Paraguay’s president has fired the country’s interior minister and top police official after the killing of young opposition party leader — a death that came amid violent clashes overnight sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment to allow presidential re-election. President Horacio Cartes said Saturday that Interior Minister Tadeo Rojas and National Police Chief Crispulo Sotelo had been let go. Rodrigo Quintana, 25, was killed at the headquarters of a liberal youth activist group, a different location than the congress building where most of the violence took place. Demonstrators set fires around the legislative building after the vote to allow Cartes to run again in a country haunted by the 35-year rule of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner.
As the violent clashes erupted, dozens of people, including a police officer, were arrested Friday evening.
Police used water cannon and fired rubber bullets to drive demonstrators away from the building while firefighters extinguished blazes inside.
The protests broke out after a majority of Paraguayan senators approved the constitutional amendment allowing for presidential re-election. Some opposition members said the move was illegal because the vote was taken without all members of the senate present.