The Governor of the Argentine Patagonian province of Rio Negro died in the early morning of the first day of 2012 after having allegedly received two shots in the face. Governor Carlos Soria, an ally of President Cristina Fernandez had ended last October 28 years of opposition dominance of his province.
The first reports indicate that Soria was in the only company of his wife -Susana de Soria-, who was arrested as to be the main suspect. Apparently they were celebrating New Year in a family farm a few kilometres away from the capital General Roca.
Last October Soria ousted the Radical Party from the Patagonian Province after obtaining a 49.36% of the vote. Soria had just taken office on December 10.
According to Deputy Governor Alberto Weretilnek, one of the first to arrive at the farm and who will succeed him, the incident was “a domestic accident” while with his wife Susana Freidos.
“It was a domestic accident and it will be the courts that will determine what happened; when the tragic incident there was nobody else but Soria and his wife” said Weretilnek.
The family decided there will be no mourning for the deceased governor.
Soria earned a law degree in 1973 and quickly entered politics inspired by working-class champion leader Juan Domingo Perón, serving in the provincial and national legislatures, as mayor of General Roca, and later as head of the former SIDE national intelligence service.
His son, Martín, continued that heritage as a lifelong activist in Peronist political movements, and is the current Mayor of General Roca.
During the past year, Soria approached the Kirchnerite movement after years of disagreement starting in 2002 when Cristina Fernández accused him of spying on her husband, Néstor Kirchner- then Governor of Santa Cruz province- while heading the SIDE intelligence ministry.
At the time Kirchner was one of the potential candidates to succeed caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde, who had named Soria as head of intelligence.
Differences with the Kirchners were put aside in 2010 which helped win the governorship.
“What is important today, is to farewell a great person and a great friend. The time for politics will come later. We hope to talk it over with the leadership of the (ruling) Victory Front and with the national government”, said Weretilneck.
According to the Rio Negro province constitution upon death of the governor, his Deputy takes over until the end of the elected mandate.