Gunmen assassinate peasant leader in Paraguay

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Associated Press

Posted on December 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 1 at 11:04 PM

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Authorities in Paraguay say gunmen murdered one of the leaders of a peasant movement whose land dispute with a powerful politician prompted the end of Fernando Lugo's presidency.

Police in the provincial capital of Curuguaty say 48-year-old Vidal Vega was hit four times by bullets from a rifle and a pistol early Saturday. The two attackers then sped away on a motorcycle.

Vega had lobbied Paraguay's government for many years to redistribute some of the ranchland that Colorado Party Sen. Blas Riquelme began occupying in the 1960s.

Finally the peasants lost patience and moved in. A firefight during their eviction last June killed 11 peasants and six officers, prompting the Colorado Party and other leading parties to vote Lugo out of office seven days later for mismanaging the dispute.

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