SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay said Sunday they were pulling their ambassadors from Paraguay in the wake of President Fernando Lugo's impeachment.
Brazil's foreign ministry said the decision was made "due to the breakdown of democracy in Paraguay," and promised to take up the impeachment with Mercosur and Unsur, according to CNN. The moves, made by three of Paraguay's most important neighbors, follow the swift removal from office of Lugo on Friday, after less than 48 hours of debate.
More from GlobalPost: Fernando Lugo impeached after trial in Paraguay (UPDATE)
"The Brazilian government condemns the summary rite of dismissal of the leader of Paraguay decided June 22, in which he was not adequately assured of the broad right to a defense," Brazil's foreign ministry said in a statement, reported Agence France-Presse. "It considers that the procedure adopted compromises the fundamental pillar of democracy, the essential condition for regional integration."
Paraguay's new president, Federico Franco, said on Saturday he would ask his impeached predecessor to help calm regional tensions, according to Reuters. Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, said he was toppled by "a congressional coup" and that Paraguay was now facing isolation. He objected to the two-day impeachment trial, but accepted the decision and stepped down.
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CNN also reported that Lugo was unpopular with lawmakers, who were concerned about his credibility after he admitted to fathering at least two children while he was in the priesthood. In total, four women claim to have had babies with Lugo while he was still a bishop.
GlobalPost previously reported that Lugo's trial started because of the way he handled clashes between farmers and police, where at least 17 people died.
About 100,000 Brazilians live in Paraguay, which is a landlocked nation of six million people that exports soy, and many of them own companies, large cattle ranches and soybean farms, according to Reuters. The two countries jointly run the giant Itaipu hydroelectric dam.