Cape Verde’s Former President Aristides Pereira Dies

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
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Cape Verde's former president Aristides Pereira, a leader in the country's fight for independence from Portugal, has died. He was 87.

Government officials say Mr. Pereira passed away Thursday at the University of Coimbra Hospital in Portugal, where he had been hospitalized since early August. Early reports did not indicate a cause of death.

The Lusa News Agency says Mr. Pereira was initially hospitalized for a fractured femur complicated by diabetes.

The former president co-founded the African Party for Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde in 1956. Cape Verde won independence in 1975 and Mr. Pereira became the first president of the the island country, located off the coast of West Africa.

He remained in the post until 1991 when he lost in Cape Verde's first democratic elections.

The Lusa News Agency quotes Minister of Health Cristina Fontes Lima as saying Mr. Pereira's death is “a major loss for the nation of Cape Verde” and that details about his funeral will be released soon.