PARAGUAY'S Senate has voted to remove president Fernando Lugo from office.
After a quick, five-hour trial, 39 senators voted to dismiss Lugo, while four senators voted against and two were absent. Lugo will be replaced by Vice-President Federico Franco of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party.
Lugo moved quickly to accept the decision.
"I subject myself to the decision of congress," Lugo said minutes after the legislature removed him from office. "Today I say farewell as president of the Republic, but I don't say farewell as a Paraguayan citizen."
"Today it is not Fernando Lugo who has taken a blow," he said. "It is Paraguayan democracy that has been profoundly injured."
Lugo called on his supporters to demonstrate their opposition to his dismissal, but he asked that they do so peacefully.
Crowds of pro-Lugo protesters took to the streets condemning the impeachment trial and expressing support for the president.
Police in anti-riot gear drove them back on horseback and using water cannon.
The Senate tried Lugo on five charges, including an alleged role in a deadly confrontation between police and landless farmers that left 17 dead.
Lugo decided not to attend the trial, instead watching on television from the presidential palace while his lawyers spoke on his behalf.
The impoverished, landlocked nation has a long history of political instability. Lugo was elected four years ago on promises of helping the South American country's poor, but his more moderate government allies have increasingly turned against him in recent years.
Lugo's impeachment trial was triggered in part by an attempt by police to evict about 150 farmers from a remote, 4,900-acre (2,000-hectare) forest reserve, which is part of a huge estate owned by a Colorado Party politician.
Six police officers, including the brother of Lugo's chief of security, and 11 farmers died in the clash last week. Lugo's political opponents blamed the president.
Lugo has expressed sorrow at the confrontation and accepted the resignations of his interior minister and his chief of police.
In a world gone mad, we will not spank the monkey, but the monkey will spank us.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)