The coffin carrying the remains of former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner was buried late Friday at the family’s pantheon in his home town of Rio Gallegos in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, where he died last Wednesday following a massive heart attack.
Following the arrival of the coffin from Buenos Aires a cortege headed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, family members, federal and local authorities and close friends left for the cemetery’s chapel.
But as happened in Buenos Aires thousands turned out to the streets to accompany the cortège along the way, showing their support for President Cristina Kirchner and her family, and also cheering on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the only Latin American head of state to attend the service.
Earlier, the Kirchners' participated in the second day of the funeral service at the Government House, during which thousands of Argentines flooded the streets despite the heavy rain that was falling on Buenos Aires.
The wake service was held with no interruptions during the night, for the doors of the Government House in Buenos Aires were open for anyone to enter the premises to say a last goodbye to the former president.
The entire service lasted for 26 hours, and it is believed that the amount of people that entered the Salón de los Patriotas Latinoamericanos hall per hour reached the thousands. At noon, the doors were finally closed.
During the last hours of the wake, the president hugged and greeted several followers, activists, unionists, officials and whoever entered the premises to offer her their condolences. People sang the national anthem, shouted Cristina, be strong! and addressed her with messages claiming for the president to continue working for the people. The service closing time was delayed due to the amount of people willing to bid the former president farewell.
After the wake was over, a funeral cortège was driven around Buenos Aires City. The several-car convoy procession that led the cortège of Kirchner's remains was received by thousands of Argentines. From the Metropolitan Airport the corpse was transferred to Rio Gallegos, capital of Santa Cruz province which saw Nestor Kirchner catapult from mayor of the city to governor and in 2003 to president.
A private family ceremony was held at the local cemetery, where President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and both her children Máximo and Florencia were present as well as a few close friends.