The Senate of Paraguay has started the impeachment trial of the country's president, Fernando Lugo. He is to be tried on five charges of malfeasance in office, most notably for his role in an altercation between landless farmers and police that left 17 dead last week. Thousands of Lugo's supporters gathered outside the Congress building to protest the trial. To impeach the president, the Senate would require 30 of its 45 legislators to vote in favor. On Thursday, the country’s lower chamber of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, voted in favor of impeachment. The Senate rejected a request from Lugo’s lawyers to postpone the trial to allow the defense to prepare their arguments. In 2008 Lugo, a leftist, became the country’s first president not to be a member of the conservative Colorado Party in over 50 years.