Uraguay's former leftist vice president and economics minister, Danilo Astori, dead at 83

November 11, 2023

A prominent leftist politician who held high-level positions in Uruguay's government for many years has passed away, according to Voice of America.

Danilo Astori, who previously served one five-year term as Uruguay's vice president and two terms as the South American nation's Minister of Economy, was 83 when he died in his hometown of Montevideo.

He had been suffering from health problems over the past few years and had been hospitalized at the end of October after suffering respiratory failure in connection to a hip fracture.

Former top government official

Astori was a founder and leader of Uraguay's Frente Amplio Party, or Broad Front, which was a coalition of smaller leftist political parties that banded together in 1971, per VOA.

He served as the Minister of Economy under former President Tabaré Vázquez from 2005-2008 and then again from 2015-2020, and was the running mate and vice president of former President José Mujica from 2010-2015.

Astori also served several terms as an elected senator but was forced to resign in November 2022 due to prolonged health issues that prevented him from working.

Death announced by wife and party

According to The Observatorial, the news of Astori's death was first shared by his wife and partner, Claudia Hugo, who serves as a deputy leader in the FA Party.

The news was more broadly spread via social media by the Uraguay Assembly, which said in a translated post, "We want to communicate the saddest of news. The beloved companion Danilo Astori passed away. With reason and heart, see you always dear Danilo."

Respected by colleagues and opponents

The Merco Press reported that Astori was born in Montevideo in 1940 and graduated with a degree as a public accountant-economist from the School of Economics at Uraguay's University of the Republic, where he served for nearly two decades as a researcher, then as a professor, and ultimately as the school's youngest dean ever.

He became involved in politics in the 1970s with the formation of the FA Party and, given his background as an accountant and economist, is widely credited with establishing the FA Party's economic policies and was dubbed the "architect" of the nation's economy in the current century.

Uraguay's current President Luis Lacalle Pou, against which the FA is an opposition party, tweeted amicably, "Danilo Astori was a protagonist of national politics for many years. Sometimes we agree, almost always we disagree. How important it is to have political adversaries that one respects. My condolences to his family and to the militants and leaders of @Frente_Amplio. RIP."

The mayor of Montevideo, Caroline Cosse, also a member of the FA Party, said of Astori in a statement, "He was a fundamental factor for a repositioning of Uruguay at the international level, but also within ourselves."

"We have lost a great colleague, but today I felt that the best way to honor him is to move forward, of course, in these hours of withdrawal and pain that we are all living," she added.

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