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The BBC's Michaella Kuefner
"A killing that shocked the country"
 real 28k

Monday, 12 June, 2000, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Paraguay ex-army chief arrested
An anti-Oviedo demonstrator holds a Paraguayan flag around himself
There were celebrations in Paraguay at the arrest
The former Paraguayan army commander, General Lino Oviedo, who was arrested in Brazil on Sunday has been taken to the capital Brasilia to await likely extradition.

General Oviedo is wanted in Paraguay in connection with the murder of the vice-president, Luis Maria Argana, in 1998.

General Oviedo in 1996 photo
General Oviedo has been in hiding since last year

Paraguayan Defence Minister Nelson Argana said General Oviedo had been arrested by Brazilian police on Sunday in Foz do Iguazu, near the Paraguayan border.

General Oviedo fled Paraguay last year, initially to Argentina.

On Monday he was taken to the capital, Brasilia, where he will be kept at police headquarters.

A judge had ordered General Oviedo's arrest two weeks ago, at Paraguay's request. Now, Paraguay has 30 days to file a petition for his extradition.

The general had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for an attempted coup in 1996.

He was freed when his close ally, Raul Cubas, assumed the presidency in Paraguay.

Map
Brazil is almost certain to approve extradition

He and Mr Cubas than fled the country after the killing of the vice-president, Mr Argana, who was a bitter opponent of both men.

However, General Oviedo's asylum in Argentina was revoked after he began getting involved in Paraguayan politics again, and he went into hiding.

Officials in his home country said they had known of his whereabouts for about a month, and that on his arrest, he was carrying false Brazilian documents and a gun.

Brazilian officials say he does not enjoy political asylum in Brazil, and that he entered the country illegally.

The BBC's Iain Bruce in Sao Paolo says it is widely expected that the Brazilian Government will give its backing to any extradition request from Asuncion.

Coup attempt

Last month, the authorities in Paraguay arrested more than 70 people following a failed coup attempt which they blamed on General Oviedo.

Most of those arrested were members of the security forces.

However, General Oviedo denied any involvement.

Since emerging from dictatorship in 1989, Paraguay has lurched from one political crisis to the next.

There have been 45 coups or attempted coups in Paraguay in the past 100 years.

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