Former Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez died Sunday at the age of 80 from lung cancer, his family announced.
“With deep pain, we communicate the death of our beloved father,” his sons Alvaro, Javier, and Ignacio Vazquez said in a statement.
The statement added that Vazquez died at 3 am local time “due to natural causes of his oncological disease.”
On Twitter, Alvaro Vazquez, who like his father is an oncologist by profession, said that “while he was resting at home, accompanied by some family and friends, Tabare died because of his illness.”
“On behalf of the family, we want to thank all Uruguayans for the affection received by him over so many years,” he added.
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.
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 “with deep pain” the death of its “honorary president, Tabare Vazquez.”
“His example of political integrity and unwavering commitment to our country and the people will drive us to continue his legacy,” it said.
In a statement, Vazquez’s relatives indicated that, due to coronavirus-related restrictions, they had decided to “not hold awake.”
“His children and grandchildren will see him off in a private and intimate ceremony,” they said.