The former president suffered a seizure this morning while attending a meeting in his home town of Villa El Calafate, Santa Cruz. He was taken to hospital where he died. The official cause was a "cardiac arrest and sudden death," confirmed the presidential medical team at José Formenti Hospital of El Calafate, according to Clarin.com
Nestor Kirchner, 60, had come to the clinic accompanied by his wife, President Cristina Fernández.
The former president had suffered at least two episodes in the last year that forced him to emergency hospital admissions. The first was in February when he was operated on the carotid. Last September 11, he had to undergo an angioplasty. The doctors had identified a condition of severe stress and recommended a change in the former president’s lifestyle.
Before being elected president in 2003, Kirchner was mayor of Rio Gallegos, capital of Santa Cruz (1987-1991) and governor of the province (1991-2003). He was President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007. In 2009 he was elected to parliament for a term lasting until 2013. On May 4, he had been appointed Secretary General of UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations).
(27/10/10 16:00 hrs).
President Obama expresses his condolences to the Kirchner family and to Argentina.
The U.S. President, Barack Obama
regretted the death of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner on Wednesday and stressed “his significant role" in the political life of his country and the region.
"On behalf of the American people, I send my sincere condolences to the people of Argentina and to President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner,"
Obama said in a statement.
"Nestor Kirchner played a significant role in the political life of Argentina and had embarked on a major new chapter as Secretary General of UNASUR,"
said the U.S. President.
"My thoughts and prayers as well as those of Michelle (Obama) are with President Fernandez de Kirchner and her children,"