Carlos Soria, 62, the newly elected ruling party governor of Argentina's Rio Negro province, was quickly buried in a private ceremony after authorities determined that he died of a single bullet wound to his head on Sunday (January 1), fired from his own handgun in the bedroom of his home after an argument with his wife.
The governor's wife, Susana Freydoz, remains sedated in a relative's home, and has yet to make a formal statement concerning what transpired in the couple's bedroom early on New Year's Day. Considering that only Soria and Freydoz were in the bedroom at the time, Freydoz is the only suspect.
COMMENT: Police tested Freydoz for evidence that she fired the gun, but she was not detained. The results of the test were not disclosed to the media. She also underwent a medical examination.
Soria was buried Sunday night as about 1,500 people marched in his honor in the provincial town of General Roca, where he had served as mayor for eight years before swearing in as governor on December 10.
Soria led the province's Peronist Justicialist Party and won election by a wide margin in October, displacing the Radical Party that had long controlled the province. Soria will be succeeded by his vice-governor, Alberto Weretilneck, who was described Monday in local media as being closer to President Cristina Fernandez and her ruling Front for Victory than was Soria.
Soria came up through the more conservative wing of the Peronist Party, allying himself with former presidents Carlos Menem and Eduardo Duhalde. He was photographed sharing a friendly meal with Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who lived openly in the Rio Negro city of Bariloche for 50 years before being extradited and tried in Italy. While serving as Duhalde's intelligence service chief, he was accused by Fernandez of spying on her husband Nestor Kirchner.
Soria's son, Martin, who replaced him as mayor of General Roca, made no immediate statement about his father's death. The couple also had three other children: German, Carlos and Emilia; Emilia and her boyfriend also spent the night in the Soria family home yesterday, and were examined for gunshot residue. Emilia Soria has the right to decline to testify under Argentine law, given her close relationship with both parents.
Our readers will be updated on this case as information becomes available.