Former Argentine President Fernando de la Rua was laid to rest Wednesday during a private ceremony at a cemetery in the Pilar area, some 50 kilometers northwest from Buenos Aires. De la Rua, who ran the country between December 1999 and December 2001, had died of cardiac and other complications at the nation's capital on Tuesday. He was 81.
De la Rua, who is best remembered for his early exit from office amidst uprisings that led to 39 deaths after having plunged the country into its worst economic crisis, had received a state funeral in Congress the day before. President Mauricio Macri expressed his condolences on Twitter: His democratic trajectory deserves the recognition of all Argentines.
His burial was attended by relatives and close friends from the Civic Radical Union (UCR) party, now a key member in Macri's ruling Cambiemos coalition.
De la Rua's widow Inés Pertiné was escorted by the couple's two sons, one of whom (Antonito) made a name for himself worldwide for his romantic involvement with Colombian megastar Shakira, who posted on Twitter: “Fernando dear, You're gone forever, my friend. Your children, your wife Ines, your grandchildren, your friends and I, we will remember you with a great and deep affection for your humility and the tender background of your soul that we, who loved you, knew well.”
She went on: “You have fought so many struggles, many of them underserved, and the one for your life you have fought as always, with the dignity and strength that I so much admired. Now rest and fly to a better place where there are no betrayals, no disappointments, go look for tranquility and shelter in your parents, your brother and all those who have also loved you and truly known. I will always be your friend, in spite of everything, in the hereafter, as in this life. I love you friend, Shakira.”
Argentine is officially in national mourning for three days as per Decree 472/2019 published Wednesday in the Official Gazette, which indicates that the former president deserves the homage of the entire Argentine people, signed by President Macri and Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio.