Luis Maria Argaña
By Joshua Abreu

Luis Maria Argaña was born in Asunción, Paraguay on October 3, 1932. His parents, Luis A. Argaña and Felicita Ferraro, brought him up very well. Luis Maria Argaña was a Magistrate, teacher, and politician. As a young man he was always involved in politics. He was involved in the National Republican Association, and then later joined the Junta de Gobierno between 1966 and 1983. He later directed the Junta de Gobierno from April 16, 1990 through June 17, 1992.

Argaña studied Law and Social Sciences in the Universidad Nacional, and obtained his degree in 1958. He later sought out his passion for teaching and became a professor at the University. His political life was exceptionally successful. He became a member of the House of Representative, and later became the President of the House. Moving up in rank, from 1983 through 1988, during the time of Stroessner’s presidency, Argaña was the President of the Supreme Court. When the Stroessner’s regime ended, and Andrés Rodríguez came into power, Argaña was designated to chancellor of Foreign Relations.

In 1992, searching for new horizons, Argaña presented himself as a pre- candidate for the ANR for the presidency of Paraguay. He lost the candidacy for the Colorado Party to Dr. Wasmosy who later on went to win the campaign for presidency. Not willing to give up, Argaña presented himself again in 1997 as a pre- candidate for the presidency, but was defeated by the Oviedo- Cubas team. Problems came to the Oviedo- Cubas campaign. In 1996 Oviedo tried to oust President Wasmosy and also he was suspected for other political murders, and for this reason he was sentenced for 10 years and was imprisoned before the 1998 campaign. Due to this Argaña was designated to run for Vice- President. The new campaign was now Cubas- Argaña, which eventually became the winning campaign in 1998.

As President Cubas pardoned Oviedo from prison, which opposed the Supreme Court. This later called for the Legislative Branch to do an investigation on Cubas. Things were not looking well for Cubas, and many people were talking of impeachment. Argaña was going to be the successor of Cubas, but before anything happened Argaña was assassinated. Argaña was assassinated on his way to work on March 23, 1999. The assailants ambushed him and open fired on his vehicle. Argaña was shot at least 4 times and died before any medical help could get there. His driver was also shot, but he survived the assault. It was a very dark day in Paraguay. The borders were closed, public transportation was temporarily stopped, and many stores closed. To this day we call March 23, the day Argaña died, “Marzo Paraguayo”.

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