[QODLink]
Americas
Argentine minister found hanged at summit
Police in Uruguay investigating circumstances of Ivan Heyn's death in his hotel room during Mercusor summit.
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2011 06:40
 Heyn, right, was a promising economist who took up his new post of undersecretary of trade just 10 days ago [AFP]

An Argentine government minister has been found hanged in his hotel room in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo during a summit meeting of the South American trade group Mercosur, police said.

Ivan Heyn, 33, Argentina's undersecretary of trade, was found dead at the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday, Jose Luis Rondan, a police spokesman, told a news conference.

"He apparently died by hanging" with a belt, Rondan said. He said police were trying to determine whether it was a suicide, a crime or an accident. A Uruguayan official earlier said that Heyn had committed suicide.

An investigating judge told local media that the circumstances surrounding Heyn's death remained unclear.

'Tragic incident'

News of his death shocked the Mercosur summit, attended by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner de Fernandez was informed about the death while she was attending a closed door meeting of the presidents, and was so upset she was seen by her doctor, according to the Uruguayan official.

Heyn's death has shocked the meeting of
South American leaders [AFP]

But Kirchner, who is supposed to assume the presidency of the bloc during the summit, later returned to the meeting with the other presidents.

Organisers meanwhile cancelled a planned official picture taking of the South American leaders.

Security presence was stepped up at the hotel, where some of the leaders attending the summit are staying.

Argentina's embassy confirmed Heyn's death, and said in a statement that Uruguayan authorities were taking "all the necessary legal steps with regard to this tragic incident."

Heyn was a promising economist who belonged to the Peronist youth group La Campora that supports the government of Kirchner and supported the previous administration of her late husband, Nestor Kirchner.

A former leader of the Argentine University Federation, Heyn was an undersecretary in the ministry of the economy during Kirchner's first term in office. He took up his new post just 10 days ago after Kirchner's re-election.

A telegenic commentator, he was often featured on state television explaining government policy.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.