Former Mexican President Luis Echeverría Álvarez. Photo: Google


Former Mexican President Luis Echeverría Álvarez, who served as the country’s head of state from 1970 to 1976, died on Friday, July 8, at home in his sleep, sources close to his family reported Saturday, July 9.

Echeverría, who was a populist president from the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) turned 100 on Jan.17.

On Nov. 14, 1969, he was elected as the PRI candidate for the presidency and easily won the 1970 elections.

The Echeverría government sought to diversify international trade and the sources of technology and financing.

He also established diplomatic relations with China and implemented Mexico’s still-in-force One-China policy.

Throughout his tenure, the rate of inflation grew on average to 27 percent per year.

During his last year in office, he announced a sharp devaluation of the peso against the U.S. dollar, the first in more than two decades.

But perhaps what Echeverría will be most remembered for was his role in the tragic slaughter to more than 40 students and the arrests of more than 1,300 peaceful protestors in October 1968 in Mexico City’s Plaza Tlatelolco, when he was Mexico’s secretary of the interior,

After leaving the presidency he was appointed Mexico’s ambassador to the UNESCO in Paris, where he served until 1979.

Echeverría was buried Saturday in a small, closed ceremony of family and close friends.

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