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Argentine Trade Official Commits Suicide at Mercosur Summit

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Argentine Deputy Trade Secretary Ivan Heyn killed himself in a hotel room in Uruguay during a summit of the Mercosur trade bloc.

Heyn, 34, hanged himself in a room at the Radisson Hotel, in the center of Montevideo’s historic district, Uruguay goverment spokesman Leonardo Galante said. Nearby, heads of state from across South America had gathered to discuss how to protect the region from a global economic slowdown. Heyn had worked with Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino during a meeting of Mercosur finance ministers yesterday.

Mercosur officials delayed a final press conference and canceled a photo for heads of state previously scheduled to mark the end of the two-day meeting. Doctors were called to attend to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner after she was told of the news.

Heyn, an economist who graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, was appointed to his position after Fernandez took office for a second term on Dec. 10. He previously served as the head of the government-run Corporacion Antiguo Puerto Madero, which oversaw the redevelopment of the historic docklands near the city’s financial district. He was also on the board of Aluar Aluminio Argentina SA, according to the securities exchange website.

Heyn didn’t leave a note or explanation behind, police spokesman Jose Luis Rondan told reporters at the Radisson. In a July 24 story in Buenos Aires-based newspaper La Nacion, Heyn described himself as a “soldier” in Fernandez’s efforts to strengthen the economy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Carla Simoes in Brasilia Newsroom at csimoes1@bloomberg.net; Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at eraszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net; Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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