Unasur presidents attending the Rio+20 summit met urgently on Thursday to analyze the current political situation in Paraguay where President Fernando Lugo is facing political impeachment following a land eviction incident that killed 17 peasants and policemen.
The Union of South American Nations leaders participating are Uruguay’s Jose Mujica; Ecuador’s, Rafael Correa; Bolivia’s Evo Morales; Chile’s Sebastián Piñera and host of the Rio+20 summit, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff.
Other members, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez on Wednesday had to return to Buenos Aires to face a three-day teamsters strike that is leaving the country without fuel and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is recovering from cancer and has a limited agenda.
The Paraguayan Lower house controlled by the opposition overwhelmingly approved to initiate the impeachment process (76 to 1), while the Senate is expected to take a vote in the next few hours, with a similar outcome.
In a national broadcast President Lugo accused Congress of trying to interrupt the normal democratic process and anticipated he would not resign.
Presidential elections are scheduled for next May 2013. Lugo elected in 2008 with the support of a catch-all coalition headed by the Liberal party, one of the two main political forces in the country, has lost all support.