February 3, 2013 - 20:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo, a former army chief who led a failed coup in 1996, died in a helicopter accident, Bloomberg reports.
The wreckage was found in the Presidente Hayes department in central Paraguay, police officer Benito Almiron, a member of the Paraguayan police’s press office, said in a telephone interview from Asuncion. Police are working at the site of the accident, which also killed the pilot and Oviedo’s bodyguard.
Oviedo, 69, was running with the opposition Unace Party in April’s presidential vote, which was called after Congress ousted Fernando Lugo from the presidency in June, claiming he encouraged land seizures and fomented violence.
Vice President Federico Franco was named to temporarily run the nation while Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay decided to suspend Paraguay, the world’s fourth-largest soybean producer, from the Mercosur trade group until the elections, in retaliation for the swiftness of Lugo’s impeachment.
Oviedo was army chief in 1996 when he attempted to remove Juan Carlos Wasmosy from the presidency. After the coup failed, Oviedo ran for the presidency in the 1998 election. The Supreme Court blocked his attempt due to charges related to the coup.
He moved to Brazil, and returned to Paraguay in 2004 to serve a prison sentence. Running with the Unace Party, he came in third in the 2008 presidential elections, when Lugo won, ending 61 years of Colorado Party rule.