Former Paraguayan Senator Óscar González Daher has died aged 68 Thursday afternoon at a clinic in the city of Luque, Central Department, it was reported.
Gonzáez Daher and his son Óscar González Chaves had been sentenced Aug. 12 to 7 and 8 years in prison, respectively, for corruption in addition to false statements and illicit enrichment, but the money laundering case against the former Congressman had been dismissed as per the statute of limitations.
González Daher was rushed to the hospital where resuscitation manoeuvres proved useless, after which the body was handed over to his family for funeral arrangements.
The late senator had a career of years in politics, whose electoral fiefdom he maintained in the city of Luque. He started as a young man in the Colorado leadership, where he moved up through the ranks until he became leader of the Luque Colorado Youths.
He was regarded both as a “strong Colorado merchant and usurer who came to power through perks and as a man who earned and achieved what he has thanks to his work and sacrifice.”
In 1996 he ran for mayor of Luque but lost to César Meza Bría. González Daher is remembered for bragging about his wealth during that campaign.
He was later elected to the House of Deputies for the 1998-2003 period, during which time he also presided over the Jury for the Prosecution of Magistrates (JEM), between 2001 and 2003.
In 2002, he came under the spotlight for a car that was brought in from Brazil in unclear circumstances. But as JEM Chief Justice Gonzáez Daher managed to have Prosecutor Alejandro Nissen, who was in charge of his case, dismissed.
After 2003 he was elected three times to the Senate and he even chaired the Upper House between 2010 and 2011.
In 2010, press reports came out showing he paid unsubstantial real estate taxes in Luque despite the size of his many properties and in 2015 he was expelled from the Senate. In December 2017 a new series of audios was leaked showing his alleged influence peddling.
Nevertheless, he was once again elected to the Senate for the 2018-2023 period. But by September 2018, the Prosecutor's Office had charged him and his son Óscar Rubén González Chaves, at that time a Luque city councilman, with illicit enrichment and an arrest warrant, was issued against both men.
After that, Judge Humberto Otazú decided they should both be held in preventive detention, pending trial. In July 2019, they were granted house arrest, after having spent 10 months at a detention unit. In December 2019, González Daher was declared significantly corrupt by the US State Department and banned from entering that country.
In December 2020, he was sentenced to two years in prison in the case of the leaked audios, but he was spared from actually serving them at a jail. He resigned his seat in the Senate at the end of August 2021, after several days of citizen protests in front of his home. Finally, in August, he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. Since that sentence could still be appealed he continued to remain out of jail.
In September 2021, the Paraguayan Treasury managed to collect some US $ 9.3 million for tax evasion.