The countries of South American trading bloc Mercosur have decided to suspend immediately Paraguay’s right to participate in the XLIII Meeting of the Common Market Presidential Summit, the Argentinian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. The meeting will be held on Friday, 29 June, in Mendoza (Argentina) and members plan to take actions after the dismissal of Lugo as president.

The measure was adopted because of the statement in regard to the Protocol of Ushuaia on Democratic Commitment in Mercosur, signed on July 24, 1998, which marks “the full observance of democratic institutions” as “an essential condition for development the integration process.”

Ousted Paraguay President Lugo denounces ’coup’; neighbors pull ambassadors.

Paraguay’s Congress voted overwhelmingly on Friday to remove Lugo from office over the June 15 deadly clashes between farmers and police officers.
Leftist Lugo has faced strong condemnation over his mishandling of a forced land eviction in which seven police officers and at least ten farmers were killed.
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay make part of Mercosur. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are the bloc’s associate members.

Liberal Vice President Federico Franco, whose party supported the impeachment, took over as president until April 2013, when Paraguay holds presidential and parliamentary elections.

Lugo, a former Catholic priest, compared the move to a coup. At first he said he would obey the decision, but later pledged to do everything he could to press for a peaceful return to the presidential post.

The ouster was criticized by many countries, while Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia recalled their top diplomats from Asuncion for consultations or as protest against the impeachment decision.
The Mercosur summit is set to consider the situation in Paraguay.