Eight Paraguayan soldiers died on Saturday in a rural roadside explosion, followed by execution of survivors, 500 kilometers north of the capital Asunción, the government said, blaming it on a criminal group which identifies itself as the EPP, acronym for Paraguayan People's Army.
Suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's former economy minister testified Saturday that Rousseff did not break any laws justifying impeachment, as her trial closed in on next week's climax. Rousseff is accused of taking illegal state loans to help bridge budget shortfalls and mask the true state of the economy during her 2014 reelection campaign. The president argues the charges are trumped up and amount to a rightwing coup.
The foreign ministers of Mercosur founding members will adopt a common position regarding the current disarray of the group following on Venezuela's unilateral attitudes said Paraguayan economic affairs and integration deputy minister Rigoberto Gauto.
The fracture in Mercosur was candidly revealed by Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa during an agro-business conference of cooperatives in Montevideo when he received a phone call from his Venezuelan peer Delcy Rodríguez.
Mercosur on Wednesday displayed another chapter of its internal disarray, almost farcical, when Venezuela which proclaims the presidency of the group convened a meeting at the Montevideo administrative offices that was only attended by full member Uruguay and aspiring member Bolivia.
Mercosur founding countries national coordinators met on Tuesday in Montevideo and admitted that the block is going through an emergency situation because of the presidential acephaly, but agreed on proposals to overcome the challenge and in a business as usual spirit, are readying for a meeting with the EU on trade negotiations and on the Action Plan to advance closer links with the Pacific Alliance.
The president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said in Buenos Aires that if finally a trade and cooperation agreement is reached between the European Union and Mercosur the United Kingdom will not benefit as a consequence of Brexit.
Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga anticipated that the Mercosur coordinators meeting scheduled to take place this Tuesday in Montevideo, will be definitive since a proposal to solve the current acephaly of the block's presidency which was self proclaimed by Venezuela and questioned by other members, will emerge.
Argentina considers that Uruguay created a vacuum in Mercosur when it unilaterally adopted the decision to devolve the block's presidency, and creating an unprecedented situation. Since then Mercosur has been involved in a serious controversy over the transfer of the presidency to Venezuela, which has strongly discredited the South American block.
Uruguay back stepped on its statements referred to Brazil's “bullying with the Mercosur presidency” and admits there was a misunderstanding regarding Brazil's invitation for a joint trade promotion in third countries, according to an official clarification Wednesday release from the Uruguayan foreign ministry.