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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:02 PM

Paraguayan presidential candidate killed in helicopter crash

Source: Reuters

Paraguayan presidential candidate killed in helicopter crash

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 3 February 2013 20.02 GMT

Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo, one of the leaders of the 1989 coup that overthrew dictator Alfredo Stroessner, died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. A retired general known as a dynamic public speaker, the 69-year-old Oviedo was planning to stand in the presidential election scheduled for April.

Police rescuers found his body on Sunday in the wreckage of the crash in northern Paraguay where he was travelling for a campaign event. The day marked exactly 24 years since the coup that ended Stroessner's 35-year dictatorship.

Oviedo's popularity was based on the story – often repeated by his supporters but never independently verified – of how he broke into Stroessner's bunker with a grenade and forced the dictator to surrender.

Polls showed that he was in fourth or fifth place, with 8% support, going into the election.

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Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/03/paraguay-presidential-candidate-dies

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Reply Paraguayan presidential candidate killed in helicopter crash (Original post)
Eugene Feb 2013 OP
Judi Lynn Feb 2013 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:30 PM

1. It's a miracle Stroessner was allowed to rule over 35 years. Had he been a leftist, US voices

would have thrown him over in his first term, like Allende. As it was, this Nazi freak tortured, murdered, enslaved Native people, all WITH the U.S. material and spiritual support.

President-for-Life of Paraguay

Alfredo Stroessner came to power in 1954, but European correspondents who visited Paraguay during his rule used the term the "poor man's Nazi regime" to describe the Paraguayan government. The parallels may have been more than a coincidence, for many Nazi war criminals, such as Joseph Mengele, had settled there with Stroessner's blessing.
From the Nazis the Paraguayan military leamed the art of genocide. The native Ache Indians were in the way of progress, progress represented by American and European corporations who planned to exploit the nation's forests, mines, and grazing lands. The Indians were hunted down, parents killed, and children sold into slavery. Survivors were herded into reservations headed by American fundamentalist missionaries , some of whom had participated in the hunts.
Between 1962 and 1975, Paraguay received $146 million in U.S. aid. Paraguayan officials seemingly wanted more, however, for in 1971, high ranking members of the regime were implicated in the Marseilles drug ring, with Paraguay their transfer point for shipments from France to the U.S. In the 1980s America finally condemned Paraguayan civil rights abuses and drug trafficking. Stroessner still looked as if he'd be dictator for life but in 1988 one of his closest generals, Andres Rodriguez, a known drug dealer, took over after a coup. Rodriguez promised to restore democracy, and President Bush called the 1989 elections "a democratic opening," but opponents declared them "a massive fraud." Rodriguez's Colorado party won 74% of the vote.


New York Times:

Divisive Candidate in Paraguay Is Killed in Helicopter Crash
Published: February 3, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO — Lino Oviedo, a candidate in Paraguay’s presidential election and one of the country’s most polarizing political figures, was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday night while returning from a rally in northern Paraguay, government officials said Sunday. The death of Mr. Oviedo, 69, opens new uncertainty in Paraguay, where President Fernando Lugo was ousted last year. After the authorities confirmed Mr. Oviedo’s death and called it an accident, officials in Mr. Oviedo’s party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens, immediately questioned whether he had been assassinated.

Mr. Oviedo fled the country in 1999 — seeking exile first in Argentina and then in Brazil — after being charged with organizing an aborted coup in 1996 against Juan Carlos Wasmosy, who was then Paraguay’s president. The authorities also indicted Mr. Oviedo on charges of masterminding the assassination of Vice President Luis María Argaña, who was killed by gunmen outside Asunción, the capital, in March 1999. But after Mr. Oviedo returned to Paraguay in 2004 and served time in prison in connection with the coup plot, Paraguay’s Supreme Court absolved him of the various charges.

Paraguay was officially commemorating Mr. Stroessner’s overthrow on Sunday, and some of Mr. Oviedo’s supporters questioned the timing of the helicopter crash, which also killed an aide and the pilot. The Paraguayan aviation authorities said the helicopter went down during a storm in northern Paraguay and said they would investigate the cause of the crash.

“Twenty-four years ago today General Oviedo overthrew the dictatorship,” César Durand, a spokesman for Mr. Oviedo’s party, told Radio Ñanduti. “This is a message from the mafia,” he said, employing a blanket term often used by Paraguayans to refer to shadowy organizations involved in drug trafficking and the smuggling of pirated goods into neighboring Brazil.


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