[UPDATE] Today's Trial Just Rubberstamping: Paraguay's President Lugo Ousted by Congress in Widely Unpopular Impeachment & Conspiracy Comes to Light

UPDATE: Fernando Lugo is Deposed as President. Federico Franco will be Inaugurated. The vote was 39 to condemn him, 2 absent, 4 to absolve him. The supposed cause is a deadly fire-fight last Friday where 6 police and 11 landless farmers died.

Nuns praying for peace in Paraguay as protestors gather against Congress' impeachment of Lugo. h/t Última Hora

Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo, a Catholic Bishop who rode the wave of a grassroots movement to unseat the previously unbeatable Colorado Party in 2008, has two hours today to present a defense against charges that are seen as political posturing. In a trial by the Senate, where there are already enough votes to depose Lugo, Paraguay's brief experiment with democracy is likely to crash on the shoals of politicking.

The impeachment hearing will take place at 12pm (noon). The Senate will vote at 4:30pm. [Timeline here] [Online radio here]

Although people in Paraguay are unhappy with Lugo, many more people are unhappy with the move from congress to impeach the president because they see it as the latest action of a coterie of corrupt political elites to attain more power. Polls inside the country show that more people are against deposing Lugo than for it (54/46) and Paraguayans living abroad have voiced their strong disagreement.

The winners from the ousting of Lugo are: 1) his vice president Federico Franco, of the Liberal Party, who'll become president in his stead; 2) UNACE, a political party made up of former Colorados led by Lino Oviedo, who, rumor has it, have made a backroom deal with the Liberals to form a coalition government; 3) Colorado Party presidential candidate Horacio Cartes, accused of narcotrafficking and money-laundering and now conspiring to destabilize the government so that, in April 2013, the Colorado Party will be the only party organized enough to win the election.

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