Coup Leader Says He's Back in Paraguay
Paraguay -- Lino Oviedo, a former coup leader who
left his exile in Argentina on Thursday, said Saturday that he had
returned to Paraguay, where he is wanted in connection with the vice
president's assassination in March.
"I'm in Paraguay,"
Oviedo told CBS television by satellite phone from an
unknown location. "I will be the president of Paraguay. I'll fight
corruption and drug trafficking."
Oviedo, a 56-year-old
former army chief, is accused of ordering the
assassination of Vice President Luis María Argaña. He also has been
sentenced to 10 years for a failed coup attempt in 1996.
me of anything here," he said. "I've never used force to
gain power. I will win by election. I want to run in elections and let the
military and police were put on alert Thursday after
Oviedo left Argentina, where he had been living since March, and were
scouring the country to find him.
Oviedo left Argentina
after its new president, Fernando de la Rúa, who
was sworn in Friday, made it known that he would kick Oviedo out of
the country. Repeated requests to extradite Oviedo had caused
considerable friction between Paraguay and Argentina's last government,
led by President Carlos Saúl Menem.
"I left Argentina
so I wouldn't bother Argentina's new president," Oviedo
said today. "I prefer to be in my own country."
minister, Nelson Argaña, who is the son of the slain
vice president, harshly criticized Menem Saturday, accusing him of
allowing Oviedo to leave Argentina.
"What these people
are doing is an insult to the Paraguayan people," he
said. "We have to do something against these people who let a murderer
caused by the murder of Argaña, a political rival,
Oviedo fled along with the former president of Paraguay, Raúl Cubas,
who is in exile in Brazil.
"The only thing
we can say is that in the improbable chance that Oviedo
tries to return to Paraguayan territory, it would be the perfect way for the
government to hunt him down and catch him," said Paraguay's interior
minister, Walter Bower.