Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man arrested after fatal stabbing of artist in Ecuador

By Gerard Couzens

A traveller understood to be from Northern Ireland has been arrested in Ecuador for allegedly stabbing an Argentinian artist to death.

The suspect, named locally as Alwyn Peter Millen, was held on Sunday after reportedly killing Roberto Alejandro Dominguez (37) during a row.

The fatal stabbing is said to have happened on Sunday at a guest house in Vilcabamba in the south of the country.

The alleged killer has been remanded in custody for 30 days pending an ongoing criminal probe.

The victim had been in Ecuador for around four years and earned his living as an artist and mural painter.

His sister Elizabeth told a local paper: "My brother was killed by a British man on Sunday.

"He was a painter, drawer and tattoo artist.

"He left Argentina to look for work. He was an artist. He had spent some time recently in Peru and returned afterwards to Ecuador."

A witness quoted by local media added: "They had a violent row and the killer shouted: 'Die Argentinian'."

No one was available for comment last night at Las Ruinas de Quinara, the guest house where the fatal stabbing reportedly took place.

Calls to the office of the public prosecutor, named in Argentinian media as Vinicio Vivanco Aguilar, also went unanswered.

A social media post by Mr Dominguez on April 16 and highlighted by an Argentinian paper which reported on his fatal stabbing, mentioned how he had concerns about the British traveller.

"I'm going to try to warn the manager here about this person. We'll have to see what he's going to do," he wrote. "If you don't hear anything from me in the next few days, well, you can imagine why."

A woman living locally named as Auver Villa Vasquez added in a message picked up by local media: "My brother was in the bar of the hostel Ruinas de Quinara when they heard Roberto shouting for help. When they reached him he was on the floor and this Irishman was beside him acting as if nothing had happened.

"The people from the hostel, my brother and his friends were in a state of shock.

"They called the ambulance and the police immediately."

Some media reports had described the suspect as Irish, but it is understood he was travelling on a British passport, and is from Northern Ireland.

Vilcabamba is a large village in the southern region of Ecuador about 28 miles from the city of Loja.

It is a common destination for tourists, in part because it is widely believed its inhabitants grow to a very old age.

The area it is in is often called the Valley of Longevity.

Locals say it is not uncommon to see people reach 100 and it is claimed many have reached the age of 120.

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