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Sat Apr 1, 2017, 11:51 PM

Interior minister, police chief fired after Paraguay clashes

Source: Associated Press

Pedro Servin, Associated Press Updated 10:02 pm, Saturday, April 1, 2017

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) President Horacio Cartes fired Paraguay's interior minister and top police official on Saturday following the killing of a young opposition party leader and violent overnight clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment to allow presidential re-election.

Dozens of people, including a police officer, were arrested Friday evening in demonstrations that saw protesters break through police lines and enter the first floor of Paraguay's legislature, setting fire to papers and furniture. Police used water cannon and fired rubber bullets to drive protesters away from the building while firefighters extinguished blazes inside.

In the early hours Saturday, 25-year-old Rodrigo Quintana was shot and killed at the headquarters of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, a different location than the congress building where most of the protests took place. Anti-riot police with rifles and their heads and faces covered by helmets had stormed the opposition headquarters amid the anti-government protests.

Security camera footage showed people in a corridor running desperately away from police and Quintana falling to the ground, apparently hit from behind. Seconds later, a policeman carrying a gun is seen stepping on Quintana, who is face-down to the ground.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Clashes-fire-at-Paraguay-congress-after-11043156.php

Sat Apr 1, 2017 | 8:21pm EDT
Protester dies, minister sacked after Paraguay re-election vote

By Daniela Desantis | ASUNCION

Two top Paraguayan government officials were fired on Saturday after a protester died in violent clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election.

While the capital city Asuncion had calmed down the day after Paraguay's Congress was stormed and set on fire, protests may resume if the lower house votes on the amendment next week.

The violent upheaval punctured a period of relative stability under Cartes, in which the soy and beef exporting nation became one of South America's fastest-growing economies and began to move past a long history of political uncertainty.

Rodrigo Quintana, 25, was killed by a rubber bullet fired by police who entered the headquarters of the Liberal Party, the country's second-largest, opposition politicians and a federal prosecutor said.


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