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Argentina To Extradite Paraguayans

April 5, 2000

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ A judge has ordered two Paraguayans extradited to face questioning in their homeland about the 1999 assassination of Paraguay’s vice president, authorities said Wednesday.

The two men, Fidencio Vega Barrios and Luis Alberto Rojas, were arrested in Buenos Aires in February. Paraguayan officials want to question them about the March 23, 1999, shooting of Luis Maria Argana.

Judge Daniel Criscuolo, who approved the extraditions late Tuesday, told The Associated Press it was unclear when Barrios and Rojas would be released to Paraguay. Their lawyers have appealed his decision to Argentina’s Supreme Court.

Argana was shot as he was being driven to his office in downtown Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital. The killing sparked days of political turmoil that led to the downfall of Paraguay’s president at the time, Raul Cubas.

Lino Oviedo, a former army chief-of-staff who led a failed mutiny in 1996, has been widely blamed as the instigator of Argana’s murder. He fled to Argentina days after the killing, received political asylum, but subsequently vanished.

Oviedo’s whereabouts are unknown. He has denied the accusations in telephone calls to journalists.

Update hourly