Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo killed in helicopter crash

Lino Oviedo, a well-known presidential candidate in Paraguay, was killed in a helicopter crash while returning from a political rally on Saturday night, reports CNN.

Authorities said Sunday that the helicopter carrying Oviedo back from a rally in western Paraguay encountered bad weather and plunged to the ground.

Wreckage from the helicopter was found Sunday morning and authorities confirmed that Oviedo, 69, his bodygoard and the pilot had died, Paraguay's civil aviation authority told CNN.

Defense Minister Maria Liz Garcia told Fox News Latino that she traveled to the scene Sunday with Oviedo's daughter, congresswoman Fabiola Oviedo, and said that the helicopter "disintegrated."

"One resident who lives near the accident scene said they heard a single explosion Saturday night," Garcia told Fox. "The aircraft ended up disintegrated and out of respect to the families of the victims, I won't release details about the cadavers."

According to the New York Times, Oviedo's death casts a shadow of uncertainty over Paraguay's already-troubled politics. President Fernando Lugo was ousted in a rapid impeachment trial last summer.

As soon as authorities certified that the death was an accident, members of Oviedo's party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens, immediately questioned whether he had been assassinated.

"It's too much of a coincidence,"  Cesar Durand, a spokesman for Oviedo's party said in an interview with Paraguay's Radio Cardinal, reports CNN.

"We are not going to permit this to go unpunished. ... I have absolutely no doubt that this is a political crime," he said.