Former Uruguayan leader, Tabare dies at 80 over lung cancer

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In 1989, Tabare Vazquez became the first person from the left-wing Broad Front coalition to win the mayoralty of Montevideo, having previously become well known as the president of football club Progreso, which is based in the capital.

Former Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez died Sunday at the age of 80 from lung cancer, his family announced.

โ€œWith deep pain, we communicate the death of our beloved father,โ€ his sons Alvaro, Javier, and Ignacio Vazquez said in a statement.

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The statement added that Vazquez died โ€œdue to natural causes of his oncological disease.โ€

On Twitter, Alvaro Vazquez, who like his father is an oncologist by profession, said that โ€œwhile he was resting at home, accompanied by some family and friends, Tabare died because of his illness.โ€

โ€œOn behalf of the family, we want to thank all Uruguayans for the affection received by him over so many years,โ€ he added.

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In 2005, following two failed attempts, he secured the presidency, breaking the traditional hegemony of the Colorado and National parties in the small South American nation.

He held the office until 2010 and again from 2015 until March this year when he handed the presidential sash to Luis Lacalle Pou of the National Party, who had beaten Broad Front candidate Daniel Martinez in an election run-off.

On Twitter, Broad Front reported โ€œwith deep painโ€ the death of its โ€œhonorary president, Tabare Vazquez.โ€

โ€œHis example of political integrity and unwavering commitment to our country and the people will drive us to continue his legacy,โ€ it said.

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In a statement, Vazquezโ€™s relatives indicated that, due to coronavirus-related restrictions, they had decided to โ€œnot hold awake.โ€

โ€œHis children and grandchildren will see him off in a private and intimate ceremony,โ€ they said.

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