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Fernando Lugo swept to Paraguay’s presidency in 2008. The former priest was everything the establishment wasn’t: progressive, leftist and prepared to shake up the impoverished nation’s archaic institutions. He survived four years and then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

Last June, Lugo was impeached and removed from office for “poor performance in his duties” following clashes over lands rights in the southern district of Curuguaty that left 17 dead. Brazil and Argentina called his ousting a coup, while Chilean leader Sebastián Piñera deno…

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