Uruguay declares 3 days of national mourning after ex-Prez dies

The Uruguayan government has declared three days of mourning following the death of former President Tabare Vazquez, who died at the age of 80 due to lung cancer.

According to a statement, the government of President Luis Lacalle Pou decreed a period of national mourning from Sunday to Tuesday, with the flag at half-staff in all state departments, within the country and abroad, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Uruguay has lost a prominent scientist and a citizen defender of human rights, a promoter of using dialogue as a pathway, someone who watched out all his life for the health of the people,” the statement said.

The former leader’s closest friends and advisors held a small wake, followed by a funeral procession which organisers encouraged citizens to follow through the media in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vazquez will be buried in a private ceremony at La Teja Cemetery in Montevideo, near the area where the former President grew up.

Part of the Broad Front party, he was the country’s first left-wing president and served two terms, from 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2020.