Montevideo, May 22 (EFE).- Uruguay’s interior minister Jorge Larrañaga died Saturday at the age of 64, according to the country’s president, Luis Lacalle Pour.
“Jorge Larrañaga passed away. Very hard! I learned to love and respect him. He was loving even in the harshness of battle. We competed, we cooperated, we respected each other. He was in his prime. RIP,” the leader wrote on Twitter.
According to sources from the National Party (PN), to which Larrañaga belonged and one of the five that make up the government coalition, his death was due to cardiac arrest.
On Sunday between 9 am-12 pm (12.00-15.00 GMT), a wake will be held in the Hall of Lost Steps of the Legislative Palace, and later the funeral procession will go to the PN headquarters, the party reported.
His body will then be transferred to his hometown Paysandú, where a burial will take place on Monday at 10 am in the city’s cemetery.
Both members of the cabinet and politicians from other parties expressed their shock and pain at the loss.
Public Health Minister Daniel Salinas, defined Larrañaga as “a great human being and friend” and added in his message posted on Twitter: “He gave everything for our country.”
Also on the social network, Housing and Territorial Planning Minister Irene Moreira said that the late minister was “a great fighter committed to the difficult task that he had to fulfill. All Uruguayans witnessed the heat that he put into his administration.”
The former president of Uruguay, Julio María Sanguinetti, wrote: “More ‘handsome’ than ever, fell a gladiator of the Republic. Example of commitment, honesty and courage.”
The official account of Frente Amplio a left-wing coalition that ruled Uruguay between 2005 and 2020 and now in the opposition, described Larrañaga as a “prominent political leader” of the country, and sent “condolences and sympathy” to his family.
After running as a presidential candidate for the PN in the 2004 elections that the recently deceased Tabaré Vázquez won, in 2009 he appeared in the internal elections of the party, from which the current president emerged as a presidential candidate.
For his cabinet, Lacalle Pou chose Larrañaga for his Interior portfolio, considering the importance that the nationalist politician granted to public security to the point of drawing up a proposal called “Living without fear.”
The project sought to reform the Constitution to include, among other aspects, the creation of a National Guard to collaborate with the police in citizen security, a penalty of permanent imprisonment that could be reviewed and night raids. It was rejected in the plebiscite held in October 2009.
The death of Larrañaga prompts a new appointment in one of the most important portfolios of the cabinet. It is not yet known whether Guillermo Maciel, the current undersecretary, will occupy the role. EFE