Paraguay After Presidential Candidate Lino Oviedo's Sudden Death

Lino César Oviedo, the Paraguayan retired general and polítician who overthrew dictator Alfredo Stroessner, died on Saturday, February 2, 2013 when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in northern Asunción. His pilot and his bodyguard died too.

Lino Oviedo

Lino Oviedo and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo. Pohto taken on 2012, by Flickr user Fernando Lugo Mendez (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The blog La Oveja 100 reported [es] on Monday, February 4:

El helicóptero en el que viajaba Lino César Oviedo fue ubicado hoy (03.02.2013) en una zona rural de Paraguay, al norte de Asunción, con los cuerpos de sus ocupantes “calcinados”, informó la radio 780 am de Asunción. “Una persona del círculo más cercano al entorno del candidato presidencial confirmó la muerte”, dijo esa emisora.

The helicopter where Lino César Oviedo was traveling was located today (February 3, 2013) in a rural area in Paraguay, north of Asunción, with the bodies of its passengers “burnt to ashes”, reported Radio 780 am from Asunción. “Someone from the most intimate group of the presidential candidate confirmed his death”, stated the radio station.

Oviedo led the National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE, by its Spanish name), and was running for president for the general elections to be held on April 21, 2013. This will be the sixth election in the country since the coup that ended  the dictatorship in February 1989.

About this, the blog E'a Periódico de Interpretación y Análisis makes a brief analysis [es] of the Paraguayan political stage after Oviedo's death:

Sin duda, Oviedo jugó un rol importante en el golpe del 2 y 3 de febrero de 1989, […] pero un momento de valor no convierte a nadie en héroe, menos cuando en vez de valentía lo que probablemente había era temeridad o cuando el momento podría haber reflejado estrictas desavenencias por intereses espurios en el seno del poder dictatorial.

El heroísmo implica conductas sostenidas que marcan historias positivas; intentar convertir en héroe a quien no las ha tenido sólo puede sonar a oportunismo de quienes, como aves de rapiña, sobrevuelan sobre los restos… Vergonzoso intento de algunos sectores políticos de quedarse con los votos de Oviedo para el 21 de abril.

Without a doubt, Oviedo played an important role in the February 2 and 3, 1989 coup, […] but a moment of courage doesn't make a hero out of anyone, let alone when instead of courage what was there was probably recklessness, or when the moment could have reflected strict disagreements due to false interests within the dictatorial power.

Heroism means sustained conducts that mark positive stories; trying to make a hero out of someone who hasn't had those positive stories may just sound as opportunism by those who, as birds of prey, fly over the remains… Shameful effort of some political sectors to take Oviedo's votes for April 21.

Meanwhile, the blog InterParaguay republishes the announcement made by the government and the three days to mourn [es] Mr Oviedo's passing away:

El ministro del Interior Carmelo Caballero, en conferencia de prensa en Mburuvicha Roga, anunció la determinación del gobierno de declarar tres días de duelo en las actividades oficiales. Además aseguró que se harán las investigaciones correspondientes para constatar el motivo del accidente del helicóptero Robinson 44 que trasladaba a Oviedo y dos personas más.

The Minister of Interior, Carmelo Caballero, on press conference in Mburuvicha Roga, announced the decision of the government of declaring a three-day period of mourning on official activities. Besides that, he claimed investigations will be carried out in order to confirm the causes of the accident of the Robinson 44 helicopter that was transporting Mr Oviedo and two more passengers.

Also, Twitter users have been expressing themselves using the microbloggind site.

Fátima Garay (@fatimagaray) mentions the remains of the victims of the accident:

@fatimagaray: Equipo medico hace el mayor esfuerzo para entregar HOY restos de fallecidos entragedia aerea a sus familires entre ellos Lino Oviedo

@fatimagaray: Medical team is making all efforts to hand over TODAY remains of victims of air tragedy to their famiies, among them Lino Oviedo.

And Anahí Tortorello (@anahitorto) asks her:

@anahitorto@fatimagaray para hoy si o si la entrega de loa [sic] restos?

@anahitorto@fatimagaray today, without fail, will they hand over the remains?

User Klaus Hiebert (@KhaosXI) foresees:

@KhaosXI: No se sorprendan si en uno de estos nuevos billetes de 200.000 o 500.000 nos encontremos con la cara de Lino Oviedo impresa en uno de ellos.

@KhaosXI: Don't be surprised if we see the face of Lino Oviedo printed on one of those 200.000 or 500.000 checknotes.

Radio and TV anchorman Ismael Cala (@CALACNN) expresses his awe:

@CALACNN: Mis condolencias a familiares y simpatizantes de #Lino Oviedo, a quien entrevisté hace solo seis días en @CALACNN. Este lunes va al aire.

@CALACNN: My sympathy goes to family members and supporters of #Lino Oviedo, I interviewed him just six days ago on @CALACNN. It will be aired on Monday.

And then he announces:

@CALACNN: Urgente: Mañana n @CALACNN la entrevista inédita grabada el lunes con Lino Oviedo. Falleció en accid. aéreo el candidato presd. #Paraguay

@CALACNN: Urgent: Tomorrow on @CALACNN the unpublished interview recorded on Monday with Lino Oviedo. The presidential candidate died in helicopter crash. #Paraguay

Lastly, Fernanda Bogado (@FernandaAzuaga) said point-blank:

@FernandaAzuaga: Con lo de la muerte de Lino Oviedo no se juega!

@FernandaAzuaga: Don't play with Lino Oviedo's death!

Twitter hashtag #LinoOviedo is constantly updated.

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