riquelme was director/president of a number of companies, including Cereales S.A. (flour and cereals); Cervecera Asunción S.A. and Cervecera Itapúa S.A. (beer); Cadena Real S.A. (supermarkets); Campo Morumbí S.A. (farming); and Cristalera Asunción S.A. (glass). He is also a major landowner. In 1985 he ordered the removal of 100 Mbayá people from his 75,000 hectare landholding in the Alto Paraná Department; he had previously pressured them for ten years to leave their ancestral Paso Romero community, after he had purchased the property. In 2012 the violent removal of occupying farmers from Riquelme's land in the Canindeyú Department sparked the impeachment of Fernando Lugo. He has been unsuccessfully sued by farmers alleging irregularities in his 1975 acquisition of land (under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner), following Truth and Justice Commission conclusions of irregularities.Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner (Spanish pronunciation: [kɾisˈtina elisaˈβet feɾˈnandes ðe ˈkiɾʃneɾ] (listen); born 19 February 1953), sometimes referred to by her initials CFK, is an Argentine politician who served as President of Argentina from 2007 to 2015. She was the second woman to serve as President of Argentina, the first directly elected female president and the first woman re-elected to the office. Ideologically a Peronist and social democrat, she was a member of the Justicialist Party, with her political approach being characterised as Kirchnerist, a form of left-wing populism.
Born in Tolosa, La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, she studied law for one year at the University of La Plata and moved to Patagonia with her husband Néstor Kirchner upon his graduation. She was elected to the provincial legislature while her husband was elected mayor of Río Gallegos. She was elected national senator in 1995 and had a controversial tenure while her husband was elected governor of Santa Cruz Province. In 1994, she was also elected to the constituent assembly that amended the Constitution of Argentina. She was the First Lady from 2003 to 2007 after her husband was elected President.
Her husband did not run for reelection, instead she was the candidate for the Front for Victory party, becoming President in the 2007 presidential election. Her husband died in 2010 and she was reelected in 2011. She established currency controls during her second term forced by external currency restrictions. In the 2013 midterm elections, the Front for Victory lost majority and failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to amend the constitution to allow the President to run for a third term.
Several corruption scandals took place and she faced several demonstrations against her rule. She was charged for low price sales of dollar futures, "The Rout of the K-Money" scandal, and was indicted for obstructing investigation into the 1994 AMIA Bombing. In 2018, she was also indicted for corruption on charges alleging that her administration had accepted bribes in exchange of public works contracts.In 2015, Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman filed a 300-page document accusing Cristina Fernandez Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Nisman was murdered hours before he was due to testify against the former president, which the Federal Court of Buenos Aires ruled as a "direct consequence" of Nisman's accusations against Kirchner. In 2017, Judge Claudio Bonadio accused Kirchner of treason and called on the country’s senate to permit her arrest and trial for allegedly covering up Iranian involvement in a 1994 bomb attack. Kirchner is currently referred for public trial over alleged cover-up of Iranian involvement in 1994 Jewish center bombing.Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano (pronunciation), also named ALX or A-29, is a Brazilian turboprop light attack aircraft designed and built by Embraer as a development of the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano. The A-29 Super Tucano carries a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and was designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments.In addition to its manufacture in Brazil, Embraer has set up a production line in the United States in conjunction with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the A-29s many export customers.Horacio Cartes
Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara OSC (born 5 July 1956) is a Paraguayan businessman, and he was the former President of Paraguay, as of the Paraguayan general election, 2018. He is a member of the Colorado Party.Cartes owns about two dozen businesses in his Grupo Cartes conglomerate including tobacco, soft drinks, meat production, and banking. He was president of Club Libertad football club from 2001 until 2012, and had been the president of the national team department of the Paraguayan Football Association during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
The impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the 36th President of Brazil, began on 2 December 2015 with a petition for her impeachment being accepted by Eduardo Cunha, then president of the Chamber of Deputies, and continued into late 2016. Rousseff, then more than 12 months into her second four-year term, was charged with criminal administrative misconduct and disregard for the federal budget in violation of article 85, items V and VI of the Constitution of Brazil and the Fiscal Responsibility Law, article 36.The petition also accused Rousseff of criminal responsibility for failing to act on the scandal at Brazilian national petroleum company, Petrobras, on account of allegations uncovered by the Operation Car Wash investigation, and for failing to distance herself from the suspects in that investigation. Rousseff was president of the Petrobras board of directors during the period covered by the investigation, and approved Petrobras' controversial acquisition of the Pasadena Refining System. However, the Petrobras charges were not included in the impeachment because Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot successfully argued that a sitting president could not be investigated while in office for crimes committed prior to election.Rousseff was formally impeached on 17 April 2016. On 12 May, the Senate voted to suspend Rousseff's powers for the duration of the trial, and Vice President Michel Temer became acting president. On 31 August 2016, the Senate removed President Rousseff from office by a 61–20 vote, finding her guilty of breaking Brazil's budget laws. Accordingly, Temer was sworn in as the 37th President of Brazil. Temer was accused by an Odebrecht executive of soliciting campaign donations in 2014 for his party. He faced trial along with Rousseff in the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) in a complaint filed by Aécio Neves, the candidate narrowly defeated by Rousseff in the 2014 presidential runoff, over irregularities in their campaign funds—Rousseff had shared the PT-PMDB coalition ticket with Temer. On 9 June 2017 the court rejected, by a 4–3 vote, the allegations of campaign finance violations by the Rousseff-Temer ticket during the 2014 electoral campaign. As a result of that judgement, President Temer has remained in office and both Rousseff and Temer have retained their political rights.Julio César Franco
Julio César Ramón Franco Gómez (born 17 April 1951) is a Paraguayan politician of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party. He was Vice President from 2000 to 2002, served as Senator from 1998 to 2003, and was presidential candidate for the Authentic Radical Liberal Party in the 2003 election, losing to Nicanor Duarte of the Colorado Party. He was elected to the Senate again in 2008.Franco is a surgeon by profession, with a degree from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina.Following the March 1999 murder of Vice President Luis María Argaña, Senator Franco was elected in direct election on 13 August 2000 to be Vice President of Paraguay. He served the remainder of the four-year-term from September 2000 to 2002.He is the chairman of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party.
Franco is the brother of Federico Franco, who became President of Paraguay in June 2012 following the impeachment of Fernando Lugo.Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance (Spanish: Alianza del Pacífico) is a Latin American trade bloc, formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, which all border the Pacific Ocean. These countries have come together to form an area of integration with the purpose of ensure a complete freedom in the movement of goods, services, capital, and people. Together, these four countries have a combined population of 210 million people and about 35% of the region's GDP.Paraguayan People's Army
The Paraguayan People’s Army (Spanish: Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, EPP) is a communist guerrilla movement that has staged a number of armed operations, including bombings, arson attacks, shootings and kidnappings as part of an organized insurgency. They operate in northern Paraguay, with most incidents occurring in Concepción Department, as well as the neighboring departments of Canindeyú and San Pedro. The EPP are believed to number 50-80 members.As of March 2012, the group was suspected of carrying out 27 separate operations, with more than half of them occurring after January 2011. These incidents resulted in the deaths of at least 16 people — 9 civilians and 7 police officers. By December 2013, the insurgency resulted in killing of at least 33 civilians and police officers, with an unknown number of killed EPP operatives. By mid 2016, fatalities from the insurgency had surpassed 60, most of them civilians and police.Soft coup
Soft coup is a coup d'état without the use of violence, but based on a conspiracy or plot that has as its objective the taking of state power by partially or wholly illegal means, in order to operate an exchange of political leadership - and in some cases also of the current institutional order.Telecommunications in Paraguay
Telecommunications in Paraguay are meager. Paraguay has the lowest fixed-line telephone density in South America, with 5.6 lines per 100 residents, compared with 8.7 per 100 in Bolivia, 21.9 in Brazil, and 24.9 in Argentina.Union of South American Nations
The Union of South American Nations (USAN; Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR; Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas, UNASUL; Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties, UZAN; and sometimes referred to as the South American Union) is an intergovernmental regional organization comprising twelve South American countries.
The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty was signed on 23 May 2008, at the Third Summit of Heads of State, held in Brasília, Brazil. According to the Constitutive Treaty, the Union's headquarters will be located in Quito, Ecuador. On 1 December 2010, Uruguay became the ninth state to ratify the UNASUR treaty, thus giving the union full legality. As the Constitutive Treaty entered into force on 11 March 2011, UNASUR became a legal entity during a meeting of Foreign Ministers in Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, where they had laid the foundation stone for the Secretariat Headquarters. The South American Parliament will be located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while the headquarters of its bank, the Bank of the South are located in Caracas, Venezuela.On 4 May 2010, at a heads of state summit held in Campana, 75 km (47 mi) north of Buenos Aires, former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner was unanimously elected the first Secretary General of UNASUR for a two-year term. The new post was conceived as a first step towards the creation of a permanent bureaucratic body for a supranational union, which will eventually replace the political bodies of Mercosur and CAN. The headquarters of the secretariat is located in Quito.
After Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, Uruguay became the ninth nation to ratify the constitutive treaty of the organization on 1 December 2010, thus completing the minimum number of ratifications Necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty, on 11 March 2011 With the entry into force of the Treaty, UNASUR became a legal entity during the Summit Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, where the cornerstone was laid for the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Union.In April 2018, six countries suspended membership: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru.In August 2018, Colombia announced its withdrawal from the organization.Vice President of Paraguay
The Vice President of Paraguay is the person with the second highest position in the executive branch of the Paraguayan government, after the President of Paraguay. The position of Vice President was created with the Constitution of 1844, although it was the title gave to ex officio members temporarily replacing the elected President in case of death or absence, and was not a position elected along the President.
The Constitution of 1870 installed the position with a permanent character, being elected along the President and assigning to it the Presidency of the National Congress and the one of the Senate.
The position disappeared between 1940 and 1993, being that the Constitutions of 1940 and 1967 abolished it. Only in 1992, with the new National Constitution, the position of Vice President was reinstalled within the political institutional scheme of Paraguay.