Fernando Lugo Méndez, President of the Republic of Paraguay in 2008−2012. His presidency was overthrown by a US-backed controversial impeachment, described as a breakdown of the democratic order by Latin American and European governments. Known as "the Bishop of the poor", then a Catholic priest, Fernando Lugo served as Bishop from 1994 to 2005, the year in which he went into politics in his country. His triumph as a presidential candidate put an end to a long cycle of 61 years of hegemony of the Colorado Party of Paraguay, including the 35 years of Alfredo Stroessner's fascist dictatorship. In 2008 Lugo received a dispensation from Pope Benedict XVI to exercise the presidency of Paraguay. President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations 2011−2012, he is a Member of the Puebla Group and since June 2013 has served in the Paraguayan Senate.