Friday, June 22, 2012

Paraguay: Fernando Lugo Ousted from Presidency (Updated)

Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo was forced to leave office after the country's Senate condemned him in an impeachment trial on Friday.

By a vote of 39 in favor and four opposed, the Senate concluded that Lugo was guilty of "poor performance" over several incidents including allegedly mishandling deadly clashes one week ago between peasant farmers and police.

According to the Paraguayan constitution Vice President Federico Franco should be sworn in to office immediatly.

(Update: Franco was sworn in to the presidency on Friday evening.

In an interview with CNN he refuted claims that the ouster of his predecessor was done according to the constitution and was "not a coup."  

"I hope that in future interventions it is recognized that the actions were done within the legal framework of the country," added Franco).

In a speech from the presidential palace Lugo said that he accepted the Senate's ruling and is "willing to respond to my actions" as a former president. Yet he accused his opponents of acting "cowardly" and added that today's decision was a "blow against Paraguayan history (and) democracy."

Daily Headlines: June 22, 2012

* Paraguay: The Paraguayan Senate will hold impeachment hearings today against President Fernando Lugo over alleged “mishandling” of deadly clashes between peasant farmers and police last week.

* Brazil: Finance Minister Guido Mantega said that his country would soon sign a $30 billion currency swap pact with fellow BRICS member China.

* Mexico: Authorities arrested the son of wanted drug capo Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and accused him of working for the same Sinaloa drug gang led by his dad.

* Puerto Rico: An American Civil Liberties Union report urged the U.S. Justice Department to take over a Puerto Rican police force suspected of widespread corruption and abuse.

Video Source – YouTube via TV Publica Argentina (At least sixteen people died in Curuguaty, Paraguay last week after clashes between peasant farmers and police).

Online Sources- Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC News, ABC News

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily Headlines: June 21, 2012

Before getting to today’s headlines, I would like to take a moment to apologize for the unjustifiable lack of posts on Wednesday. Posting will be very light today as it has been for the past few weeks. Yet hopefully I’ll catch up over the weekend on several stories from this week including Julian Assange’s request for asylum in Ecuador, the upcoming Mexican presidential election and the latest from the Copa Libertadores.

Here now the news:

* Uruguay: The Minister of Defense announced a crime-fighting proposal that would legalize the selling of marijuana to users registered with the government.

* Mexico: A House committee voted along party lines to recommend that Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt regarding the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

* Brazil: A state prosecutor wants the government to award $83 million in “moral and material damages” to the indigenous Guyraroka community.

* Haiti: Researchers linked a second strain of cholera to 2010-2011 epidemics that killed an estimated 7500 people in Haiti.

Video Source – YouTube via TV Publica Argentina

Online Sources- Washington Post, New York Times, BBC News, Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daily Headlines: June 19, 2012

* Argentina: Tennis star David Nalbandian was fined $12,000 and could face a criminal investigation after (accidentally?) kicking a line judge at a tournament in London, England.

* Brazil: Has the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development failed before it begins on Friday or will the summit lead to meaningful results?

* Peru: “Social conflicts and the population's sensation of misrule” might explain why President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating fell to 45%.

* Colombia: A U.S. grand jury indicted former Colombian police general Mauricio Santoyo Velasco over allegations that he collaborated with paramilitaries and drug traffickers.

Video Source – YouTube via TVPublicaArgentina

Online Sources- The Telegraph, Reuters, ABC News, Christian Science Monitor

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily Headlines: June 18, 2012

* Mexico: Global economic inequality and debt problems in several European countries will likely be two of the topics to be discussed at the G20 summit in Los Cabos today and Tuesday.

* Brazil: Brazil is pushing a “balanced” plan for sustainable development before global leaders arrive for the Rio+20 conference this week.

* Puerto Rico: Nationalist activist Norberto González Claudio pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal for his role in an armed car robbery in 1983.

* Guatemala: A judge tossed out a lawsuit against several U.S. officials by Guatemalan victims secretly infected with sexually transmitted diseases in the 1940s.

Video Source – YouTube via sabcdigitalnews

Online Sources- Voice of America,, CBS News, Miami Herald