Unasur delegation travels to Paraguay to ensure “democratic system integrity”
A delegation of Foreign Affairs ministers should be arriving late Thursday to Asunción where the Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo is facing political impeachment that could have him out of office.
“The heads of state from Unasur (Union of South American Nations) have decided to send a delegation of Foreign Affairs ministers to Paraguay given the political situation in that country”, announced the Ecuadorean minister Ricardo Patiño in his Twitter.
Ministers should be arriving in Asunción after 21:00 hours said Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota following a meeting of Unasur presidents and ministers currently attending the Rio+20 sustainable growth summit in Rio do Janeiro.
“I’ll be in the delegation as will be Unasur secretary general Alí Rodríguez”, said Patriota adding that “(Unasur) presidents expressed their conviction that stability, rule of the law and democratic institutional order must be preserved according to the Constitution and the due process mechanism”.
“The presidents consider that Unasur countries managed to conquer democracy with great effort and we must be extreme defenders of democratic integrity”, underlined Patriota.
The Unasur leaders in Brazil on Thursday summoned an urgent meeting to address the political crisis situation in Paraguay, said Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa during the early discussions of the Rio+20 summit. He suggested that Unasur could consider implementing the protocol against coups.
“President Correa insists that democracy is based on legality and legitimacy, regarding the political crisis in Paraguay”, added Patiño in his twitted message.
The Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo in his daily updates reported that according to Itamaraty sources the Unasur heads of state are supporting President Lugo since they consider the impeachment process “a camouflaged coup” to oust the Paraguayan elected leader.
The current political situation in Paraguay was triggered following the killing of ten peasants and seven policemen during the eviction of squatters from a farm and forest taken over by the landless movement.
These conflicts are recurrent in Paraguay’s rich farm lands and forests but this was the first time 17 people were killed and tens injured with shotguns, machetes, swords, spears and arrows.
But the military also expressed concern because some of the police forces killed or wounded suffered impacts from sophisticated weapons only in possession of the Paraguayan armed forces.