News Column

Notable Deaths in Latin America in 2013

December 30, 2013
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Some of Latin America's most famous political and artistic figures died in 2013, from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez through Cuban musician Bebo Valdes and former Argentine strongman Jorge Rafael Videla.

Chavez's death on March 5 following a nearly 2-year battle with cancer made the biggest global impact. It robbed the region's left of its most dynamic figure, a colorful, charismatic leader who delighted in challenging the United States and who used his nation's oil wealth to create a network of alliances. He was 58.

Among others who died:

Former Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, who led an Argentine military regime that killed thousands of suspected leftists. The 87-year-old was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity when he died on May 17.

Bebo Valdes, 94. The pianist was one of the most important figures in Latin jazz and the father of another, Chucho Valdes. The elder Valdes left Cuba in 1960 and died in Stockholm on March 22.

Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, 94. The architect of Mexico's famed Aztec Stadium, national museum of archeology and the Basilica of Guadalupe died on April 16.

Alfredo Guevara, the longtime head of Cuba's respected film industry died April 19 at age 87.

Oscar Espinosa Chepe, 72. The economist who became one of Cuba's best-known dissidents died Sept. 23 in Spain.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Original Headline: AP PHOTOS: Notable deaths in Latin America in 2013

Source: Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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