Montevideo, Dec 7: The Uruguayan government has declared three days of mourning following the death of former President Tabare Vazquez, who died at the age of 80 due to lung cancer.

According to a statement, the government of President Luis Lacalle Pou decreed a period of national mourning from Sunday to Tuesday, with the flag at half-staff in all state departments, within the country and abroad, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Uruguay has lost a prominent scientist and a citizen defender of human rights, a promoter of using dialogue as a pathway, someone who watched out all his life for the health of the people," the statement said.

The former leader's closest friends and advisors held a small wake, followed by a funeral procession which organisers encouraged citizens to follow through the media in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vazquez will be buried in a private ceremony at La Teja Cemetery in Montevideo, near the area where the former President grew up.

Part of the Broad Front party, he was the country's first left-wing president and served two terms, from 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2020.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 07, 2020 10:18 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website