Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui was rescued after spending four months lost in the Andes (GHM Contenidos/YouTube)
The man who survived four months lost in the Andes is now facing an extradition order over child abuse charges, a day after he was discovered.
Raul Gomez Circunegui had survived by eating snow, rats, raisins and supplies left in a shelter located 2,840m above sea level. He was rescued in Argentina by a team who were recording snow levels and was taken to hospital in San Juan.
Gomez, 58, said he had been travelling in the Andes from Chile to Argentina on his motorbike when the vehicle broke down. He set out on foot but got lost during a snowstorm.
However, following news of his remarkable story, it emerged Gomez may have been on the run from child sex charges he was facing in Chile.
It was alleged Gomez had abused an eight-year-old boy, with a warrant for his arrest issued in April, days before he went missing in the mountain range.
Gomez is thought to have left Uruguay for a motorbike gathering in Argentina, after which he visited relatives in the Chilean capital, where he allegedly sexually abused a child.
"It is believed that he left Chile through an unauthorised crossing since border police were informed of his ban from leaving the country," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
According to Argentinian newspaper Diario de Cuyo, the charge was dismissed by his daughter, who told government minister Adrian Cuevas that there was a "minor event" that was "unimportant" and had been dropped.
30 days to extradite
Cuevas also said he had not received an extradition order from Chile and that he had no knowledge of an allegation of sexual abuse.
However, the paper has now confirmed that Interpol has issued an arrest order for Gomez from the Chilean Justice Department.
Federal Judge Gallo Rago said Argentina now has 30 days to extradite Gomez: "A detention order arrived [for] Gomez because it has an extradition request."
He said Gomez will remain in custody and will be treated in hospital until his health improves and can be transferred elsewhere.
Gomez is currently being treated for dehydration and malnutrition. During the four months he spent lost in the Andes, he lost 20kg.
A search team looked for him for two months but the rescue effort was called off in July due to the severe Southern Hemisphere winter.
In his home town in Uruguay, Gomez's mother Irma Cincunegui said she does not believe the sex abuse allegations: "Raul is a good, hard-working man. Everybody knows him in Bella Union, where he never had troubles with anybody."
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