Former Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez died at dawn on Sunday at the age of 80, due to lung cancer, his family said, according to the France Presse agency. Vázquez ruled Uruguay from 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2020.
“With deep pain, we reported the death of our beloved father” at three in the morning “due to natural causes of his cancer disease,” his sons Álvaro, Javier and Ignacio Vázquez said in a statement.
Tabaré Vázquez, an oncologist and former director of the local football club Progreso, was the first candidate in the left coalition Frente Amplio to become mayor of Montevideo in 1989, and to reach the presidency – after two failed attempts – in 2005, breaking with the hegemony of the traditional Colorado Party and the National Party.
Through social media, Latin American politicians mourned Vázquez death.
“He faced his last battle with courage and serenity. We had instances of personal and political dialogue that I value and will remember. He served his country and based on the effort he obtained important achievements. He was the President of the Uruguayans. The country is in mourning.
RIP President Tabaré Vázquez,” Uruguay president Luis Lacalle Pou wrote on his Twitter account. He decreed three days of mourning in the country.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva posted a photo with Vázquez, with the caption: “Today I lost a dear friend of mine and Brazil, Tabaré Vázquez”.
“I very much regret the passing of former Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez,” said Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández Kirchner. “His arrival at the presidency helped to consolidate the ideal of the Great Fatherland. My condolences to family and friends,” she wrote on Twitter.