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Nº 9/99

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "The Commission") has been advised this morning of the assassination of Dr. Luis María Argaña, Vice President of the Republic of Paraguay, in Asunción. As a principal organ of the inter-American system, the Commission most emphatically condemns this atrocious crime, which not only violates the law but also threatens institutional stability and normal democratic life in that country.

The Commission cannot fail to point out that the assassination of Dr. Argaña takes place in the context of a grave institutional crisis that has dragged on for several months and has led to a public clash, on the one hand between the Executive Branch and the Electoral Authorities, and, on the other, between the Legislative Branch and the Supreme Court. The Commission considers that this crisis must be solved legally and in a manner that preserves the rule of law, the highest expression of which, internally, is the national Constitution, the basis of Paraguay’s democratic system of government and the instrument from which all the authorities in the Republic derive their legitimate powers.

The Commission calls upon the Paraguayan State, with the utmost urgency, to investigate, identify, and punish those responsible for this abominable crime, acting with the transparency and effectiveness that the circumstances demand.


Washington, D.C., March 23, 1999